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The Specialty Craft of Sorrento

On the Sisto Bridge

Students who studied abroad in Sorrento, Italy with ISA High School in 2015 on the Sisto Bridge.

The Museum of Inlaid Wood is a truly a hidden gem in a red building in Sorrento. I’ve honestly walked past it about ten or fifteen times and never realized its significance. Only a few floors, it is filled with objects of inlaid wood. What is inlaid wood? Thin pieces of wood, sometimes dyed sometimes left untouched, that is adhered to the surface of an object to create a mosaic or picture. Some of the wood pieces are one millimeter squares, carefully placed next to each other in a grid. The objects varied from chests to furniture to small decorations, all of impeccable completion.

Also found in select locations within the museum are outstanding watercolors, and if you’ve ever painted using watercolor, you know the true difficulty of the craft. All of the paintings are portraits, with beautifully blended human skin. Their frames are also intricate treasures, made of wood. One of the rooms is filled with furniture of one bedroom, all made of inlaid wood. If you walk down to the negative first floor, you’ll find modern inlaid wood dyed beautiful reds, blues, greens, yellows, and blacks, and in the back of the floor is a studio where some of the inlaid wood is created.

Our tour leader was the creator of the museum, clearly very proud of his museum, as he should be. I’d be proud too, if I had created such a masterpiece of a town’s unusual industry. Although photos were not allowed, my memory of the beautiful inlaid wood is enough.

– The above post was contributed by Angelica Bonanno, who visited the Museum of Inlaid Wood while studying abroad with ISA High School in Sorrento, Italy in 2015.

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