In the Savona village of Altare, at the threshold of Valbormida, the tradition of glassmaking dates back to 1130, when a Benedictine community arrived from Provence and chose it for the richness and quality of the raw materials needed to produce windows, chalices, urns and reliquaries for the Italian and French abbeys.
Since then, glass production has gradually developed over the centuries until, in the 16th century, it reached the highest level of notoriety and specialisation of the master glassmakers, a reputation that has been maintained to this day when, in the 1990s, Giovanni Bartolozzi, the inventor of the classic stuffed flask in which Chianti wine was held, purchased his own factory in Altare and expanded its historic production.
The tradition of artistic glass-making continues today, in the workshops specialising in blowing and engraving and in the educational and professional activities of the Museum of Glass Art, which is certainly worth a visit. The Museo dell'Arte Vetraria Altarese, located in the splendid Art Nouveau Villa Rosa, keeps alive the memory of the ancient art of glassmaking and highlights the evolution and beauty of local production.
It houses a unique cultural heritage from the 17th century to the present day, from everyday objects to the works of the great 20th-century masters, such as Cimbro, Costantino and Dorino Bormioli.