Viaggio in Italia: Tuscany
VIAGGIO IN ITALIA: TUSCANY
Tour of Tuscan Craftsmanship
Artemest is proud to present the ultimate insider's guide to Italy. First stop: Tuscany. Take a tour of this treasure trove of natural landscapes, Renaissance towns and centuries-old craft traditions. From ceramic to silver to marble, the ingenuity of Tuscan craftsmen can turn any material into a work of art.
Right in the heart of Italy lies Tuscany: a land of rolling hills dotted by rows of cypress trees, rustic farms, ancient vineyards and historical cities. Known as the cradle of the Renaissance and the birthplace of the Italian language - first canonized in the 14th century in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy - Tuscany boasts a long tradition of high-quality craftsmanship and experimentation.
Local artisanal production, from small botteghe to world-famous design studios, is underscored by an innate sense of beauty, drawing from the surrounding landscapes.
Travelling through Tuscany is a trip down Italian history and heritage, journeying back to 17th-century Siena for the origins of its annual horse race, to Renaissance masters in Florence, to the Medieval tower of Pisa, to the ancient Roman walls in Lucca.
Florence is home to some of the world’s finest examples of Renaissance art and architecture. A visit to the historical center isn’t complete without a stop by Ginori 1735, a centuries-old ceramics workshop that launched a William Blake-inspired collection for Artemest. Stop at the unique Compagnia dell'Elefante shop to find tabletop décor with an unmistakable tropical flavour and continue the tour by crossing the Arno River on the majestic Ponte Vecchio to reach Oltrarno and Florence’s most bustling neighborhood, San Niccolò.
It’s the artistic heart of the city, offering classic sculptures made by contemporary masters at Galleria Romanelli, modern design furniture by D-Ita and exquisite handmade crystalware at Moleria Locchi. Some of the best silversmiths in the country call this district home, such as Argentiere Pagliai, Brandimarte Firenze, Fratelli Lisi and Pampaloni. Hidden gems of Italian craftsmanship are located at some distance from the city center, you can find here some of the best design firms, such as Marioni from unique pottery by Nuove Forme to elegant décor by Badari, classic designs by Officina Ciani and eclectic brass furniture by Selezioni Domus.
Pisa stands out for its majestic Piazza dei Miracoli and its Romanesque and Gothic churches, a nod to its artistic heritage. The city is crawling with small workshops and large design firms, from beautiful artworks by Michele Fabbricatore to elegant mirrors by Xeniadesign handcrafted furniture by CPRN Homood and Valderamobili. Many artisan studios are dotted around the small towns surrounding Pisa: a short drive is all it takes to find workshops with a long family history such as Ferretti e Ferretti, Maurizio Casini, Concept by Caroti, Grilli and Meccani Design.
Discover Tuscan Craftsmanship
In the heart of the land surrounding Siena liesVal d'Orcia, a perfect landscape characterized by rolling hills, cypress groves and the sinuous flow of its river. In these flourishing lands are hidden some of the best craftsmanship gems, from Eva Mun’s artistic pottery to exquisite décor by Antique Mirror. Just a few kilometers from Florence there's the Mugello, where you can discover interesting traces of history in beautiful Medici villas, tiny churches and the villas of Lucca, where you can visit the unique Daniela Forti’s glass workshop.
The history of ceramics production in Tuscany dates back to ancient Etruscan times. Pottery has flourished in many towns such as Siena, Sesto Fiorentino and Arezzo. Here you can find many artistic workshop, from Stella Fatucchi’s ceramics to metal furniture by Formae. Tuscan countryside offers myriad opportunities to dive into a centuries-old culture immersed in beauty. In the wonderful Tuscan landscape of Montepulciano and San Gimignano you can find unique hamlets surrounded by the most unspoiled nature, castles, solitary abbeys and history-filled villa-farms where is possible to taste the local wine.
Located only a few miles from Florence, Montelupo Fiorentino has been an active pottery center since the 1300s, producing everyday items as well as luxury ceramics featuring Gothic flowers and Renaissance motifs. Make a stop here for some of the most important ceramic workshops in Italy, including Bitossi Ceramiche, Fornace Masini, ND Dolfi, Sbigoli Terrecotte, Terry Davies, White Porcelain and Terrecotte Lotti.
The historic town of Empoli is highly regarded for its production of damigiane, large glass containers traditionally used to store wine. Over the years, local artisans began experimenting with adding different shades of blue and yellow to the classic green flask, putting a new spin on tradition. Today, Creart’s colorful champagne flutes and Vetrerie di Empoli’s gilded glassware add a touch of playfulness to conventional glassmaking rules.The art of glassmaking is ever-present near Empoli and around Tuscany: from beautiful tabletop pieces by Industria Vetraria Valdarnese to hand-blown crystal creations of Arnolfo di Cambio and elegant mirrors by Mirror Decor.
Revolver Orange and Brown Vase #1 by Christoph RadlUSD 390
Griffe Montenapoleone by Vetrerie di Empoli
Aqua Yellow VaseUSD 2,300
Toscana Earth Table Vase with Cut SidesUSD 580
Azzurra Maiolica VaseUSD 500
Green Domina BoxUSD 130
IVV - Industria Vetraria Valdarnese
Empire Large Vase #1USD 1,235
The Apuan Riviera in northern Tuscany has a unique coastal landscape of fine sandy beaches set against the backdrop of the Apuan Alps - the area’s majestic marble quarries. The city of Carrara has built its fortune on its namesake Carrara marble, called “white gold” as it’s the rarest and the most valuable marble in the world.
The aesthetic quality, character and finishes of Carrara and Calacatta marble have it a noble medium for artists, sculptors and designers. Located in the heart of the Carrara quarry, Carrara Home Design preserves the charm of the territory and turns this fine marble into unique objects of décor; so does Salvatori, UpGroup, Fiammetta V Home Collection. After your full immersion in the authenticity of Tuscan craftsmanship don’t forget to visit the beautiful local coast and enjoy the Italian sun on Castiglione della Pescaia beach, or relax at Terme di Saturnia.