skip to Main Content

Listen to “The Revival of Nero’s Wine”

Throughout history vintners used clay vessels to age their wine, until the French discovered the marvels of the oak barrel. Now—for fun, for distinctly different flavors, and to save some fine old trees—a few wineries are giving clay a second chance, Roman style.

The Healing Power of “Bello”

On the Northeastern coast of Italy, not far from such meccas of refinement as Bologna and Florence, an unusual drug treatment community named San Patrignano has grown and thrived for more than 40 years. The program’s methodology? Teach people who are struggling with addiction high-level artisanal skills, and slowly but surely, confidence and pride fill what was once a desperate void.

By LAURA FRASER

Watch “The Art of the Hat”

An homage, in film, to a third-generation Italian artisan—the last maker of the traditional, handcarved wooden shapes that are used as hat blocks.

Italy’s Last Maker of Traditional Wooden Hat Blocks

An homage, in film, to a third-generation Italian artisan who is the last maker of the traditional, handcarved wooden shapes used as hat blocks.

Story and Film by LUISA GROSSO

Watch “The Ancient Mangle of Santarcangelo di Romagna”

In a tiny town on Italy’s Northeastern coast, the Marchi family printworks may be the world’s last shop to produce handmade, rust-printed textiles from raw hemp, using a massive stone press dating to the 1600s.

Italy’s Ancient Textile-Printing Mangle

Only a handful of artisans still practice the centuries-old craft of rust printing on fabric. Of those who do, even fewer use the traditional stone mangle, or press, on handwoven, raw hemp fabric, yielding textiles that can last for centuries. The Marchi family printworks, in Italy’s Romagna region, may well be the only place left in the world that still produces authentic, rust-printed textiles that are fully handmade.

Story and Film by LUISA GROSSO

Listen to “Women Who Embroider the Air”

On a small island near Venice, the fine art of handmade lace somehow remains alive. Our correspondent visits with the master craftswomen of Burano to learn their history, their secrets, and the prospects for their future.

Watch “The Book Doctor”

Master book restorer Pietro Livi couldn’t find the right equipment to save large numbers of Italy’s priceless, flood-damaged texts. So he created a “Renaissance workshop” of experts from a variety of disciplines, and designed his own.

Italy’s Book Doctor

In the city of Bologna, home to the world’s oldest university (as well as some of Italy’s finest cuisine), Pietro Livi has developed an unusual machine shop. Part artisanal and part high-tech, his operation is a kind of Renaissance workshop, built to restore damaged ancient texts to their former glory. And then came Venice’s historic floods of 2019.

By LUISA GROSSO

Back To Top