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Italia Torre del Greco


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Nestled between the foot of Mount Vesuvius and the Mediterranean Sea, lies Torre del Greco, the capital city of coral and cameos, overlooking the bay of Naples. The population of this Italian community has grown to more than 100,000 -- no fewer than 5,000 used to participate in the development of cameos and coral designs. Exquisite cameos and workings in coral and gold leave this quiet community daily and travel around the globe.

Published in: Travel

Italia Torre del Greco

  1. 1. Nestled between the foot of Mount Vesuvius and the Mediterranean Sea lies Torre del Greco, the capital city of coral and cameos, overlooking the bay of Naples (population c. 85,000 as of 2016). The locals are sometimes called Corallini because of the once plentiful coral in the nearby sea, and because the city has been a major producer of coral jewellery and cameo brooches since the seventeenth century. Exquisite cameos and workings in coral and gold leave this quiet community daily and travel around the globe. Vesuvius's lava fields prevented the natives from working the land. Fortunately the Torre del Greco's waters were filled with coral forest and reefs. They not only engaged in the traditional occupations of sailing and shipbuilding, but also in coral and shell diving
  2. 2. For centuries, men revealed unable to allocate coral to one of the three kingdoms of nature (animal, plant and mineral), seeing in it the coexistence of all three. Coral comes from colonial celenterates consisting of polyps which build a protective and securing calcium carbonate skeleton as they grow; it can be found in clear, shallow and relatively warm waters. There was easy access to three great natural resources utilized for cameo carving: lava, coral and conch shells. Cameos made from these materials became very popular all around the world in the years following the 15th century. Nowadays there are no more coral forest and reefs in the Torre del Greco waters. The coral worked here comes from Sardinia or different waters inside the Mediterranean sea
  3. 3. Corallo rosa Pink coral
  4. 4. As early as the Bourbon period, thanks to the skill of master engravers, the finest coral jewels from the typical Neapolitan Style were given life at Torre del Greco. Today as then, the APA coral-artisans work with care and great competence creating unique jewelry, varied with warm tones
  5. 5. Shiny and timeless and magical gifts of the sea, pearls have always accompanied the lives of women, giving them refined elegance, emphasizing the femininity and making them unique and fascinating as the jewels themselves
  6. 6. The most common materials used for cameos are shells known as: Sardonyx shell (Cassis Madagascariensis), Carnelian shell (Cassis Rufa), Pink shell (Strombus Giga), Tiger shell (Cyprea Tigris), Lava, Coral, and Turquoise
  7. 7. Manufactured thanks to the use of original techniques and patient care of master craftsmen, cameos are achieved from selected and valuable shells, from whose surfaces emerge delicate figures in relief
  8. 8. 1400 – Coral started to be fished extensively and worked in Torre del Greco, in a time when Livorno held the monopoly on the raw coral
  9. 9. 1700 – thanks to the Bourbons, the town of Torre del Greco became one of the most important centre in the processing and carving of coral. The king supported the development of craftsmanship by reducing the tax on imported raw coral, though he couldn’t start a factory in the town because of the boom of the French Revolution and of the eruption of Vesuvius in 1794. 1800 – Ferdinando IV of Bourbon founded the first factory for the manufacturing of coral in Torre del Greco Torre del Greco has been an international leader in shell cameo production since the eighteenth century, when engravers first set up workshops to use the coral brought back by local fishermen
  10. 10. The exhibition hall houses collections of jewelry in precious stones and culminates in a space dedicated to jewelry and sculptures of great artistic value created, exclusively for APA, by renowned artisans and artists like Master Carver Pernice
  11. 11. The museum room with antique collections of coral jewelry, cameos and bronze statues in Neoclassical style
  12. 12. Customers have the opportunity to attend a live cameo carving demonstration
  13. 13. Tiger shell (Cyprea tigris) Tiger Shell is 2-4 inches in length and height. It has seven different layers of color. In order: tiger brown on the surface. then white-yellowish, grey-blue, two tones of purple and finally a slightly bluish white color. It is found in the Indo-Pacific Pink shell (Strombus Giga), is about 11 inches in height and length. Found in the Caribbean sea, Bermuda, Bahamas, Brazil, and the gulf of Mexico. Its white and it's pink layers are not always distinct from one another; also used in necklaces, buttons, etc. It also can be found with an orange color as well.
  14. 14. Sardonyx shell (Cassis Madagascarensis)  ca 12 inches. Chestnut brown at bottom, and perfectly white on the surface for engraving
  15. 15. Cornelian shell (Cypraeacassis Rufa) ca 6 inches. Has an interior reddish layer; the exterior for engraving is pale flesh-coloured
  16. 16. Mother-of-pearl is the iridescent lining found on the inside of some mollusk shells
  17. 17. A cameo is a kind of jewel obtained through the incision of a shell or a layered stone. A cameo is not just a piece of jewelry. It’s a little work of art crafted from artfully hand-carved seashells. The art of carving a cameo, also called glyptics, is to represent mytho-logical scenes or deities on a stone, a shell or on other suitable material. The incision is a very ancient art dating back to the Mycenaean civilization in Greece, then refined in Cyprus and Crete
  18. 18. The Akoya pearl oyster was earlier believed to be an endemic species of Japan, so a similar cultured pearl could not be produced outside of Japan. However it is a common knowledge that the time in memorial Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean were famous for natural pearl beds of same species
  19. 19. Several countries have started to establish pearl farms and successfully produced cultured pearls. Among such countries are Korea, China, Sri Lanka and India. These countries utilized the same species as Akoya whose confirmed name is now Pinctada imbricata
  20. 20. Bougainvillea & Fragrant scented white flowered star Jasmin - Trachelospermum jasminoides
  21. 21. Bougainvillea spectabilis
  22. 22. Sound: Eduardo De Crescenzo – Ancora; Manchi tu Text: Internet Pictures: Sanda Foişoreanu Gabriela Cristescu Internet All  copyrights  belong to their  respective owners Presentation: Sanda Foişoreanu 2018