We are just outside the town of Radda in Chianti, in a beautiful space with a wonderful view where once there was ‘nothing’. The Lapis [pencil] joinery has been operating here for almost 50 years.


Young (almost 24) Giacomo Lapis is the first to meet us. He tells us that the company was founded by his grandfather Ascanio Lapis in 1971, when, as carpenter for the farm at Borgo di Volpaia, in his little artisan workshop he restored and built furniture, gates, fittings and fixtures and various other wooden objects and utensils.

Which is what the carpentry shop continues to do: it has evolved logistically with the move to the workshop built on a family plot in Radda in Chianti towards the end of the 1970s, and gradually it has expanded, along with its reputation, use of materials and woodworking techniques over these many years.

Giacomo recently joined the company with his father Mario Lapis and his older and younger brothers, Brunetto and Luca, who are three of the five sons and four daughters of Ascanio Lapis and Alma Matassini.

We are fortunate to meet them all and spend time with them in the joinery and discover the many and fascinating processes through which a piece of solid wood – of any type, oak or chestnut, cypress, fir, cherry, larch, poplar or cedar – passes after a five-year natural seasoning in the yard, through the phases of cutting and planing, construction , finishing and painting, ‘a simple ruler can become a window’, to use a poetic expression of Giacomo and Luca’s. 

But it can also be transformed into a door, do

or frame, table, staircase, or wardrobe that is… whatever a piece of wood can become and that is exactly what happens here.

At Falegnameria Lapis everything is designed and built to last, with the best possible materials and through certified techniques and products and cutting-edge machinery, joined with their innate craftsmanship skills.

The joinery also carries out restoration work, painting and lacquering – often directly on site.

The company has constructed and renovated internal and external timbers of many Tuscan homes for many years, with the craftsmanship and skill that can still be witnessed in many of the houses, villages and wonderful hillside farmhouses across the whole region.

Their workmanship produces fine, sturdy products that are built to last by passionate people – 

experts especially in wood and the associated skills, but competent in everything.

And the swallows return here every year, their nests in the high ceilings of the Radda in Chianti workshop kissed by the rays of the sun, on the threshold of its 50 birthday candles.

The story of a family. Solid and natural like wood, delicate like a pencil (lapis) stroke.


Info: Falegnameria Lapis Ascanio & Figli –  Carpenters in Chianti, Loc. le Bonatte, Radda in Chianti (Si) tel. 0577 738568/ email: info@falegnamerialapis.it/ www.falegnameria lapis.it