Golsmith’s art in Tuscany dates back to to the fascinating Etruscan people (VIII century BC) who knew the secrets and how to work metals: they created extrimely precious and unique jewelry by making use of the most sophisticated tecniques (repoussé, filigree and granulation).
While in Middle Ages artists were often collaborating with goldsmiths and especially ‘battiloro’ to create their works of art, in Renaissance time it is attested that great personalities like Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Donatello, Luca della Robbia and Benvenuto Cellini started their apprenticeship as artisans at a goldsmith’s workshop.
Today there are a few master artisans in Pisa, who keep on with this very ancient craft.
Your local guide Martina will lead you through the historic centre and make medieval and renaissance Pisa come alive: you will see the places, feel the atmosphere, learn about the goldsmiths and their patrons.
Then, you will meet native and passionate master artisans and Martina’s friends, who will host you in their cosy workshop and show you some tecniques, besides their authentic and one of a kind handmade jewelry.
It will be truly authentic local experience!
In the walled city of Lucca the art of silk weaving has been practiced by young women since XII century and became prosperous between XIII and XV century.
At first local merchants imported raw yarn from Sicily, Greece and middle East. subsequently they launched silkworms breeding and the silk production quickly increased: in XIII century there were 3.000 looms running in town.
The unique and beautiful diasper silk fabrics from Lucca become very popular and were exported to northern and central Europe: they were sold on the fairs of Lyons, Flanders and London.
Although it lost popularity within 15th century, the handmade silk production went on in family run workshops and small suburban ‘factories’ until 1930s.
Today there is only one silk factory and a few master artisans who carry on this very ancient local art and craft.
Join Martina in this ‘silk road’ tour of Lucca and learn about the merchants guild, discover the places of production and the people who were involved in the silk business.
Eventually you will also have the opportunity to meet incredibly skilled native artisans who either inherited this ancient art from their family’s members or got an interest and became passionate about it!
They will host you in their workshop and show you the looms, the instruments they use to weave (it may happen they give you a demonstration of the work) and their unique and one of a kind silk, wool, alpaca and linen fabrics/accessories.
It will be a truly authentic local experience!