Altare’s famous glassblower art
The Museo del Vetro also tells the story of the locality.
The art spread fast within France too, where there were tax advantages during the acquisition of the raw materials to Great Britain.
Museo del Vetro in Villa Rosa
The Sant Eugenio Church
Castello marchionale di Altare
La Bocchetta di Altare
The first settlement was probably established during the Roman era along the most important trade route between the ligurian coast and Oltregiogo. The Benedictine monks from the island of Bergeggi found a new centre here in the twelfth century, not far from Bormida di Mallare; these religious people were "importers" who brought the art of manufacturing and processing glass from France, an art which in later centuries serves as proof of the source of Altare’s economic fortune.
The history of glassblowers has been in existence for 8 centuries and there was only one structural change to it when all glass furnaces united to form one guild in 1856, the "Società Artistico Vetraria". The guild got a lot of customers from Genoa, Savona, Venice, Pisa and the Bormida valley, who wanted to master the art of glassblowing from them. To gain admission, one had to pay 300 Savonian lira, and for 4 years one was a "Tizzatore", a kind of assistant, and then another 4 years an apprentice until the attainment of the title of Master Craftsman. By the end of the 15th century Altare had passed out 200 glass master artists.
Altare lies 11 km to the northwest in the hinterland of Savona, in Val Bormida in the Apennines. You can get there by taking the SSP E717 from Savona. It is 398 meters above sea-level. The Torino-Fossano-Savona railway line passes through Altare.