Gutless: Italy runs out of violin strings

Gutless: Italy runs out of violin strings


norman lebrecht

November 14, 2011

I have received the following notice from a reputable supplier:

Welcome to Aquila Corde Armoniche – Early Music strings section


Caldogno, November 14- 2011


We regret to inform our customers that the production of gut strings is closed both for bad quality of raw material, that since some months is sold to us, and for the strict European legislation, and therefore also Italian, that forbids the production and use of gut  and prohibits not only the use of Italian or European gut , but also the import of raw material extra EU.
We are committed to look for new solutions; we cannot provide assurances, however, that the problem can be solved quickly.
Once we will be able to guarantee a quality that satisfies us, we will advise in our website.
Please be advised that we have already finished existing stock of gut strings and we are not able to meet any exemption request.
 In case you are interested, please note that the office in charge of applying above mentioned norms is :

Ministero della Salute, Dipartimento della Sanità per la Tutela  della sanità Pubblica e Veterinaria, della Sicurezza Alimentazione Ufficio III della DGSAN Dott. Serraino Tiziana
Thank you for being with us throughout all these years.
Mimmo Peruffo



  • RichardG says:

    Sounds a little bit like how the late Peter Butterworth’s character talked in Carry On Abroad.

  • Robert E. Seletsky says:

    No laughing matter for thousands of string players who rely on European companies like Aquila for strings.

  • Tamsin Lewis says:

    I use Aquila strings for most of my early instruments, so have ordered several strings today so that I have enough to tide me over for a while.
    Let’s hope that the ban will soon be overturned

  • Tamsin Lewis says:

    When I phoned Bridgewood and Neitzert ( to order the strings this morning, they also warned me about the notice on the Aquila website – so I’d say buy now while stocks last!