Estimated reading time: 33 minutes
In the enchanting city of Vicenza, one of Italy’s most relevant goldsmith districts, a captivating gem illuminates the essence of human artistry and expression – the Museo del Gioiello (Jewellery Museum).
Nestled within the opulent walls of the Basilica Palladiana, with its 410 square metres, this Museum is a permanent space celebrating the allure and craftsmanship of jewellery.
The Jewellery Museum is the first in Italy and one of the few worldwide to be dedicated exclusively to jewellery – a project developed by the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) in partnership with the City Council of Vicenza.
The Museum, curated by Alba Cappellieri, offers an original, varied aesthetic and educational jewellery experience, enhancing items with ancient origins deeply rooted in human culture and moving fast-forward to the future with thought-provoking designs.
IV EDITION: 2021 – 2025
The IV Edition is a set-up fully focused on Italian jewellery, enhancing the Italian territory and the gold and jewellery field. Under the curation of Professor Alba Cappellieri, the Museum pays homage to values such as formal beauty, manufacturing quality, variety and innovation.
For the first time, the exhibition saw the participation of the leading gold Italian districts – from Vicenza to Valenza, from Arezzo to Torre del Greco – telling the best jewellery manufacturing stories.
Jewellery can speak different languages, and Italian jewellery, more than any other, does so brilliantly and on various levels.
In the nine thematic rooms that illustrate this IV Edition, the collection displays various items produced by relevant jewellery houses, small and medium enterprises, highly skilled artisans, unique pieces created through artistic experimentation and jewels generated from the research of independent designers. This choice is a decision of significant cultural and visual impact, guiding visitors to open new horizons and perspectives to the jewellery world.
The Symbol Room
The jewel traditionally symbolises power, religion, royalty, social prestige, patriotism, and all those feelings that connect human beings: love, friendship, fidelity, and mourning.
The jewel also symbolises the identity and manufacturing excellence of the territories, and Italy can boast goldsmithing excellency in territories such as Vicenza, Valenza, Arezzo, and Torre del Greco, where know-how and trade culture have settled over time, giving us the beautiful jewels that you will find in this room.
The Magic Room
Amulets and talismans are the first ornaments in humankind’s history, worn not out of vanity but to transfer divine benevolence onto themselves. They are magical jewels endowed with the power to counter malignant influences, attract benign ones, and preserve therapeutic properties. The visitor will find a selection of “magical” treasures in this room, including Italian amulets and talismans with propitiatory, protective, and healing properties that cross time and cultures.
The Function Room
The jewel is often considered a useless, opulent object with no function other than an ornamental one. The functional jewels the museum presents in the Function Room prove the opposite. Buttons, buckles, chatelaine, fibulae, hair clips, cufflinks, and brooches are jewels of Italian origin that testify to a specific function linked to the fashion of a particular time.
The Beauty Room
Jewellery is the ornament par excellence, capable of giving and instilling beauty to the wearer. Beauty is also intrinsic in the jewel: its shapes, its manufacture, its gems, its colours. These jewels celebrate the beauty of Italian high jewellery, a perfect synthesis of formal beauty and craftsmanship savoir-faire.
The Art Room
Jewellery intersects many disciplines, and art is one of these. This room is dedicated to the artist’s jewel – the jewel of the figurative artists and that of the goldsmiths’ artists. The treasures of the masters of Italian painting and sculpture of the 20th century join those of the goldsmiths’ artists, finding new ways of expression through experimentation and research.
The Fashion Room
Jewellery has always had a close relationship with fashion, too. From the ancient to the contemporary world, fashion jewellery is the aesthetic mirror of society, the evolution of customs and technological progress. Italian stylists, costume jewellery makers and designers have transferred the seasonality of the collections, the whims of taste and the lightness of the transient to the jewel with surprising results.
The Design Room
Design is one of the most fascinating expressions of contemporaneity for its ability to entwine different disciplines and produce knowledge exchanges. The result is a vision of jewellery where preciousness is not defined by the nobility of the materials but by creativity and innovation. This room is dedicated to Italian design and narrates the link that Italian designers have had with jewellery from the post-war period until today, their variations in scale, and their ability to give new meanings to jewellery.
The Future Room
What will the jewel be like in the future? The selection of this room features jewels from different contexts, which challenge traditional disciplinary ideas. They are jewels inspired by biology, medicine, body modification, and science – a journey into the future full of thought provocations, shocks, and nuances.
The Jewellery Museum is also full of opportunities to spend time together to discover the fascinating art of goldsmithing.
Over the weekend, themed workshop activities and guided itineraries allow the young and adults to get lost in the Museum Rooms and immerse themselves in the glittering world of jewels, discovering their functions and meanings.
There is always a favourite among Museum treasures. Alba Cappellieri, curator of the exhibition, has chosen an imposing necklace designed by Gianmaria Buccellati and handcrafted in 1996 in the Milanese ateliers of Buccellati.
The necklace is composed of autumn leaves and colours that remind us of how much nature was and still is inspiring for all Buccellati creations, with the desire to depict it in its outstanding beauty and continuous marvels.
The three amethysts alternate with four citrines, thus creating a rhythm of yellow and violet that soon reminds us of an autumn-embracing atmosphere, bringing us into nature and its nuances.
The groups of leaves are in yellow gold, with shiny venations in white gold and a central red gold griffe for the amethysts, while the citrines are set in a yellow gold griffe mounting. The bunches of leaves are distanced from one another with white gold morettes. The rear part of the necklace is composed of groups of three leaves, each alternating with white gold morettes.
- The Museo del Gioiello is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm.
- Admission is €10 for adults, €8 for reduced admission, and free for children under 6.
- The museum is in the Basilica Palladiana, Piazza dei Signori 2, Vicenza, Italy.
- For more information, you can visit the Museum’s website: https://www.museodelgioiello.it/en, write to email@example.com or call +39 0444 320799