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August 1, 2012
Sorrento, Campania

Unfortunately we all know that the speed of modern life can make it difficult to appreciate and give proper due to the old traditions and know-how of cabinet makers, inlayers, embroiderers, upholsterers, restorers, ceramicists, and shoemakers, among others. Artisans, their traditional workshops, and thus a small piece of history are unfortunately slowly disappearing throughout Italy.

Well, rather than lament the state of affairs, our new friends at Botteghiamo (an untranslatable, made-up word; roughly meaning, “Let’s artisan workshop/ing”) have decided to do something about it. Their admirable goal is to foster an until-now non-existent link between the traditional artisans and the global community through the web, social technologies, and the increased awareness of this priceless and irreplaceable legacy. Their first project?

Together with the Unione Artigiani Intarsio Sorrentino (Sorrento’s inlayers association), Botteghiamo-Intarsio is a modern hands-on journey into the workshops, old traditions, and know-how of these incredible wood-working artisans.

Beginning in June 2012, Botteghiamo and the intarsiatori of Sorrento have set up shop, showroom, and workstations inside the ancient defense walls of the town. Work from each and every one of Sorrento’s intarsiatori is on display, and four artisans at any given time are on location all day creating their beautiful masterpieces right before the eyes of any and all friends (that’s us!) who are invited to stop by to witness firsthand the breathtaking art and technique of these maestri.

Botteghiamo has also done events with the artisans of Rome, and will be expanding there as well as in other cities throughout Italy that are centri di eccellenza artigianale (centers of artisanal excellence). Keep an eye out for copies of their city maps, (printed from a hand-painted original, obviously!), available at tourist information booths in Rome and Sorrento.

ItalianNotebook fully endorses Botteghiamo’s mission, and we look forward to more collaborative work with their team, proud to be an international mouthpiece and strong web presence by their side. Auguri!

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