Craft across Europe – travels with Makedomenders

Posted on: October 14, 2015

Grand Canale

Feeling creative needn’t be a stay-at-home activity. When the Menders are out and about their eyes are peeled for the crafty activity wherever they are! Recently I took a trip to Italy following a busy summer entertaining hen parties in a crafty style and it was about time to check out the fun in Europe!

Italy is the big daddy of craft and, as we know, is responsible for so much creativity from sculpture to glass-blowing. Every city will contain open doorways into violin workshops and gilding. Just take a peek!


The Veneto is a region filled with beautiful cities from Verona to Venice. Even the smallest town can reveal some wonderful craft. In Este in the Euganean Hills, the Este Ceramiche Porcellane were located in a quiet street with the windows open into kiln-rooms and painting studios. They have a fabulous seconds shop with the chance to buy (slightly damaged) Ralph Lauren plates and Tiffany bowls.

Gondola makers

In Venice, one way to get away from the crowds and really get into the heart of the fabulous city is to go to Sguero San Trovaso to check out the place where all gondolas come from. You can watch the various processes that go into the iconic boats, each one different. Fantastic to see these crafts still being perfomed in the town of origin.


Another fantastic spot in Venice, well away from the selfie-sticks and masks, is the Giudecca, a series of bridged islands opposite the canal frontage of Venice. Great for looking at the wonderful sky-line, checking out real Italian food and visiting the Fortuny factory and showrooms. Maurizio Fortuny was a textile designer and all-round genius in the early mid-century and his ¬†use of fabric (secret recipe) and print, have made him an icon for fabric and craft lovers. Although you can’t visit the very private factory (still the foundation of the successful brand) the showroom is open to visitors and you can spend plenty of time sighing over the lush patterns.

Fortuny j1

Every place has a claim to some crafting heritage, it’s in our DNA, so keep a look out and it might just get you in the mood for a bit of hands-on creativity too. Craft workshops with Makedomenders are an ideal way to get the party started.

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