Italian Industrial Landscape

Paper and printing. Between the Dolomites and Venice

The route winds its way between two of Italy’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Belluno Dolomites and Venice, and it is of this last city that we wish to explore a product and a technique that have made it famous throughout history: paper and printing with movable type


  • Venice
  • Vas (BL)
  • Cornuda (TV)

The guided tour can be carried out in two ways:

– a more complete tour divided into two days, starting from Venice and then spending the night in Vas and the next day moving to Cornuda and then returning to Venice;

– a one-day tour divided between morning and afternoon, the activities start in Vas at the paper mill and then continue in the afternoon in Cornuda at the Tipoteca.

Starting from Venice where, with an unusual passage, you can visit the most hidden corners of the city, including those of Aldo Manuzio and the book production of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and then move to Vas, at the foot of the Dolomites to experience, followed by expert master papermakers the production of handmade paper with cotton fiber to conclude the itinerary at Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione having the opportunity to produce, assisted by typographers of the printing house with movable type, a custom product.


Day 1 – Venice – Vas (BL)

The departure from Venice allows you to visit the lesser known part of the city, in the footsteps of the merchants who, over the centuries, have made the Serenissima great. The foundations from which the paper produced in Vas passed, but also the palaces that recall the presence of Aldo Manuzio in Venice.

The exploration of the Gradenigo Paper Mill site in Vas, a mill active since 1540 and famous for the production of watermarked paper exported by the Serenissima throughout Europe, from Constantinople to Lisbon, begins in the morning with a guided tour of the exhibition spaces and a workshop in which participants, guided by a Master Papermaker from Fabriano, will be able to produce their own sheet of paper, completely handmade with cotton fibre.

The transfer to Vas, at the Gradenigo Paper Mill, will allow the visit and workshop activities to take place. The paper mill is located on the banks of the river Piave, an ancient highway that was used to bring the typical products of the Dolomites towards Venice. It will be possible to visit two of these excellent products, located in the immediate vicinity of the paper mill. The Biasotto Prosecco producer, which has won many awards over the years for the quality of its wine, and the ancient Le Crode distillery, the last site in the province of Belluno where the well-known Veneto distillate, Grappa, is produced. The hospitality on site, provided by the ancient Locanda Solagna, allows visitors to spend the night in comfort before leaving for Cornuda in the morning.


Day 2 – Cornuda (TV) – Venice

The arrival in Cornuda in the morning allows to anticipate the activities foreseen in the variant of the daily visit and therefore to deepen the short visit to the site of the Canapificio Veneto and illustration of the history of the Company Town of Crocetta del Montello, built at the end of the nineteenth century, on the banks of the Brentella Canal, as a village for the hundreds of employees of the Canapificio itself. The tour continues inside the recovered spaces of the old production site with a visit to the typeface museum hosted by Tipoteca Italiana. In addition to a comprehensive guided tour of the history and technology of printing, visitors will be able to try out, with the help of a Master Typographer, the production of their own typographic product, from composition to printing.

The afternoon and return to Venice for a visit to the most famous sites of the Serenissima, such as the Rialto Bridge or St Mark’s Square can be made after lunch at the Le Corderie restaurant, attached to the museum complex.

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