Craft is the beating heart of Italian luxury house Bottega Veneta. Take the brand’s idiosyncratic Intrecciato weave, a specialist leather-making technique which sees stripes of supple leather expertly woven to create accessories and ready-to-wear. The ‘Cabat’ tote bag, first introduced in 2001, is formed from a complex double-faced intrecciato weave, which takes an artisan two days to construct. Since the brand’s founding in 1966 in Vicenza, Veneto – a region associated with artisanal craft, from glassblowing to shoemaking – the label’s signature weave has evolved over time, marking out a modern symbol of time-honed technique, and reinforcing its position as a pioneer of innovative creativity.

Now, in the spirit of the festive season – which for gifting aficionados is a time to seek out eclectic, unusual gifts, steeped in heritage and tradition –  Bottega Veneta has extended its artisanal network in a bid to support a host of other Italian craftspeople. Celebrating the concept of creative community, the brand is bringing together a roster of bottegas – the Italian word for a studio or workshop – that are taking over its platforms, including its bricks-and-mortar boutiques, website and advertising spaces. The creations that each bottega is synonymous with, be it food, drink or design objects, will make for surprise-fuelled gifts for connoisseurs this Christmas. After all, Made in Italy creations are symbols of high design, heritage and centuries-honed craft. 

Bottega for bottegas olive oil

Italy’s artisanal network runs the length of the European country, from the Amalfi Coast and Naples to Venice, Piedmont, Campania, Tuscany and Lombardy. On your metaphorical whistle-stop tour of its workshops, studios and laboratories, we suggest a stop-off for some of the country’s finest gastronomic gifts. Bottega Krumiri Rossi has been making its signature biscuits since 1878, a confectionery treat beloved by many, from aristocrats to politicians and thinkers, including Bill Clinton. Consider them an essential when serving after-dinner tea, liqueur or sweet wine. Shopping for someone with a serious sweet tooth? Bottega Gay-Odin crafts its renowned chocolates in Napoli, with techniques unchanged since 1800. Its Foresta and Vesuvio treats are part of Napolitan culinary history. 

For olive oil obsessives, the Vanini family has been making its signature olive oil for over 170 years, using oil trees that soak up the sweet water of Lake Como. We recommend serving the distinctive Olio Vanini alongside pasta from Bottega Pastificio Martelli, made up of artisans from the Martelli family, who have been making the Italian pantry classic since 1926, from the village of Lari. Or pair with delectable risotto rice from Bottega Riso Pozzi, harvested in the region of Landriano, only two months a year, using only natural processes. 

Bottega for Bottegas: from the Amalfi Coast to Lombardy

Bottega for bottegas film still

For many, the gift of a special bottle for the drinks cabinet – to be served over the festive season or during New Year’s Eve celebrations – is unparalleled. Bottega Veneta recommends stocking up at Bottega Gin Ginepraio, a Made in Italy gin specialist founded by Enzo Brini and Fabio Mascaretti, who use three types of juniper berry to perfect its 100 per cent organic spirit. For those who fancy themselves as sommeliers, we recommend gifting bottles from Bottega Cantina Bisson, a Ligurian wine specialist founded by Pierluigi Lugano, who began winemaking at the tender age of six, when he made wine in jam jars using grapes from a friend’s vineyard. 

Bottega for bottegas drums

Bottega for Bottegas’ design focus spans an impressive range of disciplines, for those captivated by a range of pursuits, from self-care to live music. For sophisticated stocking fillers, look to Bottega Saponificio Varesino, a centuries-old soap-maker that uses a 20-day process to create its natural bars, with a seal of excellence on not one but all of its six sides. Bottega Amatruda has been making paper for 750 years, with every soft sheet individually produced, with natural fringing on every side and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. There’s no more elegant medium for sending festive thank-you letters. For budding musicians, Bottega Respighi Drums creates drums for some of the world’s most famous musicians, approaching drum-making as tailors approach a bespoke suit, but tailoring wood, instead of cloth.

Enza Fasano draws on Puglian tradition to create ceramics that incorporate abstract paintings and graphic patterns. Bottega Veneta is bringing Fasano’s boutique in Grottaglie to its online and physical community, with the opportunity to purchase tableware, ornaments and vases. For connoisseurs of ceramics, Venice’s Orsini – established in 1888 and permitted to use the last furnace in the canal city – creates magnificent mosaic works that have also graced the the world’s most famous landmarks from L’École des Beaux-Arts in Paris to Gaudì’s Sagrada Família in Barcelona. Orsini’s colour library preserves more than 3,500 colours of Venetian smalti.

As one of the most visible bottegas worldwide, the Bottega for Bottegas festive initiative supports and champions Italian artisanal talent across its home country. In celebration we’re humming the tune to The Twelve Days of Christmas carol. There’s a specialist bottega, spanning soap-making to gin distilling for each day. §

 

Bottega for bottegas vase

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