Popular with families, the recently renovated Ceramics Museum in Montelupo Fiorentino celebrates the centuries of pottery making in this small town. (It’s free every first Sunday of the month.) The eight rooms boast eight themes: Medieval and Renaissance canteens; excavations; workshops; collecting; exports; customers; pharmacies; and the animals and flowers room.
After visiting the museum, try your hand at the pottery wheel at a local family-run ceramics firms, such as Il Castelluccio and Maioliche Lupo, both in the Sammontana countryside.
From one material to another, Empoli’s Glass Museum is housed in the city’s former salt warehouse. Visitors can learn how master glassmakers work amid the videos, reconstructions and historical documentation. What’s most striking – aside from the stained-glass art – is the proud display of the striking green glassware that derives from the iron oxide in the local sand. Foodies will fall for the flasks and demijohns once used to make and bottle wine and oil.