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paper maché in Apulia

Retreat with artisans in Bitonto, the rare pearl of Apulia

Apulia which forms the heel of south-eastern Italy, is famous for Ostuni, Bari and it’s Trulli – the domed dwellings constructed from stone in Alberobello, a designated UNESCO world heritage site.

The Apulia region is blessed with incredible sea-food, the beautiful Adriatic coastline, a temperate climate and an ancient history which includes the ancient Greeks, Normans and of course the Romans.

Travel further inland and you will encounter Bitonto, a small jewel set in a breath-taking landscape. Visit the historical centre in which you will be alongside locals, many of whom you will find seated outside of their doors. There are many reasons to visit Bitonto, the world-famous olive oil, the fact that is it less frequented by tourists, but let us add another reason to your list – the talented local artisans who create incredible works from papier- mâché.

Cartapesta Pugliese

Papier- mâché or Cartapesta as the art-form is referred to in Italian, boomed in production in the 17th Century in the Apulia region. Demand for religious statues and figurines, developed into trade with northern Italy. Scenes of the holy family, the nativity and specially commissioned icons were commissioned by churches and cathedrals.

Cartapesta artists are highly skilled with their work not only in demand in religious sites, but in galleries throughout the world. Today the versatile nature of papier- mâché means that this material is used to make furnishings, masks, jewellery, statues, and other various handicrafts.

There is something unique about the art of cartapesta. The experience of using your hands to mould the materials into the required form, utilising techniques handed down over centuries is incredibly rewarding. Allowing time and patience to let the work dry, and then applying various layers of protective coating to finish your piece, you will discover this art form is truly a labour of love.

Cartapesta with Creative Italy!

Why not give our 5-day papier-mâché workshop a try? Imagine a morning workshop taking place in a papier-mâché artisan’s studio – where you will be shown first-hand the techniques of working and processing papier-mâché.

Learn this centuries old craft in Bitonto, away from the crowds and in the expert hands of our handpicked artisans. Immersing yourself in the world of the artisan, you will have the unique opportunity to work alongside and learn from the experts. Learn about the history of the craft, our artisans and Bitonto.

Our package includes:

  • 5 nights’ accommodation in a charming historic residence
  • Breakfast
  • 5-day papier-mâché workshop

If you are looking for a truly authentic artistic experience get in touch with Creative Italy – contact us today!

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