Visit to three artisans’ shops, with your expert guide & shopping advisor
Stroll in lesser known areas of Florence
FLORENCE MASTER ARTISANS: FLORENTINE MOSAIC, MARBLED PAPER & HOUSEHOLD LINEN
Florence Master Artisans – In the shade of its glorious monuments, steps away from the immortal works of Botticelli, Leonardo, Donatello and Giotto, a number of historical workshops (or ‘botteghe’) are still populating the ancient alleyways, perpetuating the tradition of exceptional skills and refined taste with which Florence conquered the world since the Middle Ages.
Your expert guide will sketch the historical background of each craft and introduce you to the artisans, that will be proud to present their works, tools and techniques
Although our Florence master artisans tour is not meant to be a shopping tour, but rather a discovery, we bet that you will hardly resist the temptation of bringing back home with you some unique pieces of history, art and beauty!
The most exclusive of traditional Florentine arts is that of the ‘pietra dura’, or hard stone mosaic, when Ferdinando de Medici opened the Opificio della Pietra Dura in 1588 the artisans just worked for the Medici, that will order the manufacts for themselves or as gifts for other sovereigns. Jasper and agate, lapis lazuli and chalcedony, thinly sliced and skilfully cut create marvelous inlaid art works, traditionally representing flowers, landscapes and portaits. A joy for the eyes and one of the most glorious Florentine specialties.
Marbled paper was probably created in China, but flourished in Turkey, where it was known as ‘ebru’, or art of the clouds, mostly used for binding prayer books. Arrived to Europe through Venice, (where our friend Alberto Valese is still working at it) it is now mostly produced in Florence only by three major workshops.
A variety of agendas, scrapbooks and objects decorated with pastel colored marbled paper sheets, each of them a unique creation by the hands of the artist.
Florence has a long tradition for fiber arts and weaving. The first guild of Florence of which we have notice is the Arte di Calimala, the cloth-merchants’ guilds, alredy mentioned in a document by 1150.
Fine house embroidered linen played a central role in the bridal dowries of the Renaissance and, notwithstanding all modern industrial production, some of the old skillshave survived to our era. Visiting a traditional fabrics’ atelier will be like stepping back in time.
This tour can be combined with our FLORENCE MASTER ARTISANS: LEATHER, PERFUMES & JEWELS tour
for a full day immersion into traditional Florentine crafts.
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