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Artisan shopping and bespoke products

In Siena the main shopping area lies in Via di Città , Via Banchi di Sopra and Via dei Montanini , with locally produced gifts, clothing and food. Of particular interest are products made from copper, iron and pottery. In the historic centre are traditional artisan shops producing their wares which reflect the colours of the local ‘’contrada’’ or district.Here you can find not just pottery and coloured tiles, but also exquisitely produced leather goods and clothing plus iron made products.The food shops are a delight for the eyes and the palate ; here you can taste delicious salamis, cheeses and local cakes: almondy ricciarelli, Christmassy panforte and crunchy cantucci biscuits which are perfect dunked in vin santo , a sherry- like liqueur.
Down the centuries , artisans,artists and other craftspeople have got the best from the land , producing their wares from wood, marble, clay ,travertine stone,wrought iron and hand blown glass.
One of the most prominent activities is the production of terracotta which was traditionally done to create large vases to hold the olive oil produced in the Chianti region. Pottery is still a popular activity thanks to precious skills handed down by generations of potters ,such as the Della Robbia family.
In small hamlets you can come across small artisan shops and workshops – seamstresses, wine producers, ham and salami makers who make their own products with spices and garlic.
Radda and Castellina in Chianti are noted for the production of terracotta ,pottery and cashmere using skills which have roots based on techniques of many centuries ago alongside modern methods.

The area of Volterra and Colle Val d’Elsa produces alabaster which is considered the most precious in Europe.
At Badia al Coneo, Volterra, Colle Val ‘Elsa and San Gimignano hand- woven products are important. There are beautiful tapestries , cloaks, coats and jackets which come staight from the loom.
At Greve in Chianti there are numerous shops selling typical local products – woven baskets, bowls, cooking utensils, and wooden chopping boards in all shapes and sizes.
Mercatale Val di Pesa is the place for buying embroidered material,lace items for the home and for new born babies .
Impruneta is famous for its clay , taken from the surrounding quarries and used to make tiles and other decorative objects for the home.
At Radda in Chianti there are many artisan shops selling hand made soaps, beauty products, with others selling cloth and woollen products such as scarves, stoles, and pure cashmere, or mixed silk and linen
Other shops produce photo frames using the old method of gilding which was used by Sienese artisans in the 1500’s.
Montepulciano and the Val di Chiana area is reknown for its traditional craftsmanship and for the production of salami, Chianina meat ,olive oil and wine.
Here you can follow a wine trail , sampling exquisite delights washed down by some top quality wine , and stolling through the quaint streets to admire the artisan products such as the copperware utensils and other household products all locally produced.

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