Murano is usually the first place people think about when speaking of glassblowing in Italy. However, there is another town that can boast a very long tradition of craftsmanship in the field: Altare, with its 2,000-people population in the province of Savona, Liguria.
The small village is holding – from last April to next November – the Altare Glass Fest, an extraordinary event that will bring glass masters from the whole world together for one weekend a month. Craftspeople will explain about their wonderful work in the simplest and most effective way possible: by creating new pieces and showcasing their work at the Villa Rosa kiln, the Altare Museum of Glass Art.
Since the Middle Ages, Altare has always been one of the capital cities of Italian glassblowing. Thanks to its masters’ skills, the small village in the Ligurian Apennine soon became a real rival to Venice. In the 15th century, even Genoa felt it had to protect itself from this threatening competition, and decided to pass a specific law against importing blown glass from Altare.
The Altare Glass Fest offers guided tours, classes on fine glass making, educational workshops and a number of other events, bringing the small village’s streets to life for eight months. It’s a great chance to discover the best of an ancient Italian art, which unfortunately is now going through a period of crisis.