Bedonia has sprung back to life this summer; as we speak, there are still many tourists milling around our town, bringing a sense of normality and hope. And luckily, since our area is basically healthy, the summer season is proceeding almost as if nothing had happened. Some rules here and there still to observe, but on the whole, all very bland and easy to deal with.
Our local tourism authorities contributed to making this summer a success, planning many events ranging from a popular tv comedian show, to various kinds of musical concerts (still no dancing allowed unfortunately), art galleries, vintage car line-up, annual trout festival, and more besides. Another yearly appointment which invariably attracts people from other towns, is the “Mercatino dell’Artigianato” the artisan market, which features stalls offering all sorts of hand-made articles, in particular costume jewelry. Stall owners come from all around to participate in this fair, which takes place every Friday evening of August, and has done since 2009.
This little market began as a way of showcasing the many different crafts of artists in the area, but the word rapidly spread, resulting in requests of participation from further afield. Currently, stalls taking part are mostly from Liguria, Parma, La Spezia and Cremona, in addition to local people. The initial idea came from the town’s midwife, Rosanna Elmare, who later passed on the baton to members of Bedonia administration; first vice Mayor MariaPia Cattaneo, and now councillor Serena Previ, who is always on the lookout for ways to improve the event.
The tepid, lazy Friday evenings of August (this week will sadly be the last) have seen crowds of people admiring the handywork of clever artists, be it paintings, hats, hand-sewn leather bags and belts, snazzy, wired hairbands, and of course jewelry and trinkets in every form. Our Italo/American friend Evelina, who also contributes to the organization of this, and every other event in Bedonia (alongside her colleagues in the tourist office), is a one-of-a-kind master seamstress. She makes lovely face masks in colourful materials, which chase away the blues at having to wear them! But her real art lies in the adorable Barbie clothing she crafts. Dresses which little girls’ dreams are made of, frilly, lacy, dainty or fashionable clothes, a wardrobe any self-respecting Barbie doll needs to have!
Our local library also participates, selling duplicates donated by townsfolk. The money collected goes towards funding cultural activities organized by the “Circolo Lagasi”, the association which founded the library (see article “Sleepy Mountain Towns – I don’t think so). The stall is overseen by the same delightful ladies who volonteer their services as librarians.
This event is seen as a great opportunity to meet with friends, have a chat, an after-dinner drink or even better – a superb ice cream at Biolzi’s Cioccolateria (see recent article ” The Chocolate Man “). A stroll around the market, in the hope of finding that something particular and hand-crafted, and a “vasca”, as we say here ie. a length of the swimming pool, to check out any other entertainment that is usually taking place in some other square of Bedonia. And what never ceases to amaze us natives, is the number of different languages that can be overheard in such a small place, at the same time! It makes us happy to know that our beloved little Bedonia is apparently a town on many peoples’ bucket list!
Is it on yours yet?!