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THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2022 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 S ome objects tell us a b o u t t h e c r a f t s that created them. Crafts with a long h i s t o r y m a d e o f techniques, tools, and skills improved through experience and trained by the slow, quiet toiling of the workshop. Crafts t h a t d e v e l o p e d t h r o u g h knowledgeable hands, blessed with secrets passed on from one generation to the other. W h e n w e a r e o n h o l i d a y and we visit an Italian city, we often buy a piece of local craftsmanship to have a memory of the beauty we are experi- encing, which is typical of so many places in Italy. Charming little objects that enchant us from the storefronts, or that are often created in front of buyers, to show how they are manu- factured. On these occasions, we should reflect on what we buy. What we get isn't mass-produced, it doesn't come from a soulless factory's assembly line. What we are packing into our suitcase is a tiny fragment of an immense knowledge, Arts, crafts, and workshops. Skills and beauty that make Italy special From the Editor often acquired through centuries and built on experience. Even more importantly, with our purchase we supported quality and not the ugly "made in plastic" that comes from some place miles away from the Belpaese: horrible, fake objects so many buy because they are cheap. When we buy authentic Murano glass, or Volterra alabaster we contribute to bringing Italian know-how around the world. We, in other words, support a slice of Italian culture. From the enchanting ceramics of Caltagirone, in the Sicil- ian province of Catania, to Tuscany's own leather, famously produced in cities like Arezzo; from hand-wrought iron made by Vicenza's blacksmiths to Sardinia's delicate filigree, where metal becomes as light as feather. Even walking into a bakery or a pasticceria can be enough to experience the sub- lime art of Italian manual craftsmanship. Martorana fruit is way more than candy, it is quintessential art. When we shape and color almond pasta reale, transforming it into peaches, apricots and cherries, we pay respect to the creativity of those Benedictine nuns who, centuries ago in Palermo, came out with this ingenious idea to colorfully decorate their bare, winter orchard for a special occasion. If you go to Olmedo, in Sardinia, when there is a wedding, a christening, an engagement, or any other important liturgi- c a l f e a s t , y o u d o n ' t e a t s i m p l e b r e a d , y o u e a t p a n e fioridu (bread in bloom). Talented home bakers, following what can be considered a true family ritual, shape and work the dough sapiently and transform it into works of art. The same can be said of pane fine piccadu, which may be just bread made with simple water and flour, but reproduces the beauty of an embroidered fabric. The difference between normal bread and these examples of traditional artistry lies in the hands that made them. Then we have objects we can't buy but belong to the local heritage that makes every place special: the grindstone of an olive press; Puglia's underground oil mills, where extra vir- gin olive oil is produced following ancient rural methods; the nets of Molise's trabucchi, with their tales of traditional f i s h i n g a l o n g t h e A d r i a t i c S e a ; o r V e n i c e ' s m a e s t r i remieri, who still produce oars and forcole using techniques developed back in the centuries of La Serenissima's crafts corporations. From North to South, Italy is full of workshops that tell the story of the country, with its traditions, habits, han- dovers, and social ritual. They are bona fide "schools" that should be protected and cherished like precious, rare, and prestigious stones. And not only because each of them is home to talented interpreters of an art and a know-how they are now passing on to the next generations, but because they are themselves an important piece of Italy's incredibly rich cultural heritage. We shouldn't forget how, during the Renaissance, you would go a bottega, to a workshop, if you wanted to learn a craft. You would join the workshop of a Maestro to learn all the secrets of the profession, whether you were Leonardo da Vinci or a humble cobbler. It was an obligated path for those who wanted to make a carrier out of the work of their hands, or for young, talented but inexperienced artists who needed to acquire the right skills. The workshop was the place where you learned how to draw, carve, sculpt, decorate, engrave or paint. The greatest of our artists did an apprenticeship in a workshop, from Botticelli to Perugino, to Michelangelo Buonarroti. All the talents the world envies us have come out of a workshop. Their inspiration, knowledge, creativity, and originality all blossomed thanks to the solid foundations their mentors, masters of arts and crafts, gave them. Simone Schiavinato, Editor Simone Schiavinato NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 Member of FUSIE (Federazione Unitaria Stampa Italianaall'Estero), COGITO L'Italo-Americano 610 West Foothill Blvd. Unit D, Monrovia, CA 91016 - Tel.: (626) 359-7715 PLEASE SEND CORRESPONDENCE TO P.O. BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano Newspaper (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), www.italoamericano.org, is the largest and longest-running Italian newspaper in America, not to mention the cultural and news resource for all things Italian in the US. A bilingual newspaper which repre- sents an historical landmark for the Italian American Communities in the West Coast and throughout the US. L'Italo-Americano benefits from subsi- dies by the Italian Government, Mem- berships and Donations intended to support and not interrupt a mission that began in 1908 to preserve and promote the Italian language and cul- ture in the USA Periodicals postage paid at Monrovia, California 91016, and additional mailing offices. PUBLISHER Robert Barbera Grande Ufficiale EDITOR IN CHIEF Simone Schiavinato ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Patrick Abbate EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Barbara Minafra COPY EDITOR Francesca Bezzone LOS ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR Silvia Giudici SAN FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTORS Catherine Accardi Serena Perfetto SEATTLE CONTRIBUTOR Rita Cipalla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mariella Radaelli, Francesca Bezzone, Luca Ferrari, Stefano Carnevali, Paula Reynolds, Nicoletta Curradi, Generoso D'Agnese, Fabrizio Del Bimbo, Maria Gloria, Alfonso Guerriero Jr., Anthony Di Renzo Serena Perfetto, Kenneth Scambray, Chiara D'Alessio © 2020 L'Italo-Americano Membership: One year $59 - Single copy $2.25 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to L'Italo Americano PO Box 6528 Altadena, CA 91003

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