Handmade in Italy

Last week I was away spending some time off with my family in sunny Italy! Did you miss me? It was the first time I’d ever been to Italy and somehow I think it won’t be my last.

We visited the beautiful and historic city of Rome before traveling down to Naples and the site of Pompeii.

I’ve always found ancient pottery to be quite fascinating and there was plenty dug out from the rubble of Pompeii. I’d never visited a ruined city before that felt like it was still a real bustling place with it’s distinctive deep streets and tourists peering into shops and homes.

I found these pointed carriers quite fascinating and when I asked about their unusual shape apparently they were made this way to fit inside a wooden frame and stored inside the ship’s cargo hold to make them easier to transport. It was amazing to see such a variety of bottle shapes, handles and bottle necks!

Naples is also famous for it’s handmade cameos, carved from shells they’re prized for their detailing and beautiful depictions of Roman Gods and Goddesses. In one of the shops next to Pompeii we found this man diligently carving delicately away at the layers of shell. Watching him made you realise not just how difficult a craft it is but also how time consuming carving can be.

Italy’s economy is in a difficult place at the moment and sadly that was all too apparent for some of the people we met on our journey, but hopefully Italy’s tradition of beautiful arts and crafts will continue long into the future.

This Saturday you’ll find me at The Holy Biscuit for the Designer’s Marketplace fair, it’s open from 11am until 4pm and entry is £1. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

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