In recent years, the local administration, thanks also to the presence of young blood, has conjured up a number of innovations which have transformed Bedonia into the “place to be” during the summer months. We locals sometimes have the impression of having been teleported to Rimini, where Italian chitchat mingles with English, French, German and other languages besides. Along the main road of Bedonia – Via Garibaldi – every café has an outside seating area, where you can sip on something nice and lazily watch the world go by. It’s a place for the locals to meet up with friends for a cappuccino and a chat, for tourists to feast on a flaky croissant or a piece of locally baked focaccia for breakfast, or enjoy an aperitif accompanied by quantities of savoury tidbits, amongst noisy greetings and the hubbub of the crowd. The great thing about a “paese” like ours, is that when you venture out, you will always find someone to exchange a few words with – everyone knows each other! (Sometimes a little too well!)
Add to this welcoming feeling the various afore-mentioned innovations which have been taking place all summer long, and you have a town which literally teems with liveliness; every Friday evening during the month of August for example, there is an artisan market in the heart of Bedonia, where you can find many different hand-crafted articles ranging from costume jewelry to oil paintings, hand-made soaps, fancy aprons in every material and color, creations with semi-precious stones and minerals, not to mention beautifully crafted leather bags and other similar objects. While people are idly milling around and choosing a particular gift to take home, there is often a background of live music provided by one or more of the cafés, or a concert of some kind. Last Friday a chamber music ensemble delighted a substantial crowd of spectators with their classical pieces in Piazza Centinaro. Groups of kids, in the hope of earning a few cents, take advantage of the moment by setting up stalls and selling things they no longer use; toys, cds or books. And talking of books, the local library also has a stand every year which sells unnecessary double copies of books, the proceeds of which are used to finance various cultural activities. One example; twice yearly courses organised by the “Circolo Lagasi” in English, sewing, photography and cold porcelain.
Then there are artists displaying their work – be it clay sculpture, handiwork in wood, or photographic exhibitions. Last year a local photo enthusiast hung blowups of Bedonia as it used to be, all around town – each photo strategically placed in the position referred to in the picture. This brought back memories to the elderly, and aroused astonishment to some extent amongst the young generation, who found it difficult to believe the changes which have taken place in the last 50 years. The year before, the photos were all of local personalities, many of whom are sadly no longer with us, and these also sparked off wistful memories and many laughs.
So Bedonia has become a lively place thanks to new ideas, but its charm also derives from its fortunate geographical position; nestled in the Taro Valley, surrounded by mountains and woodlands, its climate is affected by the proximity of the coast – as the crow flies! Plenty of scope for wonderful hikes around the area during the day, and in the evenings – Bedonia by night is beckoning to you!
Something for everyone here, so – are you already putting us on your bucket list?!