Recent studies have shown that the Italian Lute-making school, which was founded in the 19th century, despite what had been said up until a few years ago, has nevertheless, demonstrated a moment of importance creating a new style and method of working.

The Piedmontese school has been recognised as the most prestigious one because of its unique characteristic styles which derived from the rigour of the over-alps Lute-making school and the creativity of the Italian one. We mustn’t forget the presence of many French builders and tradesman in Turin during the Napoleonic rule at the start of the century, which influenced deeply the local production.

This thriving period started with the arrival of Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, whose instruments became a model for many and his intuitions took his works to numerous amount of shops as well as to his sons: Gaetano I e Carlo, specialists in guitar making, restoring and trading antique instruments.

An extraordinary figure, known as the biggest representative of the Italian Lute making of the 800s, the most appreciated among the makers, is Giovanni Francesco Pressenda. Who came from Lequio Berra (Alba) arrived in Turin, in 1817-18 where he started to work for some French Lute makers, enabling him to create his own style, making instruments which were precise and technically perfect, original in their shape and covered with a splendid oil polish.    

After him came another important Lute maker, Giuseppe Rocca di Barbaresco, who was able to create his own unique style re-interpreting the “Messia” of the Stradivari model and the “Alard” of the Guarnieri one, despite beginning wih a classic style.

At the same time Gioffredo Rinaldi, whose shop was also recognized, was particularly appreciated in London and Paris. Not forgetting Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (and family), remembering his contacts with the French school, with M.Mermillot in particular. One of the most important students of Rinaldi was Enrico Marchetti, whose best works were finished at the end of the 19 century and the beginning of the next.

Another maker who deserves further study was Giorgio Gatti, who used a model which was inspired to Pressenda’s style.  Unmistakeable and requested was Carlo Giuseppe Oddone, above all for his style of cutting, his curlicue and effe, became famous not only for restoring but for his makings; his student Evasio Emilio Guerra, excellent at making but not so well-known due to the fact that often he worked for more famous contemporary  artists.

The modern Italian Lute making is well known in the world thanks to the works of Annibale Fagnola; he made instruments with diverse models, preferring Pressenda’s ones, of which he dedicated various interpretations.

Today the Piedmontese school are worthily represented by other meaningful Lute makers who are as follows; Arnaldo Morano, Robert Collini, Gabriele Negri, Italo Ferrarese, Enzo Cena, Dario Vernè, Paolo Rabbino.