As the history books state, "Sensing an opportunity for commerce the people of Piegaro welcomed the glass masters with open arms." The glass maestri became so famous throughout Italy that the architect, Maitani, asked them to create the intricate and elaborate mosiacs in 1312 that cover the facade of the Duomo in Orvieto.
In the 15th century they built up three levels with glass ovens below and a large factory floor and dormitory above. In the centuries following Piegaro began to have a warren of smaller glass factories and in the 18th century a large factory was opened
that is now a museum to the history of glassmaking, Museo del Vetro. One can now visit the Museo and see how glass was made from the 18th through the 19th, when mechanical steam equipment was
used to the time in 1960 when the glass oven was turned off and the new factory was opened simultaneously with a puff of smoke rising from their new chimney. Today, this factory is a beehive of activity 24 hours a day, the largest in Europe producing over 3 million, yes 3 million bottles of every kind a day. From wine to spice to water bottles and all the Martini Rossi bottles in the world are made at the Vetreria Coopertiva Piegarese.
Tom and I are also proud to preserve an important piece of this history in our L'Antica Vetreria when we turned a derelict abandoned 15th century factory into a luxurious Villa for guests to enjoy!
We came full circle in 2004 when we were welcomed with open arms by the new mayor and the cultural committee of Piegaro.....for "sensing and opportunity for commerce....". Today all the villagers greet our guests with a warm Umbrian welcome each day coming and going in the piazza!
L'Antica Vetreria sits atop a mountain of glass from 750 years of glassmaking and many of our guests love to dig for ancient souvenirs.