Sandro Penna, one of the greatest Italian poets of the 20th century, was born in Perugia and lived there during his youth. In one of his stories, written in old age, he refers to his memories of the city that was “so dear and so remote now”, as almost exclusively linked to the noises and strong smells that wafted out of the craft workshops and through the squares and streets. These premises occupied every centimetre of the ground floors and basements of the old historic centre, but in particular Penna remembers the blacksmith who worked under his house, not far from the Arco dei Priori, where the “noise was constant and absorbed every other sensation of that place and that time”.
Although much changed in terms of methods and quantity, after almost a century since Penna’s time, the artisan tradition has remained one of the elements, throughout Umbria, that most typifies the region. These activities have stood the test of time and modernity because of the quality of the products, which is the result of technical know-how combined with the artistry of great local artisans, via a relationship of reciprocal influence.
Major sectors in this regional craftsmanship, in addition to ceramics and textiles, are wood, glass and metals. With expertise that has developed over generations, these raw materials evolve into unique end products, and this same ancient mastery enables us to connect with the past, representing a heritage that is no less important than that embodied by great monuments and works of art.