Fratelli Traversari

Home to its fourth generation of mosaic makers, the Fratelli Traversari’s workshop is located just outside Porta Romana, a quiet and quintessential Florentine neighborhood. Here, Daniele, his sister Letizia, and their cousin Lorenzo carry on the ancient tradition of mosaics which the family began in 1870.


"Non si può guardare l’orologio"

Their bottega and showroom is a treasure trove of antiquities and modern mosaics, every corner houses something breathtaking to marvel at.

The incredibly detailed artworks, spectacular demonstrations of light and perspective, aren’t paintings though. The family specializes in the rare art of Commesso Fiorentino – Florentine mosaics, as well as traditional mosaics, and the ancient Roman practice of micro-mosaics.

Each technique requires passion, patience, and above all, time and... you can’t watch the time


For the family, every piece is a new challenge that can require months of dedication – the goal is to make each mosaic better than the last, no matter how long it takes.


"Il nostro obiettivo è farlo il più bello possibile"

The Traversari family is proud to show off their collection of antique mosaics as well as the work of artisans, past and present, that practice the three mosaic techniques.

Letizia and Daniele grew up around artisans, visiting their grandfather and father’s bottega when they were children. When Letizia reminisces she says, “we used to stop by to say hi, to bug them, to steal a ring....We were sponges and in the end, I found myself doing things no one taught me, I just absorbed it.

Over the years, the Traversari family has managed to maintain the highest level of quality upholding the tradition to always make things as beautiful as possible.


"La pittura di pietra"

Letizia is the bottega’s expert in micro-mosaics which are Murano glass miniature mosaics that require incredible skill and craftsmanship.

Using this technique, she creates everything from costume jewelry to mosaic frames. Her workspace is an artist’s dream, hundreds of colorful shades of glass rods cover the shelves, each custom cut to create her pieces.


Letizia and Daniele’s cousin, Lorenzo, specialized in Commesso Fiorentino, an assembly or "messo insieme" of carefully cut stones, puzzle-pieced together to create a work of art that can be described as paintings made of stone. The Commesso Fiorentino technique starts with the search for semi-precious stones. 


"Ogni pietra c’ha il su posto"

In the past a stone procurer would use ancient maps to locate stones and bring them to mosaic workshops.

Today, with only a handful of mosaicists in Florence, this information is passed down through generations; only an experienced artisan knows where to find the right stones. Every stone has its place.

Although many of the stones are from the banks of the Arno River in Tuscany, every stone, color and texture has its origins – Afghanistan, Chile, Africa, Russia, Belgium – and choosing the right stone for each piece is just the beginning.


The Traversari family is clear about one thing; in order to do this type of artisanry you need more than patience, you need passion.

Years of apprenticeship and refining one’s technique are just part of the process. They consider themselves artigiani artistici – something between an artisan and an artist.

Each piece can require months of work, hundreds of stones or glass each cut and shaped by hand in keeping with tradition. From the initial drawing to the final polish, each piece “is a part of you” the Traversari say, a challenge that they took on and won.


"Le emozioni del viaggio"

The subject matter for these intricate works of art can be anything: from still lifes to portraits, from the highly sought-after mosaic of the Tuscan countryside to a panoramic view from Piazzale Michelangelo.

Daniele says Florence and inspiration go hand in hand, “I often see a place, a view, a hillside, a cypress tree, a house…and I think that would make a great mosaic! Florence is inspiring.” 


These beautiful "vedute di Firenze", scenes from Florence, also bring out emotions in travelers. When a visitor sees how these mosaics are made, meticulously cut by hand and pieced together, they are even more inspired to own a handcrafted memento that represents Florence artisanry and the emotions of a journey.

Each mosaic is truly a pezzo unicoone of a kind.


“Being a part of a family business is a beautiful thing because it brings us great satisfaction, but it’s also a heavy burden to carry because we feel that we have to carry on this tradition”. 

Their bottega continues to find and train new mosaicisti to help carry on this tradition and the Fratelli Traversari are hopeful for the future.