Florence and its surrounding areas are famous for a thriving artisan community, whose members still maintain Renaissance traditions today. Though mass tourism and a changing economy have significantly impacted the industry’s workshops, there are still numerous examples of true craftsmanship in Florence. These artisans helped make Florence one of the best loved cities in the world—their craftsmanship is a testament to artistic survival in an increasingly globalized world.
Mauro Tacconi. Precious pieces
The art of composing mosaics, works made by applying tiny plates of enamel, glass and stone of varied color onto a surface with stucco, originated in ancient Egypt and was subsequently developed in Rome beginning in the first century B.C. The apex of the medium in Florence, however, occurred during the Renaissance, when it aroused the interest of the de’ Medici family. This interest was so great that in 1588, Ferdinand I founded an institute dedicated to the collection, elaboration, study and restoration of semiprecious stone, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, which remains an international center to this day.