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Silvia Beghè Pottery

Montalbano and Valdinievole, handicraft products

The excellences of the area among embroidery for linens, ceramics and leather goods

The Montalbano landscape is unique in Tuscany: it holds history and memory from the Serravalle Pass to the Gonfolina Gorges, acting as a watershed between two broad plains, the Pistoiese-Florentine Plain and the Valdinievole. This area has always been rich in typical handcrafted products.

In the municipality of Larciano, the production of artisanal products is linked to its proximity to the Fucecchio Marsh. In the past, locals lived by gathering marsh grasses, which, once dried, formed the raw material for casings for demijohns and flasks, while brooms and brushes were made from sorghum.

The use of "sarello" (a type of carex) for stuffing chairs and demijohns and cinnamon, with which cannicci, that is mats, were made, was also widespread in Lamporecchio and Monsummano.

Processing of marsh grasses (Larciano and surrounding area)
Processing of marsh grasses (Larciano and surrounding area) - Credit: Enrico Zarri

In Lamporecchio there also existed an artisanal production of straw hats, and, going to look for material for brooms, someone also began to collect holly and butcher's broom, and thus was born the production of dried flowers, typical of Larciano and Lamporecchio.

The tradition of embroidery is widespread in various municipalities of Montalbano; albeit in a limited way it still survives in Lamporecchio, especially in the hilly area of San Baronto, Porciano, Papiano. There is also a special type of stitch, significantly called "Lamporecchio stitch". In Pistoia it is also possible to visit the Embroidery Museum to learn about the origins of this art.

Ceramics processing
Ceramics processing

Pottery has been developed in the municipality of Capraia e Limite since Etruscan times and is still active even though it is little known compared to the pottery worked in the neighboring municipality of Montelupo Fiorentino. Ceramics was born and developed especially at Capraia where buildings such as the Pasquinucci Furnace confirm the prestigious history of Capraia ceramics. Even today there are still many firms in the municipality working with ceramics, which are appreciated all over the world and continue to execute true works of art, always following the ancient tradition of hand-decorating and recreating the ancient style.

The products of leather craftsmanship
The products of leather craftsmanship

In Monsummano Terme, as well as in the areas of Larciano, Vinci and Lamporecchio, the production of footwear and other leather goods has developed, which began as a handicraft production and has turned into an industry. Today many of the most qualified models of shoes that are purchased on the market have been produced in Monsummano, although they appear under brand names of companies based in other parts of the country, and even abroad.

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