Widely regarded as one of the most historically, culturally and creatively wealthy countries in the world, Italy is saturated with an unparalleled diversity of local specialties, skills and stories. Since the nation’s formation in the 19th century, Italy has been many things: from global fashion house to gourmet go-to; from the mecca of mechanical design to spiritual home of contemporary cafe culture. Whether it’s a purring, sleek racing red Ferrari or a gleaming, steaming La Pavoni espresso machine, Italy is a land that always has more to offer.
It is this rich and diverse heritage that inspired the use of the ‘Made in Italy’ label in the 1980s, as part of a wider national effort to draw international attention to the myriad products of the country. Today the label is significant in four key areas of Italian export, known locally as the ‘4 As’: Abbigliamento (Clothing); Agroalimentare (Foodstuffs); Arredamento (Furniture) and Automobili (Automobiles). Applied only to products that are envisioned, designed and manufactured within the nation, the label sells far more than the items themselves: it promises a slice of the bella vita, be it Tuscan Hills or Neapolitan streets; in short, it offers the irresistible idea of Italy.
Whilst the label benefits globally renowned brands such as Moschino, Maserati and La Marzocco, its most marked impact has been amongst Italy’s lesser known artisanal producers. Operating in small workshops, studios and cooperatives across the country, this diverse and vibrant class of craftspeople perform a crucial role in cultural maintenance, breathing new life into traditional techniques and time-honored customs. Whether it’s a handmade copper pot, an individually stitched linen placemat or a handblown glass decanter, the unique objects that ‘Made in Italy’ promotes allow the wider world to appreciate and enjoy the rich cultural fabric of the country, whilst ensuring these valuable practices are passed on to future generations.
If your craving for objects Made in Italy, check out the slideshow below.