A guide to local artists

 

artisans-list-twoThe Maremma has so many incredible local artisans. Most of them don’t have a website (we’re not exactly tourist savvy) or an online store, but they’ve been producing breathtaking pieces for, in many cases, generations. These are not your stock-standard mass-market souvenirs, but real statement pieces that are handmade and utterly unique! I’ve picked my favourite here, but stay tuned for more detailed posts about each to come!

AMAZING ARTISANS

1. FAIRYTALE FIGURINES: I love, love, love Altaluna. This Florence-born, Pitigliano-based ceramic artist basically reads my mind. Everything she makes, I want. Her pieces are whimsical and bright, perfect for adults and children and all handmade in the Maremma.

2. DECADENT CROCKERY: Altaluna’s fidanzato (boyfriend) Abbaialuna makes the most incredible ceramic tableware. I picked up two Bucchero water glasses the other day. Bucchero is an old Etruscan form of pottery making that was all the rage in the Maremma before the Romans arrived. The pieces aren’t painted black, a reduced supply of oxygen during kiln firing gives them that colour. The glasses cost me €10 each and are extra special because no two are alike and they have the faintest silver thread through them. I drink everything out of them.

3. STATEMENT LEATHER: I’m new to Il Riccio. I have admired their gorgeous craft shop in Grosseto for years, but never been inside. They have a great English website that features all their collection. Leather is huge in Tuscany, but it’s usually ridiculously expensive or not even made in Tuscany. Il Riccio’s stuff is local, handmade and quite the steal!

4. A SUPER SWEET T-SHIRT: Maremma Maiala is an Italian curse word that actually dates back to when the Maremma was plagued by malaria and brigands. Maremma Maiala isn’t really rude. It literally means “Maremma pig” but is the local equivalent of “For Heaven’s Sake”. I think they would would make a great and quirky gift, plus the t-shirts only cost €19!

5. ON POINT: Montemerano’s Coltelli d’arte is a force to be reckoned with. If you believe town gossip, the Stefani family has made knives for celebrities like the Pope and plenty of others. The family has been making knives since 1910 and they really are pieces of art.

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