I is for Intarsia in Sorrento Italy

I is for Intarsia

Sig. Giuseppe Rocco, an amazing artist

       Intarsia an art form I saw in Italy and found in many shops in Sorrento.  I did not really understand the depth of skill required to achieve the intricate designs and ‘scenes’ that are created by these talented artists.

       Very simply intarsia is creating a design or picture from many small pieces of different colored wood.  This is far too simplistic to describe the incredible skill that is required to design, cut and fit hundreds (if not more ) pieces of different woods into one complex and beautiful finished project.

       But this story is about Mr. Rocco.  I have lived in Sorrento before so an opportunity in December to return and do several interviews was very appealing. The light fades quickly in December and without the tourist crowds in the streets, Sorrento was very quiet when I passed Mr. Rocco’s studio.  His door was open and I paused to admire the inedible table top he was working on.  (see photo above)

I am sure I was interrupting him but asked ‘permesso’ from the doorway and he gestured for me to enter the crowded studio. 

We began a lengthy conversation and as everyone knows, I do not speak Italian above the level of a 5 year old but I do understand a great deal if the speaker uses simple terms.
Nevertheless, it was explained to me that the artist creates the design and that templates are made, colors (of wood) selected, pieces cut and fitted together.   I believe he told me this would take 3 months to complete, it I am correct.

Before I left, so that Mr. Rocco could back to work he gave me a book that was published on his work.  When I later took the time to view all the photographs, I understood that I had met one of the masters of this art.   I had met Olga Stinga’s father years earlier.  He is also an intarsia artist and his shop is filled with all types of pictures, plaques, boxes etc.  

Published by Lee Laurino

A traveler not a tourist, searching for experiences not in travel books. Solo traveler who travels as long and far as possible sharing photos of the people and places I discover

5 thoughts on “I is for Intarsia in Sorrento Italy

  1. Hi Lee .. that sounds a very interesting chat – how lovely to have found someone with sufficient time for you .. and then to give you the book – so you have the photos and book (when your Italian is much improved!) ..Enjoy and I loved the photos – the introduction to the wood crafting makes me interested to learn more .. so pleased you've sent me in this direction ..Cheers and enjoy the A – Z … Hilary


  2. Glad you found my post, are you on the A to Z challenge too?i think there were two reasons I had such a lively chat: it was December and there were no tourists over running the town and I travel solo and often just force myself to talk with people. this was a trip for almost 6 weeks that I planned to do interviews for stories for this blog….. i am still writing them after 2 + months! so much to see and do without being a tourist.


  3. here i am beign the typical nag, when i went to your email address I saw your are in GB. Another favorite place to travel for meI may be there this year with 5 days between trips. If I do book this trip, may I ask for a suggestons for some particular insie info??


  4. Hi Lee .. what sort of information do you need? I lived out of the UK for 15 years, and since I've been back I've spent time with my relatives … the elderlies eventually dying – but life moves … This is my first year of being free for a while – tied to Nursing Homes etc .. so I'm looking forward to getting out and about with family and friends, whom I haven't seen for years .. and rebuilding my life after it's been on hold – but ask away via email ..I'm with friends for a couple of days – but back next week … cheers Hilary


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