Between flavours and knowledge. Maniago cutlery industry, an history of water, earth and fire.

Subject of the study

Visitors will discover Maniago, also called the small Italian Toledo, famous all over the world for its production of knives and of all kinds of cutting tools, for its enogastronomy and its surrounding foothills (Pedenmontana pordenonese).

In 1453 Nicolò from Maniago, an aristocrat living in Maniago,  obtained permission from Venice Water Authority to canalize into an irrigation canal the water of the Còlvera stream in order to irrigate the fertile fields of the area. Due to the rough morphology of the territory, the canal had to be built on a winding path which favoured the establishment of many business, farm and artisan activities.  Along this irrigation canal, in correspondence of suitable drops in height, mills, sawmills and blacksmith's forges were built, where people also started the age-long tradition of cutlery industry.

This glorious tradition has been carried on also in the third millennium. Today Maniago is a leader in the production of cutting tools: kitchen and table knives, scissors, corkscrews, knives for sport and leisure, cutting blades for multiple uses. These products are distributed not only in Italy but all around the world, especially in the European, America and Asian markets. Thanks to the high technologies employed and the competence of employees, the 70 enterprises of the District are able to produce quality products valued worldwide, which do not fear the international competitiveness.



The characteristics of the Industrial Knife and Metal District

The Industrial District of Maniago – officially recognized by regional law n.169/02.02.2007- comprises enterprises specialized in different technological areas, products and operating in different markets, located in Maniago and in the surrounding municipalities. The district is made up of the traditional cutlery industry and mechanics, together with the important sector of the metallurgy and steel industry. The enterprises of the cutlery sector produce a wide range of products, not only knives, but also steel blades, small steel items and cutting tools for every day life, work and industry. The regional law n.169/02.02.2007 widened the industrial sectors of the district system, including also mechanics and metallurgy, which were previously not considered part of the district.


Aspects of excellence of the circuit

The remarkable technological innovations of recent years - such as EDM (Electro Discharge Machining), waterjet cutting, special welding processes, capacity to control high temperatures in the furnace, availability of fine-grained and high-hardness abrasives, use of CNC machines - have favoured not only an increase of the productivity in terms of quantity and types of products manufactured, but also have allowed to widen the production range, including new products in addition to the traditional ones.

Innovation, design and product quality are precisely the three distinctive and essential aspects on which the Maniago District has invested in the last ten years. A special mention should be made in relation to the International Design Competition for Knives "Maniago Design" and the Workshop "Homofaber Maniago Meeting".



Circuit organization

The circuit lasts 5 days, including two 2 daily visits to production realities of excellence, punctuated by a pause of "gastronomic discovery" of the territory.

The cuisine heritage relies on simple and genuine ingredients of peasant origin, that thanks to creativity has been reinvented offering hearty and tasty dishes.
There are many varieties of meat and seasoned meat: Pitina (and its peta and petuccia versions,) composed of a learned mixture of meat and different herbs. Pitina has a circular shape and is lightly smoked after being sprinkled with maize flour.

Besides the many meat game there is a traditional dish that deserves mention: “muset” (or cotechino a large boiled pork sausage) with “brovada”, (white turnips macerated and fermented during one month covered by black grapes "vinaccia", remains of  wine processing, inside a wooden vat and then cooked).

There is a rich selection of cheeses: in addition to those produced in alpine huts, with intense taste and traces of occasionally bitter, mountain grasses, and  the diaries cheese, the most famous is Montasio. There are also: “Formai dal Cit”, a spreadable cheese with a strong, intense and a bit spicy taste; “Formaggio Asìno”(salted cheese) a cheese with a distinctive savoury, slightly tangy flavour which is evident in the classic version and less assertive in soft Asìno. Cheese (along with potatoes) is the main ingredient in one of the most famous dishes of the local tradition: Frico, (made of a mix of cheeses cooked with potatoes). 


Very rich is the variety of wine produced, and in particular the rediscovery of ancient native Friulan vines like Forgiarìn, Scjaglìn, Piculit neri (intense ruby red colour), and Ucelùt, that were brought to new life.

At the end of the circuit the visitors will have the opportunity to make a guided tour at the Museum of blacksmith art and of cutlery works (Museo dell’arte fabbrile e delle coltellerie) which preserves the historical memory and the present productions of the Knife District. The Museum is in the building that since beginning of 1900 housed the first large cutlery works in Maniago.

Maximum number of group components: 8
Cost: -

List of seminars

Seminar Company Length
A "steel-like reputation" Ausonia Nanutti Beltrame spa 2 h
A long story of innovation, speed and collaborativeness Vipaco srl 2 h
Details which make the difference Coltellerie Maserin snc 2 h
Fox products and the foresight of the innovations Oreste Frati srl 2 h
Knives in H2o Mac Coltellerie srl 2 h
Know-how for customers Mercury snc di Del Ben f. e s. 2 h
Passion for research Medesy srl 2 h
Professional competence in the art of cutting Wictor s.r.l. 2 h
Solutions for change LionSteel s.a.s. 2 h
Technology applied in blades manifacturing Bemar S.r.l. 2 h
Women and blades F.lli Olivetto srl 2 h

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