The story of the Grilli family workshop starts in 1935 in the stone city of Gubbio, when Enzo Grilli, who was just 11, became master of the workshop. His very early works show his considerable standing, in fact, the young stonecutter was engaged in the expansion of the monumental cemetery. Unfortunately, the war years weighed heavily on the Grillis and during this difficult time Enzo decided to move to the small village of Narni. During his stay in Narni, Enzo completed various works such as the statue of a bee at the police station in Terni. Back in Gubbio after the war, he was involved as a stonecutter in the construction of the Mausoleum of the Forty Martyrs and in the restoration of the main altar of the Basilica of St. Ubaldo of Gubbio.
A passion for the art of stone-carving was handed down from father to son, so Luca Grilli, Enzo’s son, began working with his father in the 1980’s. Their work, which is full of passion, is not merely a manual exercise, consisting of technical measures and proportions. For them, it has become an art form that symbolises the whole story of the Grilli family workshop.
Many important and satisfying commissions followed year after year for Enzo and his son Luca, such as the faithful reproduction of the “office” of the Duke of Urbino Federico da Montefeltro, where Enzo carefully replicated the original architrave and doorposts of the entrance doors of the Duke’s study, which are now exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Enzo worked alongside Luca, on the restoration of many influential and prestigious historic buildings, such as the Palazzo dei Consoli of Gubbio, the Ducal Palace and numerous residences of the renowned, ancient families of Gubbio and the surrounding area. In addition, the Grilli craftsmen worked on the restoration of the upper basin of the fountain of the Bargello in Gubbio, as well as making church altars and sacred furnishings throughout Italy, for example the altar of the church of the Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany located in Terlizzi (Puglia).
In 1993, Luca became the owner of the company, following in his father and teacher Enzo’s footsteps. A commitment, love and passion for this art form are in Luca’s blood. The young stonecutter worked on the construction of the altar of the Church of Vittorina of Gubbio; the new altar of the Porziuncola in the Franciscan convent of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi; the altar in the Chapel of the Basilica of St. Ubaldo in Gubbio. He also carved the pulpit of the Basilica of Gubbio and in the same Basilica, he has created a new semicircular “theatre of peace.”
Luca has also been involved in producing artistic funeral aedicules, the recent restoration of the facade of a building on Benveduti Ondedei Street in Gubbio, the renovation of the building and terrace of the Ducal residence of Federico da Montefeltro in Gubbio, the restoration of the castle of Carbonana and the production of historical coats of arms for the Conti Porcelli family. He has also been involved in some important major restoration projects, such as the renovation of special insets on the fountain Sant’Ercolano in Perugia and the windows of the Mausoleum of the Forty Martyrs of Gubbio. Luca also made the artistic tank for the miraculous fountain of St. Ubaldo, on the avenues of Mount Ingino. Amongst his recent works, is a sculpture of a rose containing a reliquary for the altar dedicated to St. George in the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi in Corso Garibaldi in Gubbio.
For years, the company has dealt with both marble and stone processing, from traditional to modern including restoration work. The company is also engaged in interior and exterior design work. For eighty years now, thanks to Luca’s commitment and passion, the Grillis workshop has been continuing to convey a passion for handcrafted work that comes from the heart, taking simple “pieces” of stone and turning them into “pieces” of history.