This weekend we were in Pistoia always looking for new stories about artisans and territories and cities to explore.
Pistoia is just 30 km from Florence and it is easily reached by train or car. It is also a good start for a visit of other famous surroundings, above all the Health SPA of Montecatini and the towns of Lucca and Pisa.
The main occasion was the visit of the Arts & Crafts fair held in the former Brera factory right outside the train station. Here we made some interesting encounters, between the Tuscan tradition and the emerging youth.
The fair is dedicated exclusively to the textile crafts and it is for all those who weave by hand so that they can show their products. It is also an important event for craftsmen and textile art scholars with its conferences, workshops and exhibitions.
The place where the event is held has also a historical importance for Italian weaving. In the second half of the ‘800 a cotton mill was implanted in Collegno and the village was born and developed around the factory. In 1972 the mill closed, but today there is still its memory and the Association works to re-establish the link between work-weaving-village.
An appointment that we’ll try not to miss, always looking for artisans to interview and visit.
The heritage of King Ferdinand still survives today in the local silk and textile manufacturing companies, working for an elite of foreign clients such as the Buckingham Palace, the White House, Quirinale Palace and Palazzo Chigi. The Belvedere of San Leucio owns a Living Silk Museum with some original ancient looms and machinery restored and displayed inside the Belvedere courtyard, showing all the phases of silk production.
The ancient silk factory, founded in 1776, closed few years ago for bankruptcy but now it is back running thanks to a group of Caserta entrepreneurs who have decided to revive the silk production, even adding a research laboratory and a factory of fiber components.
The operation is a real cultural challenge that emphasizes the link between past and present, between tradition and modernity, employing twenty people in the production and making use of the mastery of experts who will provide expertise and professionalism.
Since 1997 San Leucio resort is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in Europe as part of the Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli and the San Leucio Complex. Since 1999 during the summer at San Leucio the Leuciana Festival is held, to promote the Belvedere of San Leucio and its park.