C-HM-Composizioni Fiorentini-Ma (1)-INDOOR

Our producer, with experience in producing impruneta fired brick for over seven generations, masters the production of these terracotta floorings that were used to embellish 17th-18th century Florentine palaces. Together with the master workmanship of two types of clay typical of their quarry, these hand-crafted combinations, produced as ‘Composizioni Fiorentini’ and unique due to the colour contrast between the two types of clay, enhance the elegance and uniqueness of handmade terracotta flooring that would nowadays suit any space! 

Most appealing to the imagination: the ‘Ponte Vecchio’; paying obeisance to the famous old and ‘indestructible’ bridge spanning the river Arno and originally built in 996, our producer has created a wonderful handmade terracotta floor mosaic consisting of small (tozetto) and large squares carrying a tensive colour shade in each tile. The ‘Bridge of Rich and Famous’ -as this first bridge ever built on the Arno became to be known after Cosimo I de’Medici had built a private corridor, the Corridoio Vasariano, to cross the river from Palazzo Pitti to Palazzo Vecchio-, still is quite inspirational and not just from an architectural point of view.

C-HM-Variegato Neogotico Lombardo-Fornace Lana-Po-INDOOR

For centuries the extraction of clays by small furnaces has been done manually. After wetting the clay mixture with hoes, trying to uniform the mixture which normally is rather rough and cooking, clays of different nature show with knots of different colour and intensity. 

The clay is printed manually in wood molds after the mixing process and is processed in such a way that the desired pattern and color scheme are created. Each tile is then dried in a drying room (minimum 3 days depending on the thickness of the tile) after which the tile is baked in a temperature of > 1200 degrees. The duration of the baking process is on average 3 to 5 days after which the tile is slowly cooled down. The adhered Lombard tile is grounded flat after baking. This also applies to the side surfaces (calibrate), making the adhered Lombard completely seamless and in combination with other tiles that have undergone the same operations. Desirable patterns and color combinations are possible.  

The way of mixing the clay makes all the difference in the final appearance of these floors. The ancient ovens, whose traditions in creating such beautiful handcrated compositions date back to the early middle ages, have left us some spectacular floors that we will enjoy for centuries to come!

C-HM-Composizioni Fiorentini-Ma (1)-RED-INDOOR

C-HM-Varicoloured Omogeneo Stonalizzato accostata (naadloos)-Po (2)-INDOOR-SEAMLESS

Forte Belvedere, one of four handmade terracotta mosaic floors being manufactured by our Impruneta producer as a tribute to late medieval Florence and the Medici family, has a distinctive renaissance pattern. The tozetti are placed in a quartered turn, appearing as diamonds separating the squares on each corner. The homage of our producer to the fort, designed and built by Bernardo Buontalenti between 1590 - 1595 by order of Grand Duke Ferdinando I de'Medici, is that fortresses in the 16th century were a demonstration of the city’s military capabilities. Located in the southern hills of the Arno River and on the highest hill of the Boboli Gardens, connected to Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti alongside the river Arno, the fortress houses a luxureous villa at its centre: the Palazzina di Belvedere, designed by Bartolomeo Ammannati in 1570 to house the Grand Duke and the Medici family treasures in troubling times. 

Galleria Palatina, a handmade terracotta floor mosaic produced by our Impruneta producer as tribute to the Medici family, particularly refers to the Sala dell’ Arca in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence; the private chambers of the Grand Duchess Vittoria della Rovere, spouse of Ferdinando II Medici, reserved for audiences, was renovated by Luigi Ademollo (1816) after the end of the Napoleonic domination. The floor consists of squares, each highlighted with lighter frames (listelli), giving the floor its royal appearance. The Galleria, founded in the end of the 18th century by the Habsburg-Lorraine family, houses paintings from Botticelli, Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Titian, Rubens, Michelangelo Caravaggio and the series of frescoes by Pietro da Cortona, painted between 1640 and 1647 for Grand Duke of Tuscany Fedinando II de’ Medici; all part of the main Medici’s collections covering the 16th and 17th centuries. 

C-HM-Rustico Nocciolato-Po (3)-INDOOR

The clay used for the Omogeneo tiles is made more homogeneous by shaping it manually instead of using kneading machines, which reduces far more internal blowholes and lumps. With appropriate mixtures of clays colour shades of this floor range from straw-yellow to pink to deep red. The Nocciolato tile is also made of this typical Po valley clay. The lumps or colour spots which are on the surface of the tiles are due to the clays of different natures. When rivers were without banks, the floods brought clays of different colours and compositions from different places: the Apennines and the Ligurian Alpes. These clays, sedimenting and overlapping in layers, have formed the current alluvional soils that are so characteristic for the Nocciolato.

Inspired by one of the most beautiful examples of Florentine gothic building, the Bargello’ handmade terracotta floor is another mosaic manufactured by hand by our Impruneta producer as a tribute to late medieval Florence and the Medici family. Consisting of tozetti (small squares) and rectangle tiles and darker in colour than the ‘Ponte Vecchio’ floor, these tiles show the structure of the clay and have a slightly rough surface. Built in 1255, the Bargello Palace’s 54 meter high bell tower Montanina served to warn Florence’s inhabitants for assaults. In 1574 the head of the police, the Bargello, took up residence in the castle and turned it into an executional prison until 1786 when the Grand Duke Pietro Leopold abolished the death penalty. The palace was restored by architect Francesco Mazzei in 1858. Although his specific approach to the restoration is not preserved in any textual sources, the physical evidence indicates that his restoration of the Bargello was most likely informed by the work of Guiseppe Martelli (1792-1876), the leading voice in architectural restoration in Florence in the 1850s and 60s, and of the Frenchman Eugène Emannuel Voillet-le-Duc (1814-1879), whose theories became increasingly popular in Florence after 1860. Instead of repairing the Bargello and maintaining the later additions to the building, Mazzei removed any trace of work carried out after the 14th century and remade the palazzo into what he and his contemporaries believed to be its original medieval state. To decorate the Bargello, he called on artists working in revival styles. (Source: Medieval Art and Architecture after the Middle Ages, Janet T. Marquard, Alyce A. Jordan, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 14 Jan 2009)

C-HM-Varicoloured Variegato Lombardo 800-Po (1)-INDOOR

Together with the master workmanship of two types of clay typical of our producers' quarry, these hand-crafted combinations, produced as ‘Composizioni Fiorentini’ and unique due to the colour contrast between the two types of clay, enhance the elegance and uniqueness of handmade terracotta flooring that enlightens any space!

The Varicoloured Variegato Lombard was traditionally used between the 16th and 20th centuries in the areas of Lombardy, Piedmont and Canton Ticino to pave both homes and historic homes. The characteristic of this floor is the contemporary presence in the tiles of two clays of different composition, which after cooking show distinctly red-orange and white-straw colored colors. The veins are produced by the manipulation of two clay mixed separately and mixed in layers with special techniques.