Rapallo Tourism » Art & Culture » The Lace Museum
The Lace Museum


The Museum

The Lace Museum is the only one in the whole of Liguria mainly dedicated to bobbin lace, which has been produced since the sixteenth century in the various centers of the Riviera and still worked .
The rooms display many artifacts dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, bobbin laces and laces made with other techniques, preparatory drawings , samples and embroidery, ancient Museo del Merlettolace pillows, clothes, fashion accessories, children's clothing , personal lingerie and household linen.
Most of the laces come from the archive of the famous award-winning Lace and Embroidery Manufacture, founded in Rapallo by Mario Zennaro in 1908 and remained active until 1968.
Of exceptional interest is a large panel made entirely of lace combined with various types of mosaic, it represents the characters of the Commedia dell' Arte ,(Art Comedy) conceived and designed in 1964 by the famous illustrator and stage designer Lele Luzzati to furnish an American cruise ship.Museo del Merletto
The museum is located in the elegant Villa Tigullio , once a patrician villa surrounded by the beautiful Parco Casale and the sea, and is easily accessible on foot or by car.
Inside you can see the multimedia catalog of the collections of the Museum and you can purchase The Museum Notebooks and the explanatory CD-ROM.

The Museum opened to the public between 1990 and in 1997, the three rooms on the ground floor and the five rooms on the basement. On the upper floors is located the International Library .

The collections are made up of more than 1,400 artifacts in very rare and precious lace , dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. There also are clothing , furnishings lace, single laces, a dozen of lace pillows dating from the second half of the 1700 up to 1800 and roughly 5,000 of drawings and cartoons used in the production of lace.

Museo del MerlettoOriginates from a donation to the City of Rapallo in the 70s by the Lions Club Rapallo following the closure of the famous manufactory Zennaro that , for over half a century active in Rapallo, has produced laces of such a quality such as to overcome the boundaries immediately to Liguria land to domestic and international markets earning prestigious awards in various competitions of art.
Mario Zennaro , businessman and man of culture, gathered and selected all his life rare textiles and laces leaving its precious collection currently owned by the Museum of Lace together with samples, drawings and cartoons of the Manufacture .
 As a result of the opening of the new rooms of the Museum, in 1997, other rare collections have been donated to it.

The route, which runs on two floors for a total of eight rooms, allows to admire on the upper floor - amongst a sampling of artifacts from the Collection Zennaro - a large panel in lace built in the '60s shortly before the close of the Manufacture on commission of an American shipping company for the ballroom of a cruise ship.Museo del Merletto
The panel 8.10 meters long and 1.15 high, based on a design by the great designer and painter Lele Luzzati, represents the Italian Commedia dell' Arte (Art Comedy) and summarizes to a large extent, the lace and embroidery techniques.

Downstairs the artifacts are exhibited according to techniques of construction and production sites, and you can admire, amongst other things, fine laces in silver and gold, a precious christening outfit , a set of baby’s cap, ancient umbrellas noble and civilian clothes, a collection of haute couture of the middle `900.

Exhibitions, events and catalogs 

On sale at the Museum there are the CD-ROM of the consultation system, the notebooks of the Museum, the catalog and postcards.

Periodically in the Museum of Lace thematic exhibitions are held . For updates on current exhibitions, see the " Events Calendar "


The bobbin lace 
The industry of lace in the Riviera di Levante (eastern Riviera) had its heyday in the sixteenth century, but since the thirteenth century women were working lace with gold, silver and silk yarn, which were used for the altars, for the holy garments and bedspreads .
In the fifteenth century the manufacture of lace turned more into clothing and work began to be popular at the French Court so that in 1684, to protect their own industries , France banned the import of lace .
The use of lace by the Genoese ladies was so widespread that, in an edict of 1705, very strict rules were established thus to limit the application of lace on women's clothes.
Lace work, however, remained the tradition of Tigullio and the Lace Museum reminds this ancient handicraft.



New timetable in force since 1 March 2013

OPENING HOURS from September 1st to June 30th:

Tuesday CLOSED
Wednesday from 15.00 to 18.00
Thursday from 10.00 to 12.00
Friday from 15.00 to 18.00
Saturday from 15.00 to 18.00
Sunday and holidays from 15.00 to 17.00
Groups on reservation

OPENING HOURS from July 1st to August 31st:

Tuesday CLOSED
Wednesday from 16.00 to 19.00
Thursday from 10.00 to 12.00
Friday from 16.00 to 19.00
Saturday from 16.00 to 19.00
Sunday and holidays from 17.00 to 19.00

Groups on reservation

on the following holidays :
January 1st
May 1st
July 2nd ( Patron Saint )
December 25th



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From March 1st to December 31st 2013 THE ENTRANCE TO THE MUSEUMS IS FREE
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Single Museum
Full rate Euro 3,00
Reduced (ages 6-18 years) and Schools (Minimum 15) 1,00 Euro
Reduced to Groups (minimum 15) 2,00 Euro

Two Museums
Full rate Euro 5,00
Reduced for Schools (Minimum 15) 1,50 Euro
Reduced to Groups (minimum 15) 3,00 Euro

Age less than 6 years old and over 70 years
Total disability civil and military

Upon the drawing and subsequent confirmation of a convention between the Organizations/Associations and the town council, for the two municipal museums, the rate will be :
Ordinary single museum Euro 2,50
Ordinary both museums Euro 3,50
A museum for groups (minimum 15 people) € 1.50
Both museums for groups (minimum 15 people ) Euro 2,50


Lace Museum
Villa Tigullio - Parco Casale ,
16035 Rapallo (GE)

0185 / 63305 - 63304-680604


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