Vetrerie di Empoli. Coloured glass for an unforgettable table
Brand stories

Vetrerie di Empoli. Coloured glass for an unforgettable table

Vetrerie di Empoli expresses a great passion for the raw material, for its transparency, and for the light that refracts in multiple reflections, for excellence, for master glass-makers, for colours and decorations. Over a hundred years of history in which the company has been creating refined and exciting glass objects and collections that harmoniously combine tradition and innovation, admired and appreciated even by international clients. 

Our interview with Franco Parentini, owner of Vetrerie di Empoli



What’s the idea behind Vetrerie di Empoli and how do you design your products?


Vetrerie di Empoli was founded in Empoli in 1938. Initially the company was specialised in the typical green glass of the area, but over the years it started to produce increasingly sophisticated items. The Parentini family, owner of Vetrerie di Empoli, is currently running the showroom in Via Montenapoleone 22, Milan, which represents an international reference point for those who appreciate the elegance of the table. Today, Vetrerie di Empoli enjoys an enviable reputation in the luxury sector, thanks to the uniqueness of its highly crafted collections with both classic and contemporary design. We are a craft company and our products are conceived and developed in-house.


The design of new products doesn't follow a predefined process. You start with an idea, a thought that runs through your head, a cue taken from art or a picture, and you see how it can be developed and applied to the world of glass and decoration. This is the most complex phase, because both glass and manual decoration have their own rules and limits. Subsequently, the new idea goes through a series of trials, tests and samples that are thoroughly revised and corrected to either find the right formula or abandon the idea because the prototype does not satisfy our thinking.



How important is sustainability for your company, do you have any sustainable collections or products?


Today the topic of sustainability has become more central to our lives and work than ever before. Just think of the etymological origin of the term. The word sustainability comes from the Latin verb 'sustinere', which means to sustain, defend and preserve. Glass is a recyclable material and we are currently designing a modern cup that is partially recyclable. Already ahead of the times, back in 2001 Vetrerie di Empoli created the Ikebana goblet, a product that is covered by patent, which fully expresses the concept of conserving, recovering and avoiding waste.



What is your most successful product?



Our production is outlined in seven thematic catalogues. The most admired and best-selling collections are undoubtedly those in which colour is the main protagonist. We also have simpler collections or more refined ones, such as the elegant and sophisticated collections Marmo and Olimpia, where colour is combined with the craftsmanship of our masters. The goblet 'Gira e Rigira', which represents the second patent of Vetrerie di Empoli in the goblet world, remains one of our most popular items. It is an ingenious product that always captures attention and appreciation.


A magic goblet to taste wine in a new way. With the touch of the hand, the bowl of the goblet rotates, thus accompanying and promoting the oxygenation of wine. Each goblet is assembled manually, and thanks to a ball bearing, which is also inserted manually, the rotation becomes tilting. An innovative product that was selected by ADI Design Index for the 'Compasso d'Oro 2020’ award.



How do craftsmanship and handmade products represent your company?


Craftsmanship is synonymous with Vetrerie di Empoli. These two terms represent us one hundred per cent, they are in the DNA of the company, our greatest pride that is not always perceived by the consumer. It is really exciting to see the evolution of a product in our decoration workshop. Knowing the history of a finished product makes you appreciate and love the object even more.


The phases of the processing, as well as hand-decoration and finishings, are all tasks requiring long waiting times and carried out through several different steps. It is an art. We are like a small fashion atelier, a goblet or a vase enters 'naked' and leaves with a new dress that is designed to be perfectly fit. Tailor-made. Because every object is unique with all its strengths and weaknesses.



What new products will you be presenting at Milano Home?


We are sure to delight our visitors with the cheerfulness and elegance of our colourful collections made with the use of different techniques. We will present the new collection Ritmica Colore characterised by hand-ground products. Its main decorative pattern is represented by the hand-ground volutes that follow one another over the entire glass surface, like the flying ribbon of gymnasts.


The delicate colours we have carefully selected give the collection a carefree and reassuring tone. We will also put on display some pieces from the Olimpia collection, which is always highly appreciated. Concentric circles of different colours are interspersed with platinum circles, all rigorously hand-painted. Many can do everything or almost everything, but what absolutely sets us apart is the elegant and sophisticated style. The extra, intangible touch that does not belong to so many.