Glass art Museum in Altare
piazza del Consolato, 4 - 17041 Altare (SV)
Telefono: 019 58 47 34
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The museum of glass art at Altare gathers the proofs about the techniques and practices of glass art developed at Altare, that during the centuries gave life to a real handcrafted and industrial culture.

Besides an arrangement of the places, the intervention aims at the realization of the “Documentary Centre” of the Institute for the glass and glass art study, at an updating of the library and at making available via web the archive of the library specialized in glass, housed today in the Altare glass museum.

A little bit of history

The brickyards at Altare have got old origins, dating back to the 11th century: the statutes that mention the guild called Glass University date back to 1495.
Between 1856 and 1978 occurs the activity of the glass artistic society, first working guild in Italy.

The Museo dell’arte vetraria di Altare, already called Museo dell’azienda Società Arte Vetraria (S.A.V.), gathers glass products from 1650 till today, tools and supports of glass handcrafted working.
The collection is organized for categories: artistic, glass of use and glass for the drug-chemistry, equipments of the factory ex S.A.V.

Seat of the Museum is Villa Rosa, liberty building perfectly conserved, build in 1906 for will of Monsignor Giuseppe Bertolotti’s.
In the gardens of the villa has been placed a demonstrative brickyard for the production of blown glass; this brickyard is often fired as integration of the museum visit. Among the recurring activities there are exhibitions, studies and researches, meetings, award ceremonies and contests.

The intervention

The work scheduled for the basement will mainly consist of renewing the floors in the different rooms, today made of cement, with the application of a two-component resin coat and painting all the walls and a vaulted roof.
Finally, some plant engineering will be adapted and some small additional wood and iron work will be carried out.

The roofing ventilation openings will be screened using metal panels with inclined horizontal plates for protection against the rain without obstructing the correct passage of air. The intervention will end with the repair of all the roof sealing.

Renovating these rooms will make it possible to create a “Document Centre” which would satisfy one of the goals of the Institute for the Study of Glass and Glassmaking, namely the preservation and diffusion of the Study of Glass.

Sharing network resources and digitalizing the big historic-artistic archives are part of a trend that has become more solid during these last years in the main international centres. A section of the Website will be dedicated to researchers, historians or, more simply, to enthusiasts, making available the archive of the Specialised Glass Library, which today is located in the Glass Museum in Altare.

In addition to publications on this topic (essays, exhibition catalogues, etc.), the Specialised Glass Library also holds the SAV historical archives. Despite the scrupulous task of reorganizing and cataloguing the material, some interventions would be necessary today: firstly, constant updating of the publications, in order to transform the library into a real study centre on glass; secondly, separation of the ancient documents from the modern ones.


The city of Altare is enriched by various examples of Liberty style buildings; in addition to Villa Rosa, there is also Villa Agar, Palazzo Bertolotti, and Palazzo Bordoni in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, another prestigious structure. In the historical centre, the seventeenth-century Church of SS Annunziata, the parish Church of Sant’Eugenio and the Oratory of San Rocco are of particular importance.


The Alps start at Altare. The village is in fact past Colle di Cadibona, which for convention marks the end of the Appennines and the beginning of the Ligurian Alps, first layer of the Maritime Alps.

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