I thought the next time I would post would be after my trip tomorrow to Pisa. However, our culture field trip this morning was really cool and I took a lot of pictures so I figured I would share now. I mastered all of my kindergarten level Italian for my quiz in 30 minutes so I’m writing this really quick before I leave.
We first went to a mosaic studio. One of the men working in there said it was his family’s business and he had been doing this form of art since he was really young. It was amazing walking around to see how intricate all of the final pictures were. We all were so fascinated watching them spend days perfecting the tiniest pieces. They said that most of the pictures take months and sometimes years to finish.
We then went to a school that taught how to make everything you could ever imagine in leather. They told us all about the school’s history and then gave us a demonstration on how they stamped gold designs on the leather. He put all of his tools in a fire to heat up while he got very thin sheets of gold and brushed them on the piece of leather. I’m pretty sure it was just a scrap piece of leather that was cut into a circle. He then used different stamps on top of the gold. As he brushed the gold sheets away, we could see the design he created. I thought it was really cool and would make a great souvenir so I asked my new friend Francesco if I could keep it once everyone passed it around. I was afraid someone else would beat me to it but thankfully no one did. We went into the gift shop and saw similar things to the one I was now holding in my hand. That was when the rest of my group realized and were a little irritated or jealous that I got to keep it. The purses they made were so original and unique. They told us that they only make one bag a day so no two bags are exactly alike. After I scour Europe to find the perfect 21st birthday present for myself, I may be back to purchase one of my own.