Saturday, March 21, 2015

Antiques Show in Viterbo's Papal Palace

outside the Papal Palace 
The  most  historic  part of Viterbo  will be a  lively place  for the next  10 days thanks to the revived antiques show  being held inside the halls of the 12th century Papal Palace, where  in 1271 the first conclave (cum clave, with the keys) forced the  cardinals gathered  there to elect a new pope after having stalled for 18 months.

I have been reporting on the Viterbo Antiques Fair  since its inception  35 years ago, so yesterday’s inauguration  was  very much a déjà vu experience . 
article from 1981

reporting on Viterbo show, 1983

an elegant table 

Giulio Curti (BIC Lazio) and wife, Felice Orlandini (Polizia di Stato) & Fulvio
When I covered the first Viterbo Antiques show in 1980, we waited on the steps while dealers  finished  setting up their stands and the red carpet was being unrolled. 
last minute preparations
There was some scurrying also yesterday  before the Mayor  arrived  to cut the  ribbon.
 Mayor Michelini cuts the ribbon,with Giorgia  of Archeoares 

The number of exhibitors (43) is about the same as the first editions of the fair and there has been a generational change with many new  names and younger faces.  
Keeping up with modern times the organizers served finger food and drinks and local reporters  concentrated  on snapping pictures of  politicians, the bishop and local VIPs rather than the works of art.

Villa San Michele organized the drinks reception
The show fills three levels of the Papal Palace and is open to the public on weekday afternoons (from 3 p.m.) and all day on Friday, Saturday and Sundays. 

Thus dealers from out of town (the majority) have a chance to  enjoy the local amenities which include  hot thermal pools, Etruscan sites, Renaissance palaces and gardens.

The entrance ticket is also valid for  the Museo Civico  of Viterbo where you can see  masterpieces by Sebastiano del Piombo  and an exhibit on the  Knights Templars.  
1920s-30s ceramics of Raffaello Pernici
Special half-price  tickets (5 instead of 10 euro) are available to my readers  on Friday morning, March  27th  at 11 am. 
Meeting place, Papal Palace, Viterbo.

portrait of a 17th century violinist of Cremona

  Let me know if you want to join us, leaving a message in the comments box below.
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Art Dèco  clock 
For  more on buying antiques,  styles and stories  check the Antiques section of  
Rated Number 1  by Google for Antiques in Italy 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fashion, artisans and historic cafes

Fashionable Roberta De Vito and Fulvio, Piazza dei Priori, Viterbo

Those of us who live in the provinces  still see women wearing  fur coats  for the fashion statement of  small town Italy is very conservative. 
historic palazzo on the Corso, Viterbo
A  stroll  along the Corso in any  provincial town in central Italy includes  meetings with old friends,  admiring vintage cars  and, if its a Sunday, a plethora of people with  packets of pastries to enrich the Sunday lunch. 
vintage FIAT 600 
APE flower seller 

If the town is Viterbo the pastries  will probably come from the newest chic pastry shop Le Cose Buone  or  the newly reopened   Café  Schenardi in an historic palazzo along the Corso.

mini pastries 

Since 1492, the historic building has been operating in different guises: a bank in the 1500s, an inn where Queen Victoria stayed and even  a McDonald’s . UPDATE:  the bar has recently been closed down. (July  2017) 
the historic Schenardi cafe,Viterbo

 The  bar is looking good but  if they want my  custom, they will need to lower the volume of the piped music.

Rosina's bags 

Handmade fashion "artiginato" is very much alive in the province of Viterbo. 
Sala Anselmi, Viterbo 

  This week to celebrate  International Womens’ Day, a group of artisans have set up an exhibit and sale of  their handmade wares in the  Sala Anselmi, in the center of town.
Lina's beautiful  dolls 

I noted  some lovely hand-made dolls and  aprons while the gaudy trinkets and flashy necklaces left me cold. 
 Rosina Presutti  has some good looking bags in waterproof cotton,  velvet, leather and other materials. The pricing is also unique – a  cute ladybug  cotton print tote put me back only 5 euro and her attractive bags are going for 60 euro.

We are fortunate to have many valid artisans working in our area. 
Thanks go to second-generation local blacksmith Angelo Pieracci  who creates, from your design or his, unique balustrades,  bed heads, curtain  rods, door handles, etc. 
This week one of the massive  wrought iron  armchairs, originally made in Florence in the 1970s,  was  brought back to life  by Angelo with a new wrought iron  seat  to replace  the ruined leather.  
wrought iron with a cushion instead of leather seat

 vintage armchair  awaits restoration  

Now the search is on for the  upholsterer who can transform this  1930s  Frau armchair  which has survived three generations of use.   Here is the “before” photo. In a few months  I will publish the
 ”after”  photo  when the ruined leather has been  stripped away and  a new  (velvet ?)  upholstery has been  added making it useful for the next  three  generations. Suggestions for type and color  of covering and upholsterer are welcome.   UPDATE : Paola Mattiacci upholster in  Vetralla has given a new lease on life to the armchair.  

Who can spot the photo that was NOT taken in Viterbo, but in Rome ??

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Signs and Colors of Spring

van Gogh scarf 
For all of you who are still in the grip of winter cold  and snowdrifts in northern Europe and USA, here is a bit of local color and Italian sunshine to warm up your day.

  Hopefully these pictures taken around Vetralla and Viterbo in the past couple of days will convince you that spring is just around the corner.

Sunday  market in Piazza  della Rocca with  colorful household goods, historic costumes  and a crowd on the museum’s loggia.

The regular Tuesday market in Vetralla with locally  grown produce.

The sunshine  allows  for  2 or even 3  loads of wash to dry during the day.

For those in the area here are the upcoming  talks and tours  I will be doing  in the next couple of weeks. 

Hope to see you at one of them!
Friday, March   6th  at the Prefecture   “Tuscia nelle Antiche Carte: curiosità, valori, ladri”  with special visitor Chief Inspector Felice Orlandini  5 p.m.

Thursday, March  19th at the Museo Civico, Viale R. Capocci (in front of Porta della Verità)  presentation of latest book “Etruria Storie e Segreti”  5 p.m.

Friday, March  27 -Visit to  the Viterbo Antiques Show (we get a discount on tickets)  11 a.m. at the Papal Palace, Viterbo. Train from Rome to Porta Romana station in Viterbo. Meeting place  Papal Palace  11 a.m.

Just in case you missed it, here is my latest article  published today on Italian Notebook  about Rome's newest art library. 
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