Just a few slender cobblestone streets away from Sant’Anna Institute, lies the gem that is the Museobottega della Tarsialignea, Sorrento’s one and only inlaid wood museum. A local craft, the art of beautiful and intricate inlaid woodwork is a practice that has been a Tarsialignea passion for generations.
Architecture teacher, Professor Jeff Johnson, arranged a personal tour for Alfred State study abroad students lead by the museum’s owner and founder Fabio Fiorentino. While there was no photography allowed in the historical building Fiorentino purchased to display his collection, the students will forever cherish the sheer beauty of the treasures it held.
The museum proudly preserves and displays collections that allow the visitor to relive the era of the Grand Tour, a time when Sorrento was a meeting point for leading representatives of nobility and international culture. In each room of the large building there are unique pieces of history with explanatory documentation detailing their origin and authenticity.
Dating back several centuries, Fiorentino personally escorted the group through the floors of artwork, furniture, and other precious collectables that make up the exhibit. Passionate about his work, Fiorentino bluntly speaks about the lack of art in imported and mass produced replicas of classic inlaid works of woodwork art. Carrying on their family tradition, he proudly discussed his children and their roles in the design and production of art in the museum.
With plans for collaboration on a model of the local marina, his dedication to the establishment and its history, and the knowledge he shared, the students thank Fabio and his family for allowing them to experience more of Sorrento’s vast culture.