L’orfèvrerie et le verre

Master goldsmiths and glassmakers

Glass and gold: precious arts of Umbria's past and present

Working with gold and making glass in Umbria have roots that are older than you might imagine. In Orvieto there is an abundance of proof of the work done by master Etruscan goldsmiths and the Museo Faina in Orvieto has an entire section devoted to this ancient craft. Here you can see just how delicate and beautiful the pieces they made were. Today, Perugia, Torgiano, Spoleto, Orvieto and Terni are the most important centres of this ancient craft. Here, the master goldsmiths have given life to a new style, but still use the ancient Etruscan technique of granulation, which calls for soldering tiny grains of gold, properly fused, onto a sheet of the same material which is then shaped to create the piece of jewellery desired. When you are in Torgiano, you'll notice the different colour of the products made here with gold of a higher quality.

If you love quality products and are looking for truly exclusive items, then go find out more about the local production of glass in Piegaro. The art of glassmaking here dates to the XIV century when the local master glassmakers made the windows for the Cathedral in Orvieto, and it is the oldest in all of Umbria. We recommend a visit to this fortified village. In the heart of it, along Via Garibaldi, you can see the old glassworks which, since 2009, is home to the Glass Museum. Here you'll be able to learn more about this ancient tradition and current production methods. If you're here in autumn, along the road that goes into town, you'll probably come across many locals picking olives. Piegaro is located along the Extra-virgin Olive Oil DOP Route, one of the many excellences of Umbrian gastronomy.

You can also find the art of glassmaking in Perugia, in the historic Moretti-Caselli workshop where they have been painting glass since 1859. The tradition and techniques of this family are still alive today. Located in front of the great Rocca Paolina fortress, on via Fatebenefratelli, you can visit the lab-cum-museum. Of special interest are the portraits they have made, which seem painted with oils, but with a light and brilliance that you would never see on a canvas.