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The great Ligurian craftsmanship
Authentic traditional crafts of Liguria

Italy is precisely that: each different region has its own traditional crafts. And of course Liguria is no exception. Crafts full of charm with a history that spans centuries or even thousands of years.

In 1807, woodworker Giuseppe Gaetano Descalzi created the first “chiavarina”, a chair with simple, elegant lines which offered a perfect combination of lightness and sturdiness. Today, it is a precious design object which also provided the inspiration for Gio Ponti’s creation in 1955: the Superleggera chair. Some of the most sought-after chairs are those produced by the Levaggi brothers with ancient techniques and an innovative spirit.

The production of textiles – silk, precious velvet and expensive damask – was one the main activities of the powerful Republic of Genoa in the sixteenth century. Today, several textile manufacturing companies still use those ancient looms such as Tessitura DeMartini in Lorsica – whose origins date back to that century – and Tessitura Giuseppe Gaggioli in Zoagli.

Also the lace tradition of Rapallo dates back to the sixteenth century. They were used to decorate furniture and were adored by the noblewomen of that time who wanted to embellish their outfits. The Museo del Merletto of Rapallo is dedicated to this tradition: it houses clothes and artefacts (more than 1,400 pieces) dating back from different periods between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries.

In Campo Ligure there is instead the Museo della Filigrana Pietro Carlo Bosio which houses exquisite silver and gold filigree works, created with ancient techniques already used by the Etruscans. An art which was introduced in Liguria between the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Now back to the sixteenth century with the origins of the famous blue and white ceramics of Albissola, also appreciated by artists such as Lucio Fontana. These ceramic objects are still produced and decorated by hand by the artisans of Ceramiche Mazzotti, a family tradition since 1903.

If you say “glass”, most people think about Murano, but the glass making tradition of Altare is equally ancient. It was introduced by the Benedictine monks and can be admired in the Museo dell’Arte Vetraria Altarese in the beautiful Villa Rosa.

(ph. Dario Garofalo)

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