There is an art form to admire, ancient and meticulous, sacred and profane. And three cities that are examples and custodians of wonderful works worth discovering. Venice is certainly a city known for its craftsmanship and opulent art, but Aquileia and Spilimbergo in neighboring Friuli are small towns that often remain off travel itineraries. But for those who want to discover the art of mosaics, here these three centers become a fantastic discovery.
Aquileia is one of the most important archaeological cities in northern Italy, with its Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, which has the most extensive Christian mosaic floor in the West. You can also admire the Crypt of the Frescoes, entirely painted with Byzantine scenes, and the Crypt of the Excavations, where more mosaics depicting fantastic animals are preserved. Don't miss the archaeological collection with Roman artifacts, including mosaics from the villas and necropolis of the ancient city.
Spilimbergo is the "City of Mosaics" because of the presence of the prestigious Friuli Mosaic School, where you can watch the work of students and master mosaicists using traditional techniques and materials. Numerous mosaic works decorate the streets and squares of this small Friulian jewel.
The Orsoni kiln is an art workshop in the heart of Venice, producing 24K gold leaf mosaics, colored gold and Venetian enamels in more than 3,500 shades. Imagine the excitement of making a mosaic inside their studios and workshops, where you can learn the basics of mosaic technique and create a souvenir to take home with your own hands.
Venice is the city where this art form has reached incomparable levels of excellence and beauty. The iconic site is St. Mark's Basilica, where you can be enchanted by its splendid mosaics that cover more than 8,000 square meters of the church's walls, vaults and domes depicting sacred icons and stories from the Bible.
Mosaic art can become a reason to travel because it is a form of artistic expression that has ancient origins and has developed in different cultures and eras, creating works of great beauty and value. It also means having the opportunity to experience firsthand the making of a mosaic work, and to feel like an artist, not just a traveler.
When you think of mosaic art, what culture do you most readily associate it with?
What is another Italian city famous worldwide for its mosaics?
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