Italy has the richest concentration of late antique and medieval mosaics in the world. Although the art style is especially associated with Byzantine art, and later Greek influences, it was further refined later during roman times and then in the middle ages.
In ancient Rome, the mosaics were used both to decorate the floors but also the walls of private houses of the nobility, public buildings, shops and basilicas. The mosaics are no longer just simple floor covering but became an integral part of the architecture and decoration, thus changing the technique to be able to cope with ever larger surfaces.
In the northern region of Emilia-Romagna, just a 3.5-hour train ride from Rome, Ravenna was the capital of the Roman Empire in the early fifth century, ruled by the Goths and under Byzantine Italy until the eighth century. These rulers passionately nurtured mosaic art, the results of which are beautifully preserved within eight UNESCO World Heritage monuments in the pedestrian-only city centre of Ravenna, such as the famous Basilica di San Vitale, Mausoleo di Galla Placidia or the Battistero degli Ariani.
Italy is known worldwide as the country of art and good taste. Artistic beauty is everywhere.
High Italian craftsmanship is highly esteemed abroad and Made in Italy has proved to be a winning card not only in the world of fashion. In luxury villas all over the world, prominent spaces are often covered with fine Italian mosaics, made by skilled local craftsmen. In the world of luxury, Italian craftsmanship is highly acknowledged. The presence of floor and wall mosaics made by Italian artisans creates a special atmosphere, gives personality, elegance and value to the rooms and becomes an added value when putting the property on for sale. Decorations, materials and products made in Italy are mentioned among the pluses to attract potential buyers.
The success of Made in Italy worldwide derives from the skill, the "know-how" and a wealth of knowledge and experience in which creative flair, artisan tradition, applied techniques and technological innovation come together.
In the luxury villas of the rich in the world, the direct use of Italian craft for the construction of wall and floor decorations and mosaics is often an indicator for increasing the value of the property.
We are featuring here a number of family-owned businesses in Italy, which practice the art of mosaics production and design. We hope that this might inspire you to look to Italian mosaics as an alternative to more traditional wall or floor coverings.
The unmistakable charm of the Italian style of Fantini Mosaici | Marmi, a prestigious and multifaceted Milanese company renowned all over the world, is reflected in the handcrafted creation of wonderful mosaics that permeate the most luxurious palaces, hotels, haute couture shops, villas and private residences from the United States to the United Arab Emirates.
Drawing on a century’s experience and legacy in craftmanship, Fantini Group is able to master every single stage of the project, from concept to realization, supply, logistics, design, engineering and manufacturing, installation and maintenance.
Bisazza is one of the top luxury brands in the design sector and the industry’s leading producer of glass mosaics for interior and exterior decoration. Over the past few years, the company has extended its decorative offerings with new materials made through processes that combine the value of design with the charm of craftsmanship. Established by Renato Bisazza in 1956 in Alte, Vicenza, Northern Italy, the company has become a trailblazer, marked by a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit, a mastery of modern technologies, and an ability to read and anticipate the needs of the global market. The company’s distribution network currently includes 7 flagship stores in Barcelona, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, New York and Paris and 2,800 local retailers around the world.
Appiani mosaics has actively promoted its products on the Italian and international markets since it was first founded in Treviso in 1873. After initially focusing on the production of friezes, pan tiles and bricks, widely acknowledged for their high standards of quality in Italy and abroad, it turned to the production of pressed powdered clay tiles at the turn of the 20th century and created new systems for processing and firing materials. Its founder Graziano Appiani started production of the first coloured ceramic tiles in 1910 and built “Eden village” to provide housing for his workers in a village that had its own restaurant, cinema and theatre: the first example of a forward thinking style of business. After the end of the war, it started to produce the “red stoneware” that the company became famous for during the period of reconstruction and the years of the economic boom. The company was taken over by the Bardelli family in the Nineties, a well-known name in the industry, who decided to focus on reinstating tradition and heritage by developing the production of ceramic mosaics. Its manufacturing plant was completely updated in 2000 with the introduction of the latest automated systems and complete computerisation. They state:"We learned the art of mosaics from Venetian masters. A great ceramics industry would be nowhere without the skill of its artisans. Unique works for your unique needs and requirements."
Sicis begins it journey in 1987 to become a truly unique company in the world. Born from to the intuition of its founder Maurizio Leo Placuzzi, Sicis has revolutionized the industry of mosaic over the years through continuous research on materials and technology. Micromosaic is one of the most ancient and elaborate techniques in jewelry manufacturing, which got almost lost. Sicis studied micro-mosaic jewels collections of the '700 and '800 preserved in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and in the Vatican Museums for over 25 years of historical research, leading to the establishment of an atelier for the study of micro-mosaic. Sicis mosaic masters create tiny rods of gold and Venetian enamel, obtained by melting 9 different base colours at 1,200 degrees, producing infinite combinations of colours and shades. It takes dozens of hours to complete the micromosaic in a jewel.
SHINE is a fairly new Italian company, established in 2010, based in Casalgrande in the province of Reggio Emilia, specialising in the development of mosaics, marble and stone, flooring and wall ceramic. The company is located a stone's throw from the most important ceramic district in the world; created with the ambition to offer a unique, versatile and innovative product.
In December 2018, in order to enhance the "premium" segment, SHINE incorporated STUDIOVEGA brand-leader in the design and distribution of slabs and mosaics in real mother of pearl into the company.
There are stunning villas or apartments in Italy with beautiful mosaics, either used for entrances, outdoor areas, bathrooms or kitchen.
The style ranges from classical to modern and transforms the house or apartment into a true Italian residence. The Italian mosaic craft century old and has been nurtured by a strong artisan community and there are a handful of Italian Mosaic companies who practice this craft at the highest level.
Mosaics can be used to give kitchens and bathrooms more stylish look. Using mosaics for hallways and entrances does not just add an luxurious element but is also very practical as they last a life-time regardless of how many people pass through. An impressive mosaic design in the entryway or corridor greeting visitors, can lift the elegance of a home and add a sense of grandeur and opulence to your home. If you do have a pool, mosaics are ideal to differentiate your pool – whether used to frame the pool or for the pool ground. Applying mosaics designs as a backdrop in kitchen or dining areas can add that special Italian touch. There is no doubt that adding mosaics to your home will increase your home’s sale price and give it a more high-end feel.