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  • Writer's pictureMariko

Pietrasanta, Italy

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

There is no better place to see Italy’s exquisite craftsmanship first hand than Pietrasanta. A small village in the Italian Riviera, Pietrasanta (dubbed the “city of artists”) is a town full of artisan workshops that specialize in mosaic, sculpture, marble and painting and more.

This link take you to a list to all of the artisan workshops in Pietrasanta.

I toured two workshops when I visited Piestrsanta. The first one was the mosaic workshop Bottega Versiliese. The man, who was working on a mosaic of Jesus’ face when we arrived, was about 80 years old. He told us he began his apprenticeship at the age of 15 and has worked in the mosaic business ever since. His workshop was beautiful. Little numbered boxes lined the shop each containing a specific color of tile. There were some completed works on the walls as well as pictures of larger past projects. Supposedly the shop just finished up a mosaic that was going to be installed on the ceiling of a church in Huston, Texas. That project took 2 years to complete. About 8 people work on these larger projects, each person specializing in a certain aspect of the image (faces vs plants vs shadows, etc).

The second place we toured was a marble workshop called Galeotti. Two ladies currently own the workshop, though the space itself has been in use for 100 years. Artists can rent out a space to work on their own projects and classes are offered for children. We saw the work of our tour guide. She says she likes working with wood and marble the best. Her workshop is covered in statues and paintings. Including her original work, there are also replicas of famous statues. She says that replicating these works are common for learning artists to practice their technique.

The best way to get to Pietrasanta is by Trenitalia Regional train. From Florence, Pietrasanta is a 1hr 38min ride ($8-18).

If you have time to spare, I highly recommend taking the 11-minute bus ride (Vaibus E 26, 3 euros a ride) to Marina di Piestrasanta. Close your eyes and think about what you expect the Italian Riviera to look like. That is Marina di Piestrasanta. With rows of identical beach umbrellas and the warm water and sand that give Hawaii a run for its money, you need to visit Marina di Piestrasanta.

If you are staying in the area for a couple of days, you can also visit Pisa (though I personally believe it’s a bit of a tourist trap) and Lucca.

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