Who goes on holiday to Amalfi, Sorrento and Positano, always looks for typical souvenirs, and, if you don’t want to buy souvenirs made in China or Bangladesh, here is a guide to the most typical handicraft specialties of Sorrento and Amalfi Coast.
As is tradition in Italy, every single town of the Amalfi and Sorrento Coast, is specialized in specific handmade objects, whose creation is passed down from generation to generation, avoiding as much as possible the modern techniques of industrial production. Our tour starts from Vietri sul Mare, at the end of Amalfi Coast, known for its multicolored ceramics, which even decorate the domes of the churches, and whose production has ancient origins. For pottery lovers it’s worth a visit at the Ceramics Museum, not far from the city center of Vietri.
Even if the true center of coral production is Torre del Greco, near Naples, Amalfi also boasts a remarkable production of coral, and the citizens of Amalfi at the time of the Maritime Republic brought for the first time the coral to Middle East. And the coral is mentioned as a bargaining chip in many writings of the past. Today in Ravello there is the Coral Museum founded in 1986 by a family of coral makers.
The leather production still survives in Amalfi and Positano, even if in the past it was used to make bags and belts, and today especially sandals, maybe not as famous as those of Capri, but equally precious and refined. Even today the most orthodox artisans use to dye the leather with the same artisan techniques used by their ancestors centuries before.
Finally we move to our Sorrento, where the highlight is represented by the inlaid wood. This technique, developed for the first time in the XIII century in Sorrento, after being catalogued for centuries between the so-called minor arts, enjoyed great popularity at the time of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, in XIX century. The technique consists in assembling small pieces of wood, of the most different qualities and of different colors, to achieve a nice effect of light and shadows. The assembly was completed by small incisions, always handmade. The techniques have changed over the years, but even now the craftsmen of Sorrento follow in the footsteps of their ancestors. Also the inlaid designs and patterns are the same since centuries: the classic "floral decorations", landscapes and typical local figures. Caskets and boxes, chests and picture frames, lamps, wardrobes and tables. And Sorrento inlaid furniture has earned a place among the best handicraft in Italy.