Italian Frames

Even with the weak dollar, there are two things in Italy which are still cheaper than in America: A cappuccino and fine, hand-made Italian frames. I thought I would post a plug for my framer here in Italy, Piero Franceschi, in honor of his new website.

Hand-carved Italian Frame from Piero Franceschi. Circa 1998.

Hand-carved Italian Frame from Piero Franceschi. Circa 1998.

I’ve used Piero for all my framing needs for about 15 years now. He makes some of the most beautiful frames around for a fraction of what I have paid in the U.S. or England, even when shipping is included in the price.

At the moment I’m very partial to the ‘Cassetta’ style frame. Its a 15th century Florentine frame design which still seems very modern (probably because the ubiquitous Californian plein air frames are based on this model).

Cassetta style frame on a six-foot landscape.

For shipping you can use Mailboxes Etc. here in Florence, their store is always full of crates of art heading over the Atlantic. Ask for Paolo (they speak English). For anything over Fed-Ex’s size limit I would recommend Galli for the costs. Both shippers know Piero and you don’t need export permits on just frames which saves a bit of money.

Whatever you do though, do not order frames from Italy in inches. They will not convert the measurements and you will receive tiny little frames back. Use google to convert the sizes (just type in x inches to cm) or, as I did, print out this customizable table.


  1. Marc, when I click on the websit, I don’t get to go to it. I am a gilder. I also carve frames, and
    gild different styles, or looks from past periods. I always like to see what others are doing, as it is
    a lost art of sorts. Many artists today dont get frames gilded in real gold.

  2. I hate it when a frame shop sells ornate frames that don’t match up at the mitered corners!!! I worked in a big box frame shop for a while and steered customers away from the cheap imitation carved frames, showing them how dumb they look when there are 1/2 misses at the corners!

  3. I am an photoartrist and have an exhibition in Artromgallery, Rome in the beginning of May.

    For this exhibition I have 17 rolling prints on canvas, 140×100 cm and 70×100 cm.

    Do you know framer shop in Rome that could stretch the prints on the wood frame?

    Thanks ahead, Nathan

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