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Getting Crafty in Italy

Hands-on crafts are a one-of-a-kind way to experience Venice and Florence

In Venice or Florence, some tour operators can arrange craft workshops in mediums such as Venetian mask-making and fresco painting.
Italy is known for hand-crafted excellence in its products, from lace and glassblowing to carnival masks. Visitors to Venice can enjoy close-up looks at Italy’s craft legacy even as they shop in stores where owners are crafting their wares. But to really get in on the act, travelers can learn to make Italian handicrafts themselves.

With a rise in the popularity of immersive experiences, craft workshops in Italy are offered to travelers. Taught in English by master Italian craftsmen, everyone from novices to professional artists can enjoy taking part in such a workshop.

One path to hands-on crafts is Cultural Italy, a tour operator that arranges a variety of visits to workshops in Murano, Venice and Florence.

In Venice, a popular option is the 2-hour Venetian Mask-Making Workshop, where visitors learn the history and process of making Venice’s iconic masks, then decorate blank mask molds that they can take home as one-of-a-kind souvenirs. The company also offers a half-day tour of Venice’s Master Artisans’ Shops, where visitors can explore the wonders of Venice’s top handicraft traditions.

Handicraft tour options in Florence include half- or full-day Leather Workshops, including an introduction to the materials used in creating leather products followed by hands-on practice of the craft. Travelers can also participate in a half-day Fresco Workshop in Florence, during which they will learn about the art technique and even bring home their own fresco.

Finally, in Murano, options range from a half-day Murano Glass Art Tour to a 40-minute glass-blowing demonstration.

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