The Bottega Scuola

Professional formation courses
giuliano merlini liutaio

The school

The “Bottega Scuola per l’ Artigianato Liutario” began as my own initiative in 2015. lt is modeled on the renaissance luthier workshops , where you learned by “looking and doing” going from apprentice to Master Artisan. Recognized by the region of Tuscany as a Lutherie School, the school’s aim is to teach young people traditional luthier artisanship and therefore perserve our Italian tradition.

The School is set up as an artisan shop, there are workbenches, tools and materials for the construction of bowed and plucked string instruments. We learn to build violins, violas, cellos, double basses, classical and acoustic guitars. There are 400 hours of school per year, two days a week for 6 hours a day. Every student is given a workbench, tools and materials for the construction of the instrumentrs which will remain in their possession.

The course lasts a total of 5 years and you will leam not only how to build but also the restoration of all the instruments. The school can be visited for additional information during the whole year, June to August for small group visits. An appointment is required.

Giuliano Merlini


The courses

The courses subjects

  • Technology of the woad
  • Types of glues and how they are used
  • Drawing and Sculpture
  • Varnishing
  • Restoration techniques
  • Endoscopic investigation for restoration and the assessing of damage
  • Courses on safety in the workplace
giuliano merlini liutaio

How the courses takes place

Technology of the woad

The knowledge of of the raw material is essential for an optimal result, so the student will learn to
recognize both sound quality and defects in the types of wood used by luthiers now and in the

Types of glues and how they are used

There are many glues used by luthiers, among these the best known is hide glue of animal origin, but there are other glues available depending on the use. Students will learn about them and be able to use them on their own.

Drawing and Sculpture

Drawing and sculpture are fundamentalfor making molds and instruments, so students will learn to work with both skills right from the start to develop their own aesthetic. They will be free, not to change the traditional standards of ltalian lutherie, but to put their own mark on instruments.


During the varnishing course you will learn about the natural essences and their solvents, as well as, the use and risks if improperly used. Different recipes will be tried and judged at the final stage.

Restoration techniques

Restoration techniques continue to evolve over the years, both due to the new equipment available and new technology. Students will be taught manually what I know about restoration and how to work on an instrument maintaining its originality, but also trying new techniques. The course on restoration and instrument construction serves the purpose of teaching the groundwork, then the student will have the ability to develop his own way of working.

Endoscopic investigation for restoration and the assessing of damage

The school is equipped with an endoscopic probe allowing us to look inside instruments to assess damage and the need for restoration. This technology is cunently needed, if not essential, to train students on these practices, giving them the ability to plan restorations in the best of conditions and keeping risks to a minimum.

Courses on safety in the workplace

Medium risk 12 hour courses are required to mantain safe§ for all students. The courses are organized by the school, unless the student has already attended the course. The students will only be allowed to use hand tools.

informations and inscriptions

Would you like more information?