The dance
of a thousand hands

Ancient vocations,
contemporary experiences

Water, materials, hands ... Above all the talent that turns everyday needs into exquisite creations, that through the centuries have so often become inimitable specimens of art. Like watchmen, artisans preside over the flow of life in the town and valley, along this path of a thousand dancing hands. The energy of water merges with traditions.

The ingredients are what they have always been: talent, ability and patience. From the Adriatic to the Tyrrhenian, a multitude of materials can be found: precious fabrics, woodcuts, Maiolica pottery and finely-crafted leather goods. Artisans create the avant-garde: embroiderers create high fashion pieces from bobbin lace, weavers use hemp in bio-construction, quarry workers polish marble to the point where it becomes an artistic technique.

Travelers gain insight into what lies behind handmade crafts and how people have become the core of the production process once again, transforming the ways of old into contemporary experiences.

“Nowadays it’s as if we can do anything we want with modern technology. But actually, we can’t. You can’t improvise craftsmanship, that’s why we can’t disapppear, we’ll always be here.”

Vincenzo Di Simone

Master Ceramicist

The fabric of time

Offida, Le Marche

Sculptured nature

Ascoli Piceno, Le Marche

Flower tinting

Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Abruzzo

The breathing oven

Castelli, Abruzzo

Avant-Garde Hemp

Santa Anatolia di Narco, Umbria

The Bestiary of Orvieto

Orvieto, Umbria

When arriving from Corbara Lake, you are only able to see Orvieto once you’ve reached the iconic tufa cliff. You have to navigate some hairpin bends to arrive at the cathedral and its grand Gothic architecture. Walking the small streets of this medieval town you’re bound to notice a equisitely carved wooden bench boasting a female figure holding some grapes. It is part of the outdoor decor of the Cantina Barberani and, like many other wooden sculptures decorating this town, it was made in the Gualverio Michelangeli workshop, a woodwork family business founded in the 1700’s.

Initially run by Gualverio, this workshop is an institution in Orvieto and it is now managed by three Michelangeli’s sisters - Donatella, Simonetta and Raffaella. It blends traditional wooodwork with artistic creativity and its production has gradually veered away from classic, walnut furniture. Its brand has now conquered niche markets, dealing with interior design and the ideation of handmade products, inspired by childhood and mythology.

Its trademark material is pinewood, a simple, scented wood that Gualverio considered to be very precious if naturally aged outdoors. Nowadays, Michelangeli’s little animals have become cult objects; they are so expressive due to the multi-layer workmanship employed. They are often used as part of production design and more especially, as outdoor furniture that is admired on the streets and corners of Orvieto, which has rightfully named the street of Gaulverio’s workshop after him.

The oasis of soft wheat

Rivodutri, Lazio

When the cushion becomes a saddle

Montalto di Castro, Lazio