Arezzo is the main city, at the center of a geographical area full of beautiful villages in the middle of an uncontaminated nature that make this part of Tuscany unique, a little more secluded from the usual tourist routes but rich of historical and artisan traditions.
East of Arezzo lies the old town of Anghiari that annually hosts an open show dedicated to the handicraft workshops of Arezzo and its valleys (Casentino, Valdarno, Valdichiana and Valtiberina). And we thought it was the right time to visit this region.
Those who follow us on our Instagram and Facebook profile will have seen photographic previews of the 41st Mostra Mercato dell’Artigianato della Valtiberina Toscana.
The town of Anghiari is a town full of workshops and even more during the exhibition. Walking through the old town on the hill is in itself a pleasure with a breathtaking view of the valley below. And we remained pleasantly surprised by how it is well cared and clean.
Our first stop was the Palazzo Pretorio with a reconstruction created by T.A.C.S. about the use of the traditional wool fabric typical of Casentino area since medieval times and an exhibition of the objects created for I Mestieri dell’Arte fra Tevere e Arno, of which we particularly noticed the lace pillow works of the Associazione Il Tombolo di Anghiari, with its long tradition, the mosaic carpet created by Andreina Giorgia Carpenito and the jewelry works of different workshops of the valleys.
We then walked through the streets of Anghiari thrilled by meetings with local and outsider craftsmen showing their handiwork.
In particular, we would like to dwell on the visit of two special workshops.
The first is to Elena Merendelli, winner of the Premio Piero della Francesca for the artisan creativity, whose we liked the lamps and the reuse works of old materials.
The second is the visit of Busatti, fabric manufacturers from eight generations. The first floor has a beautiful showroom of fabrics while the floor below has the textile production workshop. Usually we are dedicated to artisans who work with few machines, but it is very interesting to have a chance to visit a workshop open to all with a complete view of the work on the fabric in a mix of older modern mechanical looms.
We also entered in quirky shops where you can still find everything.
We didn’t miss museums and beautiful churches to end the visit.
Finally we would like to congratulate the town of Anghiari staff on making an old town alive and attractive to all with many activities throughout the year: from important classical music concerts during the summer to special sporting events such as a race riding old bicycles, from antique markets to the Palio and many others.