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The Museum of Ceramics in Montelupo Fiorentino
Photo © Ramiro Castro Xiques
Photo © Ramiro Castro Xiques

5 museums of handicrafts in Tuscany

Ideas for a trip dedicated to typical productions and traditions

Tuscany's economy is very much tied to its artistic craftsmanship, which has always been a synonym for high quality. Porcelain, ceramics, glass and crystal "made in Tuscany" are famous all over the world. To discover all the handicrafts, we recommend some themed museums.

Contents
  • 1.
    The Museum of the Art of Wool in Stia
  • 2.
    The Museum of Ceramics in Montelupo Fiorentino
  • 3.
    The Museum of Glass in Empoli
  • 4.
    The Museum of Textile in Prato
  • 5.
    The Ecomuseum of Alabaster in Volterra
1.

The Museum of the Art of Wool in Stia

The typical orange color of Casentino cloth
The typical orange color of Casentino cloth - Credit: Marta Mancini

The Museum of the Art of Wool is located in Casentino, in the small and beautiful village of Stia. The museum is housed in the old Woolen Mill complex, a landmark for the local economy from the mid-19th century until the 1950s.

The building today is a classic example of industrial archeology and aims to enhance the textile production and culture of the area. In the Arno Valley, in fact, Casentino cloth is made, a rustic fabric that developed from the Middle Ages and was immediately appreciated by Florentine merchants.

Museum of the Art of Wool
Via Giovanni Sartori, 1 - Stia

1.

The Museum of Ceramics in Montelupo Fiorentino

The Museum of Ceramics in Montelupo Fiorentino
The Museum of Ceramics in Montelupo Fiorentino - Credit: Ramiro Castro Xiques

The origins of Montelupo's ceramic art date back to medieval times. Opened in 1983 and moved to its current location in 2008, the Montelupo Ceramics Museum holds artifacts that celebrate a long tradition and also includes pieces from the area's most renowned companies, schools and associations that continue to produce ceramics using ancient methods.

Museum of Ceramics in Montelupo
Piazza Vittorio Veneto 10/11 - Montelupo Fiorentino

1.

The Museum of Glass in Empoli

The Museum of Glass in Empoli
The Museum of Glass in Empoli - Credit: Museo del Vetro di Empoli

Empoli is one of the largest producers of glass in all of Europe. The link between the city and glass craftsmanship has ancient origins: glass was used to store and distribute salt from the Volterra mines.

Housed in the old Salt Warehouse, built in the second half of the 14th century in the center of Empoli, the Glass Museum tells the story of local production with settings, videos and historical documentaries.

MUVE – Museum of Glass in Empoli
Via Ridolfi, 70 - Empoli

1.

The Museum of Textile in Prato

Textile and handicrafts of Prato
Textile and handicrafts of Prato - Credit: Museo del Tessuto

The Prato Textile Museum is one of the most important in the world dedicated to textile art and technology. The museum offers a journey of discovery of ancient and contemporary textiles and textile traditions of the city of Prato.

Museum of Textile
Via Puccetti 3 - Prato

1.

The Ecomuseum of Alabaster in Volterra

The working of alabaster from Volterra
The working of alabaster from Volterra

The Ecomuseum of Alabaster is a diffuse museum involving the localities of Volterra, Castellina Marittima and Santa Luce, realities that have always boasted a rich craft tradition linked to alabaster. The routes wind through these territories of the Val di Cecina to discover the excavation and processing phases of this raw material.

Ecomuseum of Alabaster
Via dei Sarti, Minucci Solaini Palace - Volterra

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