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Italian Products - Tradition, Innovation and Design

The Made in Italy label is one that brings with it an assurance of quality. A product that is Made in Italy has the time honoured traditions of centuries of fine craftsmen behind it, artisans that have passed down their skills over generations of the same family, with an innate flair for design, a tradition of top quality workmanship and materials and above all a love for their craft that shows in the exceptional quality of a true Italian product. The years of tradition provide a solid foundation but Italian design is also known for its innovative modern touch, adding the best of new trends and technology to create cutting-edge luxury products.

There are numerous products for which Italy is world renowned and the following are but a sample: leather goods, textiles, fashion, sunglasses, ceramics, glass, and last but not least its food and wine. Each of these is a leader in its field for the combination of quality and fine design that goes into the making of it. Above all Italy excels at producing luxury goods for discerning consumers worldwide who value the finer things in life.

Italy has a long history of fine leatherwork, stretching from the Florentine guilds in the Middle Ages to the twentieth century rags-to-riches story of Salvatore Ferragamo. Today there are a plethora of world famous designer names attached to Italian luxury handbags and shoes. There are also plenty of medium-sized companies creating wonderful leather products, from exquisite shoes to luxury handbags in exotic leather, for the so-called "accessible luxury" market, and producing quality goods at more affordable prices than the designer labels. Many of these leather workshops are clustered in and around Florence, which has been the centre of skilled leather artisans for centuries.

Italy has also been producing luxury textiles since medieval times, sending cloths of finest wool and silk, heavily embroidered with gold, to adorn the nobility and royalty of Europe. Venetian brocades, the silk and lace of Como, the fine wool cloth of Florence were legendary in the luxury leagues of times gone by. Today this tradition carries on with fine textiles now being produced for top fashion houses and luxury interior design for today's elite - technology may have advanced but the old skill and devotion to quality is what makes Italian textiles so special.

Since Milan became one of the fashion capitals of the world in the Seventies some of Italy's most recognizable brand names are in the world of haute couture. Armani, Fendi,  Versace, Valentino are names that are automatically linked to elegance and a natural flair for design, instantly recognized as far afield as Japan, Russia, America and India and which are craved by stylish women in search of elegance and luxury.

Italy boasts of having invented eye-glasses back in the 1300s and now has taken its centuries of experience in precision manufacturing of prescription eyewear and combined it with a genius for fashion to produce some of the finest designer sunglasses in the world, in fact 50% of the world's designer glasses are produced in Italy today.

Italy is also famed for its ceramics, from art pieces of hand-painted majolica in elaborate traditional designs and beautifully moulded terracotta pots, to top quality modern ceramic tiles and innovative design in bathroom fittings. Deruta in Umbria is the best known centre of traditional majolica production, but once a ceramic collector starts exploring he will discover a host of other towns in Umbria, Tuscany, Sicily and beyond, each with their own unique traditional styles of hand painted designs and modern artistic interpretations.

Murano, one of the islands of Venice, is world famous for its skilfully worked colored glass, with elaborate hand blown creations adorning luxury homes and treasured by collectors worldwide. Colle Val d'Elsa, a small Tuscan hilltop town has an equally proud history of fine crystal glass work, though its products tend to be known only to the well-informed few outside Italy.

Italy's food and wine products may have more humble origins than the fashion and design artefacts mentioned so far, but are also major players in Italy's world export profile.

The DOCG  wines of Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo, Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, to name but a few of the better known ones, hold a high profile in the world market and are seized upon  by wine cognoscenti almost as soon as they are bottled. Italian olive oils, balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, truffles and even pasta are much in demand by gourmets across the Atlantic and worldwide, as their quality is impossible to reproduce outside Italy.

Italian producers are looking for ways to protect the integrity of the Made in Italy label, as loopholes in European law allow products that have only been assembled or finished in Italy to bear the prestigious label, (read more here) so look out for products that have extra testimonials to guarantee their provenance, such as '100% Made in Italy' or the 'True Italy' label and look for businesses that offer transparency on the origins of their products. Producers of genuine Made in Italy goods take pride in their high standards and will be more than happy to give information on the making of their products.

There are many other areas in which Italy excels, with its proud heritage of design and craftsmanship; jewellery, fine machinery and marble goods to mention a few, but what all the best Italian products have in common is their design flair, their unique combination of innovation and tradition that results in a luxury article made with genuine quality - the true Made in Italy product.


It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that the Italians have an innate sense of style. Whether you are talking about fashion or design, sooner or later you arrive at the Italian genius for impeccable elegance and modern chic. Where does this come from, this seemingly effortless ability to create a stylish image and produce some of the world's most sought after luxury goods?

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Each nation has its own distinctive brand that characterizes its products and makes them stand out from their own kind: Made in Germany has always been synonymous with robustness and reliability; Made in the U.S.A. is the sign of  an innovative and avant garde product; Made in Japan symbolizes high tech and functionality; Made in Italy expresses excellence of creativity and craftsmanship.

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