The gold leaf workshop, the precious soul of a centuries-long tradition

The gold leaf workshop, the precious soul of a centuries-long tradition

Itineraries and Tours
January 16th, 2019

The Battiloro gold leaf workshop opened its doors for a special occasion and revealed its secrets to us; it is a privilege to listen to family stories, share the passion of its owners, touch the precious artefact in a place where time seems to stand still.

We are in the building where Titian, the great sixteenth century master of Italian painting, lived and worked. We cross the garden from which he gazed at his native Dolomites in the distance, to reach the rooms where the master craftsman transforms gold ingots into gossamer thin leaves and the workshop where four ladies prepare the gold leaf "booklets".

It is amazing to learn that the gold leaf is so fine that it wrinkles as soon as it touches paper and the wrinkles can be smoothed away only with the faintest puff of breath - too strong a breath and the gold leaf becomes an unusable roll. It also "feels" the weather, responding differently to weather conditions, whether too dry or too humid.

Listening to these stories and watching the hands of the ladies handle the impalpable gold with wooden sticks, is like watching the pulsating heart of Venice and of her master craftsmen who through their know-how, resist the passing of time and let us reach deep into the soul of the city.

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