If you have traveled to Rome, undoubtedly you have marveled at the beautiful architecture and artistic embellishments throughout the great city. And behind such beauty lies the many carvers, sculptors, and gilders who have created, restored, and maintained it. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Chamber of Commerce in Rome, and the Roman Institute for Entrepreneurial Training, developed Eccellenze Romane per l’Export, a project that aims to promote the excellence of Roman artisans.
Today, we are proud to introduce Vincenzo Piovano and his daughters, to whom he has passed on the love of restoration and artisanal craftsmanship. Piovano is a rare breed, having found work as a master carver at a very young age, via an apprenticeship, which is increasingly difficult to do these days given the expensive endeavor required for an artisan to pass along his knowledge.
At the studio on Via dell’Orso, Piovano and his daughters work amongst a backdrop of mosaic tiles, architecture books, and a multitude of treasures currently being revived for distinguished patrons and institutions. The family takes great pride in what they do, especially since Piovano is one of only a few intagliatori (carvers) left in Rome. Each product is crafted at the workshop, in full compliance with traditional techniques, using traditional crafting tools and original materials such as marble, ivory, gypsum, and wood.
His daughters, Michela and Alessandra, each specialize in specific fields. Alessandra is in charge of creating mosaics, demonstrating how she chisels away at a piece of stone or tessera to achieve the perfect shape and placement amongst hundreds of stones already applied to the micro-mosaic piece she is currently working on.
Her sister, Michela, works on gold plating and restoring decorative work. She recently spent a month gilding the swimming pool ceiling of a chateau in Paris. Today, she is putting the finishing touches on a brilliantly restored, gilded Rococo credenza.
Whatever the job entails, Piovano has always emphasized the importance and goal of creating perfection over any financial benefits. This exquisite classic studio does not have a website. But if you happen to have a Louis XVI console that requires restoration, or you wish to create a contemporary, bespoke back-splash and speak some Italian, you can phone them at +39 06 686 9920 or visit the Excellenze Roman Export site.
‘Farmboy in Roma’ is a blog series by FBFA Acquisitions Manager, Fatima Travassos, which offers readers a rare glimpse into the studios of some of Rome’s top artisans. A special thank you to the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Western Canada for offering FBFA the opportunity to participate in this wonderful experience.