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Inspiration is around the corner: Experience a selection of the best Italian craftsmanship through Homo Faber Guide

Homo Faber Guide is an online, searchable guide, which showcases artisans, ateliers, museums, galleries and experiences linked to the world of fine craftsmanship around Europe. The portal connects art enthusiasts, collectors, clients, galleries, curious travellers and designers with the continent’s crafting excellence

Tropical Fossil crafted by Gianluca Pacchioni - ©Lorenzo Pennati

• Looking to discover Italy through new eyes?
• Searching for a one-of-a-kind bespoke handcrafted object?
• Curious to learn of Jacopo Etro’s best kept addresses?
• Eager to see the rare technique of “commesso fiorentino”?
• Would you like to create your own artisanal perfume or “bucchero” ceramics?

Homo Faber Guide places the world of fine craftsmanship in Europe at your fingertips. Experience excellence with access to a selection of the best master artisans, rising talents, galleries, ateliers, manufacturers and museums from all over the continent. The guide is created in collaboration with the international network of the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship which provides local expertise, recommends, evaluates and endorses featured participants.

The Guide offers an extraordinary insight into Italian fine craftsmanship, thanks to the partnership with Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte. Rediscover Italy in a new light, revisiting your favourite places, enriched by new encounters and experiences. Follow the recommendations of our carefully selected Italian city ambassadors and prestigious partner institutions to find hidden gems as they share the craftsmanship found on their doorsteps. Wherever you are in Italy, find courses around the corner to express your own creativity.

First to Milan, follow in the footsteps of city ambassador Jacopo Etro and find your way to the workshop of bronzesmith Ernesto Carati, witness the way that he continues to use skills passed down from generation to generation to handcraft his lights, furniture and bespoke pieces in bronze and brass. From here, be led to another family run historical workshop where three brothers are bound together by their passion for artistic bookbinding. The Marchesi brothers Angelo, Gabriele and Gianluca will delight book and stationary lovers with their refined creations. Milan seen through the eyes of renowned journalist and gallerist, Carla Sozzani will open the door to your imagination. Be bedazzled by the ingenuity of paper sculptor Daniele Papuli, whose colourful paper creations and installations push the boundaries of paper art. Go in search of Milan’s master of metalwork, Gianluca Pacchioni and discover his magical universe, a studio-home brimming with contemporary pieces of furniture and sculptures made from metal and stone.

Follow the road eastwards to Venice, to the heart of Italian fine craftsmanship and be guided by master restorer and director of the Venetian Heritage Foundation, Toto Bergamo Rossi. As any wise craftsman knows, the future of a craft lies in the next generation, and so he will introduce you to a young restorer whose dedication and passion is palpable. Uncover how Alvise Boccanegra brings light to the original design of antique pieces through his meticulous detective work. Hop on a boat to Murano to meet the glassworker Renzo Toso Fei, discover the detail with which he engraves mirrors, glasses and vases, using techniques inherited from as far back as the 1300s. Whilst there, take the time to experience a guided tour of the glassmaking company NasonMoretti and see for yourself the creative process and in the museum admire their collaborations with contemporary artists and designers of excellence.

Revisit the birthplace of the Renaissance and find living treasures hidden in the medieval backstreets. Seek out the workshop of Renzo and Leonardo Scarpelli and learn all about the ancient art of “commesso fiorentino”, a form of mosaic with semi-precious stones, once favoured by the Medici family. Weave your way towards Santa Croce and explore the shop and atelier of artisanal perfumer Aquaflor. Create your own custom made perfume with an olfactory specialist, in keeping with the ancient Florentine tradition. Cross the Ponte Vecchio into the Oltrarno, the artisanal soul of the city, take a shortcut through the Boboli Gardens to reach the workshop of Tommaso De Carlo, a gifted interior decorator with a speciality for alfresco painting. See how his work respects traditional Florentine methods, landscapes and symbols whilst adding a contemporary twist.

Pack your bags for a road trip south, and be delighted by the recommendations of Fondazione Cologni Dei Mestieri D’Arte. First, stop in Perugia, Umbria to have a go at weaving on a handloom with master weaver Marta Cucchia. Skip across the city to meet Giovanni Mengoni and take part in his masterclass on “bucchero” ceramics. Continue to the hilltop town of Todi where you can cross paths with the goldsmith Giovanni Corvaja, famed for his “golden fleece”. Not too far down the road, you can try your hand at leather working under the watchful gaze of Stefano Conticelli. Onwards to Rome to the workshop of jewellery maker Diego Percossi Papi, fall in love with the way his designs reflect the rich history of his beloved home city. Seek out the shop of master weaver Umberto Giovagnoli and be tempted not only by his bags but also by all the woven delights stacked up high all the way the ceiling, from lamps to tables.

Portrait of the Artisan Marta Cucchia - ©Chiara Giovagnotti From Rome, travel to the Amalfi coast to see the influences of the Mediterranean Sea on artisanal activities. Meander along the mountain road in search of the workshop of master ceramicist Francesco Raimondi in Vietri sul Mare, in the bay of Salerno. Watch the way his expert hands work the clay sourced from the Bonea River and how he draws his intricate designs based on mythology and local legends. Go further south to inland Sicily and find a different approach to ceramics, exemplified by the work of Nicolò Morales. Take a road trip across the island to the coastal town of Trapani where you can visit the coral sculpting workshop of Platimiro Fiorenza. Here you will learn all about the history of this ancient art form and see the centuries-old techniques that have been passed down the Fiorenza family.

Create your own unique craftsmanship itinerary
You are the master; the guide is your tool.
From 17 September 2020, visit or download the app available for free on
both Apple Store and Google Play Store.

User guide:

Homo Faber Guide is structured into different sections: Discover, Visit, Experience and Ambassadors.

Discover: Find a selection of the best master artisans and rising talents, ateliers and manufacturers of excellence from all over Europe. Connect with them directly through the guide.

Visit: Find museums, galleries and shops linked to fine craftsmanship to visit in all corners of the continent.

Experience: Find a curated list of workshop visits, artisan master classes, guided tours, and temporary exhibitions and fairs across Europe.

Ambassadors: Renowned individuals and partner institutions within the craft, creativity and design world who recommend their favourite artisans, galleries and experiences in their home cities.

Subcategories: search by country, city, craft or material.

Notes for editors

The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship is an international, non-profit institution based in Geneva, Switzerland, which celebrates and preserves master craftsmanship and strengthens its connection to the world of design. Rooted in a tradition of culture and excellence as well as in the realities and challenges of our current global economy, the foundation seeks to support men and women who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of master craftsmanship and to foster a new cultural movement built around the values that are essential for their work. The foundation focuses on Europe as a starting point for its activities, in recognition that fine craftsmanship has been a vital part of the economic and cultural fabric of the region for centuries. Homo Faber: Crafting a more human future is the foundation’s first major cultural exhibition dedicated to the very best in European craftsmanship, which welcomed 62,500 art enthusiasts to its inaugural edition in Venice in 2018.

Homo Faber Guide launched on 17 September 2020 is an online, searchable guide, which showcases artisans, museums, ateliers, manufacturers, galleries and experiences linked to the world of fine craftsmanship around Europe. It is the foundation’s signature digital project. The portal connects art enthusiasts, collectors, clients, galleries, curious travellers and designers with the continent’s crafting excellence. It features over 650 artisans across over 25 European countries. Newly selected artisans appear weekly, with the aim of presenting over 1,000 masters and rising talents by 2021.

Artisan from Aquaflor©Marcela Schneider Ferreira Daniele Papuli Artisan©Daniele Papuli Francesco Raimondi Artisan©Francesco Raimondi Marta Cucchia Artisan©Chiara Giovagnotti Morandi Blue NasonMoretti Manufacturer©All rights reserved Tropical Fossil Gianluca Pacchioni Artisan©Lorenzo Pennati Toto Bergamo Rossi Venetian Heritage Foundation Director & Homo Faber Guide Ambassador_TOTO BERGAMO ROSSI by Piero Viti©LABOTIV 2019