Visit to the Crystal Museum

The Crystal Museum of Colle di Val d’Elsa is one of a kind in Italy and, after an initial opening in 2001, was renovated in 2023.

It is located in the area of ​​the ancient Boschi glassworks, the engine of the local economy between the 1920s and the early 1950s. The museum itinerary is divided into two levels which develop under the chimney of the glass factory and allows us to retrace the history of the glass industry from the beginning of the 19th century to the definitive affirmation of the lead crystal mixture (1963) which characterized the entire production in the second half of the twentieth century and which made Colle known throughout the world as the City of Crystal.

Starting from the exhibition of some medieval finds relating to the production of the so-called “gambassini” (glassworks have been known in Colle since 1331), the story comes to life in 1820, the year in which the glassmaker Francesco Mathis opened a “crystal” factory in Piano, next to the church of Sant’Agostino. The production, subsequently taken over by Giovan Battista Schmid, soon stood out in Italy for the high quality and purity of the white glass. Already at that historical moment the articles were subjected to second processes, carried out through grinding and carving techniques.

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