Few places in the world are as rich as Veneto, in terms of age-old trades passed down through the centuries. During the Serenissima era, Veneto was a vivid hotbed of knowledge and activities that were all needed by the Venetian Republic to expand, and explore distant territories. Specific skills and crafts were also newly acquired from merchants and travelers met along the way, either when coming back from exotic places or when opening a trading post along the Mediterranean coast. More than just a center for commercial activity and transportation, Veneto has already plenty of traditions such as Carnival, great mosaic artists, and painters, specific styles for construction and architecture as well as navigation with various flat-bottom boats. Through the Artisans Tour, rediscovering these enchanting and fascinating Venice crafts will be a true pleasure for the whole family, and also one of the best ways to truly come to know the traditions of Veneto.
Italy Craft tours: Venice a artisan traditions gem
The Venice craft Artisans Tour must begin with the Venice Carnival, a tradition more alive than ever. For a wonderful group experience, you should visit one of the many workshops where the famous Venetian masks and clothing of that period are made. The Venice craft visit will unveil the secrets and history of Venetian masks, and will be a true journey into the past: discover some of the most beautiful outfits and costumes of French, Venetian and Flemish origins. At the end of the visit you will even be able to try on one of the many unique outfits and become a character from the past! Along with the Carnival, the other great symbol of Venice is surely the gondola: a slender black boat that is only used in Venice, built in a specific asymmetric way to make navigation through the water canals of the city easier. Visiting a “squero” could help you discover the way a gondola is built. For example, did you know that no gondolas are alike? Each gondola is built according to specific measurements: the gondolier’s! This and many other secrets regarding the ancient “squerario” trade are waiting for you along the canals of Venice. To complete the Venice craft Artisans Tour, you absolutely need to attend a demonstration from a skilled Venetian carpenter and sculptor: a “remer”. In their workshop, they will tell you about their trade, one that has been passed down from one generation to another… a truly unique experience, which is also perfect for kids.
Venice Craft tours: The Golden Age
Traces of Venice’s noble past can be found in current Venice crafts. The manufacturing and refinement of precious objects and jewellery have never been interrupted, and they continue nowadays thanks to the many shops that keep creating beautiful works of art, much like the artworks you can admire when visiting The Art Workshop of Frames, with its master craftsman “Toni Cornisetta”: here you’ll get to see the manufacturing life of a frame. Speaking of luxury we cannot possibly forget the Battiloro family and its golden trade. In the Battiloro workshop, expert goldsmiths will show you how they work: where the metal bars are transformed into thin gold leaves that will be used to decorate artifacts and other items. Another truly amazing experience along the tour will take you to the beautiful island of Murano, in a glass workshop, where you will meet with a seventh-generation master glassblower who creates sculptures and artistic objects with a thousand-year old technique. Finally, the last but not the least of Venice crafts, there is a blacksmith workshop from the XVII century in the historic center where the antique “art of the devil” is still practiced: in the forge, blacksmiths create molds and work hot metals, giving life to works of art. They will tell you fascinating stories about their craft from ancient times to nowadays.
Deep into Treviso, Vicenza and Verona: crafts tours italy
In Treviso, you will find a spinning mill from the XIX century that is still operating: nowadays materials for high fashion items are handmade, using these traditional looms. Expert spinners will show you how they work the yarns and how they create some of the most remarkable materials in the world. Still in Treviso, you should visit the atelier of Gaetano and Elena, two sculptors who will show you their technique for creating captivating and enchanting crafts: plaster creation, RAKU technique — a technique used in Japan during the 16th century —. Let’s go to Verona, the city of the most famous love story in the world. Here many artisans create the masks for the Carnival of Venice using a technique that dates back to 1300. You will be able to give it a try with a little help from the artisans’ skilled hands. In Vicenza finally you can discover the world of master ceramists in a three-century old factory, which is also a museum, and visit as well an art print shop where age-old tools are still being used: a world where time has seemingly stopped.