|City Hall decorated for the festa
In Northern Lazio's quiet towns the most important festivals are all about eating and food.
Although equidistant from cosmopolitan Rome and fashionable Florence, here in Etruria food and wine take precedence over bella figura and sexy shoes .
|enjoying pizze fritte at the festival of San Antonio
The Tuesday morning market brings a weekly quota of fashion that is brightly colored, cheap and chic, but mostly made in China.
|summer fashion blowing in the wind
|one of the bancarelle at the weekly market
Then for two weekends in June there is the annual Cene in Cantine festival and the entire town takes on a whole new look.
|handmade cloth dolls
A flood of visitors from all over the province and from Rome descend to partake of the excellent food prepared and served in the underground cantine.
The main street becomes pedestrian, cars are banned and there may be a bit of havoc late at night due to groups of young people who have had too much wine.
|tapestry bags handmade in Vetralla
Vetralla is also invaded by a few dozen local artisans with handmade bags, fashion accessories and artisanal handicrafts.
|Snow White and 7 dwarfs
A wide array of unique handmade pieces are displayed on tables along the one, central street and also in numerous tiny shops of the centro storico.
|Graziella, Maria Flavia and Isolina with their handicrafts
Most of these shops are usually closed due to lack of customers who flock instead to supermarkets and malls for their shopping needs.
|crocheted evening purse
|coral and seashells vase
|Barbara 's handmade items clash with nearby Chinese shop
|bags, bracelets and T shirts from 4 to 25 euro
|belts made to last a lifetime
Most of the artisans are women, but I did meet a sculptor from Viterbo who also restores antique furniture and accepts commissions for sculptures.
|Cristiano, wood sculptor
He was working on a linden wood sculpture of a dolphin, a detail of
|from design to finished sculpture
|tools of the trade
Hopefully the city administrators will give incentives to craftsmen and shop owners to keep the premises open, giving craftspeople a place to work and display their wares and thus bring the historic centre back to life.
Do you like to visit artisans' workshops?
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