The artisan traditions of Italy’s Marche region have their roots in the Middle Ages, since then, these ancient crafts such as the process of making paper, accordions, clothing, furniture and terracotta all by hand, have been passed down from generation to generation and still exist today.
Since the mid-nineteenth century the town of Castelfidardo has been known as the home of the best accordions in the world, made with skill and passion in a strictly traditional and artisanal way. To promote the culture and beauty of this craft, in 1981 the Municipality opened the International Accordion Museum in a beautiful sixteenth-century building, the museum features a wonderful collection of 350 specimens from 22 countries, with illustrative videos and reproductions of older artifact. The museum takes visitors on an exciting journey to discover and instrument nicknamed a “mini-orchestra”.
FABRIANO MASTERY ON PAPER
Since the 13th century, the craft of papermaking has been popular in the Marche region. This tradition method of manufacturing paper has is done using recycled garments and other alternative materials, such as cotton rags and eventually linen and hemp rags as well . The center of this papermaking process is found in the town of Fabriano in the Marche region. Fabriano paper makers were the first to use the watermark, useful for distinguishing paper products of different types and qualities, and to avoid counterfeiting. The centuries-old paper-making tradition in the Marche involves the development of important artistic craft sectors, such as the restoration of ancient books and artistic bookbinding. The Marche region boasts the greatest number of artisan bookbinding workshops still operating today, these workshops are dedicated to binding books, photo albums, diaries and papers made entirely by hand, with high quality materials (leather and handmade paper), while respecting the paper production traditions of the region.
The legend of the Montappone hat involves a king who owned the largest collection of crowns ever seen. The king promised his daughter’s hand to the man who would bring the most particular of crowns as a pledge of love. A young farmer came to the palace with a straw hat, made by intertwining the ears of wheat, imitating the movement of birds. The king was delighted and granted him his daughter in marriage. Today the production of the hat is the economic engine of the town of Montappone and is also the reason why this small village in the Marche is known all over the world.