Weaving mills and stained glass making in the centre of Perugia
If you are a fan of artistic craftsmanship, head for Perugia to discover the art of glass making and weaving.
Examples of manufacturing excellence in cloth and glass can be found all over Italy but every region maintains a particular feature which makes the local ones unique and distinctive. In this suggested itinerary, we want to help you discover the unique characteristics which distinguish these crafts in Umbria.
We will take you to the heart of Perugia, where in the shadows of the Etruscan walls, some craftsmen and women are keeping these ancient traditions alive.
Visit the Museo-Laboratorio di Vetrate artistiche Moretti Caselli near Piazza Partigiani and meet one of the oldest families of master glassmakers and glass-painters in Italy. The museum-workshop is located in a fifteenth century residence which once belonged to the aristocratic Baglioni family. Francesco Moretti began working there in 1859 and since then the stained glass making tradition has been handed down through the family, continually enhanced by the studies and talents of each family member. Entering into the workshop take a look at the beautiful enamelled glass works and pay particular attention to the tools, some of which are still in use, that Moretti himself designed and had handcrafted, such as the wood-fired kiln for firing the stained glass, the tools for the manufacturing process and those for smelting lead. (for information about opening times visit the website www.studiomoretticaselli.it)
Leaving the workshop, cross the city centre and head towards the Elce neighbourhood. Walk up via Tiberio Bernardi, a crossing of via Innamorati: in a few minutes you will see the church of San Francesco alle Donne, location of the Museo Atelier "Giuditta Brozzetti", famous for the production of hand woven artistic textiles. The history of the atelier goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, when Giuditta Brozzetti started a workshop to produce high quality artistic textiles. Since then it has passed down through four generations. The workshop is one of the few remaining ateliers in Italy that continues to hand-weave on "Jacquard" looms.
The museum's location will astonish you: dating back to 1212, it is Perugia's oldest Franciscan church. In 1252, the convent was ceded by the Franciscans to the Benedictine Monks and after this event it took the name of San Francesco alle Donne.
The pieces you will find in the museum are of incomparable beauty and mastery marked by years of work and experience: there are themed textiles inspired by Etruscan fabrics and the "Tovaglie Perugine", altar cloths used in medieval churches in central Italy at the end of the 12th century (the "Tovaglie Perugine" are depicted in paintings by Pietro Lorenzetti, Giotto, del Ghirlandaio and Leonardo da Vinci). One of the atelier's most important projects was the restoration of a 16th century loom which allowed the recovery of a weaving technique that had been thought lost: the "Fiamma di Perugia". For information: http://www.brozzetti.com/