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Typical Craftsmanship

Marche Region typical handicraft is made up by several working activities belonging to an old tradition and they are carried out with so many different materials. Among them two artisan productions are worth to be mentioned: the lacemaker and the copper productions. Offida, together with Appignano del Tronto and Castignano, are some of the main centres for the production of lace made on a lace-pillow (called “tombolo”)The lace material is made with hemp or linen or cotton threads or with silver or golden threads and this production is mainly carried out by women. In Offida during the hottest months of the year you can meet some ladies on their houses ' thresholds making “tombolo” repeating those precise and fascinating movements with their hands which create a so wide range of “tombolo” designs. The lacemaker that works sat and bent on the lace-pillow, looking at the paperboard, punched by many pins, following the pattern of the “tombolo” design and winding the bobbins is the typical picture which made Offida famous in the world. Force, a mountain location on the Sibillini territory, is defined the “copper town”, but the copper artisan productions is not only limited in Force but this activity spread in other nearby centres such as Comunanza and Ascoli Piceno. Among the wide range of copper items you can find the “conca” a typical container where drinkable water used to be kept in the past expecially in the rural areas and women used to carry them on the top of their heads keeping them with perfect balance through the use of the “cercine” a pad placed between the head and the “conca”. The coppersmiths from Force were well known in some of the main markets and fairs where they used to offer their valued goods: sprayer pumps, skimming spoon and in particular cauldrons for boiling wine for “cooked wine” production. Among the valued goods they offered you could also find utensils for daily uses like: pots, basins ( nice amphoras to carry drinkalbe water in past and now used as umbrella-stand), warming pan. You have to go to Force historical centre to meet the old coppersmiths' shops, there are only two left. The Tronto valley, between Ascoli Piceno and Acquasanta Terme, is plenty of the lapis Tiburtinus, the stone from Tivoli. Romans have introduced the use of travertine for buildings, still present and it characterizes the unicity of the historical centre of Piceno chief town. Travertine is a stone which fits for artisanal working and the marble-cutters from Tronto use it to produce memorial tablets, sign-boards and basso-rilievo, as well as vases, benches and tables, fireplaces, different types of containers for the gardens or for entrances and wash-basins. Further to all the above listed items they recently started the production of ornamental things and souvenirs in particular, paper-weight and penholders. The artesanal part of Ascoli Piceno town develops along Pretoriana road, in the centre of the town, on the Roman axis. The most common handicraft is the majolica, high expression of art, which exhalts the manufactured articles giving the most precise meaning to art in itself. Majolica's origin goes back to very old times this is certified by fragments of amphoras, plattes, jugs belonging to Italic, Roman and middle Ages which have been found in several parts of the town and nearby. Fermo, recently chief town of the province, is a University town, a centre for Technical Studies ( “ITI MONTANI” is a High School famous all over Italy) and the main religious centre (its archdiocese is one of the main important in Marche Region), Fermo was also famous for its “potters” and “furnacemen”, in the past there were a lot of them and also a lot of smiths specialized in the production and casting of the bells. Now there are blackmiths producing gates, iron bars, beds and andirons. In the ceramists, restorers and goldsmith shops you can buy silverware, goldworks produced following the renowned Piceno tradition. Towards the end of the nineteenth Century in Fermo area there was a considerable number of workshops for shoes production, this was the main activity and the main economical resource for the following towns: Montegranaro, Monte Urano, S. Elpidio a Mare and later on Porto S. Elpidio.As time goes by shoes industrial production started, even though the majority of the Companies still present in this area are small and family managed Companies which constitutes an innovative network of an economic model appreciated all over the world. You can have an evocative trip in the past if you visit the Footwear Museum in Sant'Elpidio a Mare where there is the historical evolution of footwear in Marche Region, you will also see some old times cars, shoes belonging to some famous people and an accurate reconstruction of an artisanal workshop in the 40s. The art of interlacing single straws made Montappone, Falerone, Monte Vidon Corrado and Massa Fermana famous for the production of hats which are popular all over Italy and abroad. The hats Museum in Montappone shows all the different hat production stages from the straws working till the press which gives shape to the hat, the Museum also shows machines, pannels and several types of hats. In this area it is produced the 85% of all national hat production and great part of the world hats production. Montappone is the most important centre in Europe for hats production and it is amazing to know that hat manufacture is still linked to artistic hand made procedures. Montottone is known as “lu paese de li coccià” (the earthenware town) since there is a great tradition of terracotta workmanship, this handicraft was and still is passion, art but even a cultural factor. Till the middle of last Century in Montottone there were many crockery and pottery manufactories, where a lot of potters, working there, were famous for the jugs, crockery such as glasses, dishes and pots they produced. Today the Museum antique ceramics crockery keeps the special Montottone art. Amandola is one of the main relevant town among the Sibillini mountains Community thanks to its history which is charachterized by a constant development expressed in a mighty, silent and intent architectural monumentality. People from Amandola tested themselves in different artisanal activities in particular cabinetmaking and antique furnitures restoration. The furnitures restoration shops are not as many as in the past and those left continue to work and produce following a cadence which respects the patient attention to details, taking care of the wood selection and strictly observing artisanal production procedures.


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