When Italian statesman Lorenzo de’ Medici hosted banquets in his Florentine palace 700 years ago, he and his guests reputedly carved their meat with knives from Scarperia, a small town in Tuscany. A sponsor of Michelangelo and Botticelli, Lorenzo was known for his infatuation with extraordinary feats of artisanship—and the beautiful hand-carved blades from Scarperia were no exception.
Scarperia’s reputation for cutlery is the stuff of legend. It remains unrivaled today thanks to Coltelleria Saladini, a local company renowned for elegantly crafted knives. Dan and I discovered Saladini knives when we lived in Luca for three months in 2010. We were in the middle of dinner at Cantine Bernardini, our favorite local restaurant, when a display case of exquisite knives caught our attention. We examined them up close, and the striking craftsmanship was immediately evident. We asked the restaurant owner if he could arrange for us to purchase a set of our own.
Since bringing the knives back to our home, we are frequently asked about their origins. I am thrilled to introduce Coltelleria Saladini to the DARA Artisans site and share the company’s amazing history with our customers.
The Saladini family began forging blades as Master Knifemakers in Scarperia during the mid-19th century. This rich heritage contributes to the company’s meticulous standards for every aspect of production, from sourcing high quality materials to perfecting small details in the design process. Creative innovation and research continues alongside devotion to traditional technique, allowing the company to evolve and maintain relevance in the modern market.
Saladini kitchen knives and flatware are sharpened by hand. The handles are shaped from hand-polished ox horn, buffalo horn, or olive wood. Blades are thinned and tempered from solid stainless steel. Each finished piece is stunning and unique, a work of art in addition to an essential culinary tool.
Photos courtesy of Coltelleria Saladini
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