dolci terrazzo: tile inspired by venetian design

by clé tile | published: Aug 31, 2022

part of cinema collection: the new era of cement tile, clé’s torrone collection of dolci terrazzo tile is bold, vibrant, and playful—the essence of italian design—in a terrazzo tile that’s durable, delightfully versatile, and as timeless as it gets.

it’s why we love dolci terrazzo.

terrazzo tile steeped in italian history and design

traditional italian terrazzo

clé dolci terrazzo is inspired by the colorful history of venice, where terrazzo was first popularized. in italy, you’ll find terrazzo everywhere: in palaces and churches, homes and shops, where it mixes marvelously with architecture and design ranging from the most modern to the most classic and traditional.

the torrone collection of terrazzo, named after italy’s legendary torrone nutty-filled nougat, features chunky bite-sized pieces of deliciously colored stone set in cement slab. it offers four different stone variations (torrone i-iv) and eight different cement colors to appeal to every palette.

dolci torrone i is composed mostly of black stones in various sizes, giving the terrazzo an undeniably graphic appeal.

dolci torrone ii features a mix of stones that range from white to pink to grey for a classic and contemporary terrazzo look.

dolci torrone iii, our most colorful option, showcases a confetti-colored pattern of sand, pink, and dark grey hues.

and dolci torrone iv’s brown and white stones give this terrazzo a bold but earthy feel. consider this a bolder version of our forage terrazzo.

how to use dolci terrazzo tile

we see it being used everywhere—just as the italians do—from kitchens and baths, entryways, and throughout the entire house. the broad palette of colors and mix of stones means that there’s a look for everyone.

use it as a starting point for design, the inspiration for everything else in the room. or, liven up a space with dolci’s effortless charm and touches of color. even use it to introduce a little hint of nature and texture into a streamlined, modern design.

there’s another benefit to dolci terrazzo. it is a through-body tile, which means that the stone does not just sit on the cement but goes all the way through. this means that the edges can be honed, polished, and left exposed, showcasing the stones within the cement tile. it’s an altogether more elevated tile.

the origins of terrazzo

while the invention of terrazzo as we know it is credited to the venetians, early examples of terrazzo flooring have been found in neolithic structures in egypt and turkey—a testament to terrazzo’s enduring strength.

italian terrazzo floors. photos: cristina celestino

the origins of terrazzo begin in 18th-century venice, where craftsmen looking to make use of excess stone scraps started incorporating the remnants into lime flooring. terrazzo’s durability made it especially crucial for the construction of large venetian palaces and homes, and it has proved flexible enough to adapt to venice’s sinking foundations without cracking.

once associated with the prudent and thrifty ingenuity of poor venetian craftsmen—who repurposed stone pieces from grand palazzos to use in their own modest homes—terrazzo is now seen around the world in palaces, hotel lobbies, and modern residences. 

terrazzo beyond italy

terrazzo was first brought to the us in the 18th century where it was used in george washington’s home as well as the vanderbilt residence on fifth avenue, among other well-known locations. one of the most recognizable terrazzo floors can be seen on the hollywood walk of fame.

after ww1, terrazzo became a tile of choice for interior designers. its smooth, minimalist look and bright color combinations worked well with art deco and modernism, and the popularization of the electric grinder in 1924 made terrazzo even more affordable and accessible.

we think it’s time for a terrazzo renaissance, and dolci terrazzo is the place to start. long live la dolce vita.