Ancient knowledge and excellence, handed down from father to son
From nativity scenes to tailoring, from ceramics and coral work to master lute-makers, goldsmiths and jewellers, today's Neapolitan craftsmanship is the heir to a centuries-old tradition that is among the most appreciated in the world.
Creativity and style
When we talk about artisans from Campania, one of the first images that comes to mind is certainly Via San Gregorio Armeno, the famous nativity scene street in the historic centre of Naples, visited by thousands of tourists every year.
Fully regarded as a genuine art form, the production of mangers, has expanded over the centuries, becoming an enrichment and re-elaboration of the nativity scene with figures from everyday life in Naples and Italy.
Equally famous and sought-after is Neapolitan handmade tailoring which, from Kiton to Attolini, from Rubinacci to Marinella fully embrace the creativity, elegance and style of a people. The history of Neapolitan fashion that started back in the mid-1400s, with the foundation of the Tailors' Guild, became the cornerstone of the Kingdom's textile production, later growing between the 15th and 17th centuries with the expansion of well-known textile industries and artisan schools.
The Neapolitan tailoring production returned to its peak in the 1900s, demonstrating flair, manual skill and sophistication, capable, once again, of competing with French and British tradition.
The culture of excellence
The key merits of Neapolitan artisan work also includes ceramics, in particular those by Vietri, one of the most popular traditional manufacturers on the Amalfi Coast, and the Capodimonte porcelain, created during the eighteenth century in the Royal Factory at the Royal Palace of the same name, and for decades considered among the most refined in the world.
The desire to preserve and enhance the soul of Campania's culture is also expressed and represented in the historical school of Neapolitan luthier masters, intrinsically and inextricably linked to the cult of Campania music.
The tradition of Campania jewellers is also very unusual and greatly appreciated. They use typical materials found locally and transform them into genuine artistic and decorative works.
The city of Torre del Greco, for example, is especially well-known for its production with coral, cameos and mother of pearl, that has been handed down since ancient times. Lava stone from Vesuvius is another highly sought-after material that, nowadays, is used to bring out the Mediterranean originality of the jewels.
The importance of the goldsmith and jewellers in Naples is clear from the presence of the "Borgo degli Orefici" (the Hamlet of Goldsmiths) in the city, home to all the oldest, most famous workshops specialising in this manufacturing.
Naples hosts one of the largest collections of decorative art in Italy on display at the Duca di Martina Museum housed in the magnificent and historical Bourbon royal residence of Villa Floridiana. The collection has more than six thousand works of Eastern and Western production, dating from the XII to the XIX century and was put together during the second half of the nineteenth century by the Duke of Martina Placido de Sangro, and later donated, in 1911, to the city of Naples by his heirs.