photos by Laila Pozzo

For the first time, a publication totally dedicated to Italy’s schools of excellence in the fields of artistic crafts and applied arts.

The Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art and Deutsche Bank Foundation present the project “La regola del talento. Mestieri d’arte e Scuole italiane di eccellenza” (“The code of talent. The Métiers d’art and Italian Schools of excellence”). With a new publication and a web site, the project provides an overview of the opportunities Italy can offer to tomorrow’s young master craftspeople in terms of specialised training in artistic crafts.

For the first time, this publication presents Italy’s most important schools of artistic crafts, the flagships of our educational system. By training and supporting the next generation of master craftspeople, Italy’s great tradition of culture, beauty and savoir-faire can be effectively promoted and protected: a need that is more vital than ever to Italy’s economic and manufacturing system.

Seventeen great schools were selected based on specific criteria: preeminence, tradition, recognition, having strong roots in the territory, high teaching standards and the ability to combine tradition and innovation. This publication is dedicated to the young people who wish to start a career in the crafts and showcases schools that are significant and representative examples of Italy’s broad and varied, though little known, educational patrimony.

The schools offer a wide range of training opportunities and bear witness to the richness and variety of the educational scenario. There are public institutes of national importance, training schools linked to tradition and the territory, as well as centres set up by forward-looking private companies to protect and perpetuate a unique cultural heritage that cannot be exported and must not be lost. The schools are introduced by directors, principals, and didactic coordinators, who personally take on the responsibility of receiving, motivating and training their young students.

Thanks to Laila Pozzo’s suggestive photographs, the schools do not appear as remote temples of knowledge, but rather as living places where talent is forged day by day by manual skill and the discipline of work made to perfection, without which even the greatest passion would lead to nothing.

The 17 schools presented in the book cover many fascinating disciplines: mosaics (Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli, Spilimbergo); glass (Scuola del Vetro Abate Zanetti, Murano); ceramics (the renowned Art Schools in Faenza and Caltagirone); goldsmithing (Istituto d’Arte Pietro Selvatico, Padua); watchmaking (Tarì Design School, Marcianise); metal engraving (Scuola dell’arte della medaglia, Rome); leather goods (Alta Scuola di Pelletteria Italiana, Scandicci); footwear (Politecnico Calzaturiero, Vigonza); tailoring (Scuola di Sartoria Nazareno Fonticoli, Penne); theatre sets (Accademia Teatro alla Scala, Milan); violin making (Scuola Internazionale di Liuteria, Cremona); food and wine (Alma, La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana a Colorno).