Rapallo lace has its roots in the sixteenth century, when the precious embroideries were made by very young artisans under the severe gaze of the priories of the convents, and then ended up not only on the sumptuous dresses of the noblewomen, but also on those of their aristocratic husbands.
The use of lace by Genoese ladies was so widespread that, in an edict of 1705, very strict rules were established to limit the application of lace on women's dresses, but to witness the great boom we must wait for the arrival of the nineteenth century when the processing reached the period of maximum splendor. In 1969 the Ligurian lace school was inaugurated.
Today, the art of bobbin lace is mainly cultivated in the centers of Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino and Rapallo, where the Lace Museum is located (Villa Tigullio - Parco Casale, 16035 RAPALLO Tel. 018563305 - 63304 - 680604), at the exceptional setting of the ancient Villa Tigullio. An extraordinary showcase where you can admire over 1,400 rare and precious artifacts and macramé made between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as a dozen bobbins dating from the second half of the eighteenth century to the whole of the nineteenth century and about 5,000 drawings and cartoons used for the production. Impossible not to notice the lace panel, over 8 meters long, designed by the painter and set designer Lele Luzzati ready to tell the Commedia dell'Arte Italiana, which once adorned the salons of an American ocean liner (in the photo).
For lovers of beautiful and ancient things there is also the possibility to take home an original piece of Rapallo lace: the reference point is the shop of Emilio Gandolfi, in Piazza Cavour, a historic shop that carries on the tradition of art of lace. The ladies who know it swear that its bobbin laces are extraordinary, still made "as they once were", the most beautiful in the entire Ligurian Riviera.