Depending on the composition, every type of stone requires a different type of craftsmanship. The skill of the craftsman is to understand the nature of the stone in front of him, to see the potential and support it, pulling the object or work out of the stone that contains it. A bit like Michelangelo, one of the great Renaissance artists.
The traditions of Bassa Bregaglia and Val d’Aosta involve working in soapstone, a ductile and malleable material still used to produce ancient objects such as laveggi, pots that have existed since 70 AD and furagn (containers with lids for food storage); but also other modern products for the home, from coffee services to stoves.
Tuscany was once famous for its Firenzuola stone (high Mugello) and the ability of master craftsmen to work in marble and alabaster as well.
Everyone knows Carrara marble, and the area of Pietrasanta (Lucca) at the foot of the Alps, where today, from the famous sculpture studios, come unique pieces and limited editions of the most important sculptors in the world, making it a major centre for marble.
Another interesting area is Volterra, whose alabaster has been worked since the Etruscans. Today, with its honey colour, or orange-brown, it lends itself to decorative objects for lighting and sculptures.
An enchanting Unesco world heritage site, the Sassi of Matera, an area of cave dwellings carved into white crumbly rock called tuff, produces lighting fixtures, building materials and furnishings.
It is like the rock of Lecce whose malleability makes it useful for creating fascinating works. Last but not least, there is the long tradition of marble and stone sculpture that lives on in Lazio.