Homo Faber Guide

Homo Faber Guide is an online, searchable guide, which showcases artisans, ateliers, museums, galleries and experiences linked to the world of fine craftsmanship around Europe. 

Homo Faber Guide places the world of fine craftsmanship in Europe at your fingertips. Experience excellence with access to a selection of the best master artisans, rising talents, galleries, ateliers, manufacturers and museums from all over the continent. The guide is created in collaboration with the international network of the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship which provides local expertise, recommends, evaluates and endorses featured participants. 

The Guide offers an extraordinary insight into Italian fine craftsmanship, thanks to the partnership with Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte. Rediscover Italy in a new light, revisiting your favourite places, enriched by new encounters and experiences. Follow the recommendations of our carefully selected Italian city ambassadors and prestigious partner institutions to find hidden gems as they share the craftsmanship found on their doorsteps. Wherever you are in Italy, find courses around the corner to express your own creativity. 

First to Milan, follow in the footsteps of city ambassador Jacopo Etro and find your way to the workshop of bronzesmith Ernesto Carati, witness the way that he continues to use skills passed down from generation to generation to handcraft his lights, furniture and bespoke pieces in bronze and brass. From here, be led to another family run historical workshop where three brothers are bound together by their passion for artistic bookbinding. The Marchesi brothers Angelo, Gabriele and Gianluca will delight book and stationary lovers with their refined creations. Milan seen through the eyes of renowned journalist and gallerist, Carla Sozzani will open the door to your imagination. Be bedazzled by the ingenuity of paper sculptor Daniele Papuli, whose colourful paper creations and installations push the boundaries of paper art. Go in search of Milan’s master of metalwork, Gianluca Pacchioni and discover his magical universe, a studio-home brimming with contemporary pieces of furniture and sculptures made from metal and stone. 

Daniele Papuli

Follow the road eastwards to Venice, to the heart of Italian fine craftsmanship and be guided by master restorer and director of the Venetian Heritage Foundation, Toto Bergamo Rossi. As any wise craftsman knows, the future of a craft lies in the next generation, and so he will introduce you to a young restorer whose dedication and passion is palpable. Uncover how Alvise Boccanegra brings light to the original design of antique pieces through his meticulous detective work. Hop on a boat to Murano to meet the glassworker Renzo Toso Fei, discover the detail with which he engraves mirrors, glasses and vases, using techniques inherited from as far back as the 1300s. Whilst there, take the time to experience a guided tour of the glassmaking company NasonMoretti and see for yourself the creative process and in the museum admire their collaborations with contemporary artists and designers of excellence. 

Revisit the birthplace of the Renaissance and find living treasures hidden in the medieval backstreets. Seek out the workshop of Renzo and Leonardo Scarpelli and learn all about the ancient art of “commesso fiorentino”, a form of mosaic with semi-precious stones, once favoured by the Medici family. Weave your way towards Santa Croce and explore the shop and atelier of artisanal perfumer Aquaflor. Create your own custom made perfume with an olfactory specialist, in keeping with the ancient Florentine tradition. Cross the Ponte Vecchio into the Oltrarno, the artisanal soul of the city, take a shortcut through the Boboli Gardens to reach the workshop of Tommaso De Carlo, a gifted interior decorator with a speciality for alfresco painting. See how his work respects traditional Florentine methods, landscapes and symbols whilst adding a contemporary twist. 

Marta Cucchia (ph. Chiara Giovagnotti)

Pack your bags for a road trip south, and be delighted by the recommendations of Fondazione Cologni Dei Mestieri D’Arte. First, stop in Perugia, Umbria to have a go at weaving on a handloom with master weaver Marta Cucchia. Skip across the city to meet Giovanni Mengoni and take part in his masterclass on “bucchero” ceramics. Continue to the hilltop town of Todi where you can cross paths with the goldsmith Giovanni Corvaja, famed for his “golden fleece”. Not too far down the road, you can try your hand at leather working under the watchful gaze of Stefano Conticelli. Onwards to Rome to the workshop of jewellery maker Diego Percossi Papi, fall in love with the way his designs reflect the rich history of his beloved home city. Seek out the shop of master weaver Umberto Giovagnoli and be tempted not only by his bags but also by all the woven delights stacked up high all the way the ceiling, from lamps to tables. 

Francesco Raimondi

From Rome, travel to the Amalfi coast to see the influences of the Mediterranean Sea on artisanal activities. Meander along the mountain road in search of the workshop of master ceramicist Francesco Raimondi in Vietri sul Mare, in the bay of Salerno. Watch the way his expert hands work the clay sourced from the Bonea River and how he draws his intricate designs based on mythology and local legends. Go further south to inland Sicily and find a different approach to ceramics, exemplified by the work of Nicolò Morales. Take a road trip across the island to the coastal town of Trapani where you can visit the coral sculpting workshop of Platimiro Fiorenza. Here you will learn all about the history of this ancient art form and see the centuries-old techniques that have been passed down the Fiorenza family. 

From 17 September 2020, visit homofaberguide.com or download the app available for free on both Apple Store and Google Play Store. 

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