Travelling around the region you will find perfect examples to help you understand the impact made by the artistic glasswork tradition. To get an idea, just take a look at the windows of the cathedrals in Orvieto, Perugia and Todi. They are all the result of local craftsmanship that developed mainly thanks to two important centres for this type of work: Piegaro and Perugia.
At the end of the 13th century, Piegaro already supplied most of the region with products and raw materials and soon became a major centre for creating and working with coloured glass, which was the type used to build the windows of the Duomo di Orvieto in the first half of the 14th century. Some colouring techniques were invented there before becoming famous in Venice and Murano. Since then, the importance of Piegaro glass has never ceased and today the Vetreria Cooperativa Piegarese (Piegaro glass cooperative) is one of the major companies in the sector in Italy and Europe. If you pass through this lovely village, after visiting the ancient glassworks building that now houses the Museo del Vetro, you can’t leave without buying the typical ‘Fiasco di Piegaro’. This pot-bellied bottle comes in various sizes and is wrapped in a cleverly hand-woven straw covering, obtained from a local marsh plant called ‘scarcia’.
Moving on to the region’s capital, we can find traces of a figure considered a symbol of the regional glass tradition. In the second half of the 19th century, a research laboratory on ancient glass painting techniques was opened in Perugia by Francesco Moretti. The techniques were then developed over the years and can be admired in the Cathedrals of Perugia and Todi. Francesco Moretti was also commissioned in Perugia in 1862 to restore all twenty-three metres of the delicate window of the Basilica di S. Domenico, one of the largest Gothic windows in the world. This mastery was handed down through the family, giving rise to a unique tradition that for two generations has been carried out solely by the women of the house. At the museum of the Studio Moretti Caselli, located in the building that houses the historic laboratory of 1895, you can get to know the history of this family and admire some of its works, such as the radiant portrait of Queen Margherita of Savoia, created by Francesco Moretti in 1881.