Today is the last day for Florence, Italy's "Mostra Internazionale dell’ Artigianato" or as my friend calls it, "The Ethnic Fair." She looks forward to it every year. This was the first time that I had ever attended. It is held in the Fortezza da Basso, a huge contemporary exhibition space and former stronghold for the city.
We went on Sunday, with the reduced entrance fee of only 4 euro (instead of 5,50). [It is azalea season here, so the entrance was pretty. Inside there are TONS of booths and they are organized in various sections.
My sister and brother-in-law are a big fan of beers, especially the flavored beers or regional brands. This book caught my eye long enough to get offered a shot of beer for breakfast. [Alex says this means "Success." ha]
I enjoyed the building containing recycled crafts that featured hand-made practical things from everyday objects. Although well designed, I am not sure that the purses made from inner tubes and tires would suit me. I could smell them from a fair distance! However, there were many clever and some attractive ideas.
This last building we entered contained more of the finer arts. This last image is not a painting. It is one of the images created in "pietra dura" (literally translated into "hard stone"). It is the fine art of mosaic and each piece of stone is carefully choosen for its colors and patterns and then precisely hand cut to fit into the next shaped stone. I have mixed feeling for "Pietra dura." If the right stones are chosen and the design is artistic, then I tend to feel awe when I see them. If not, they look kitsch and horrid.
Today is the last day of the Arts and Crafts fair at the Fortezza. It is open until 10 p.m. today and I am told it is bargaining day more than any of the others were. Last night was Firenze's "Notte Bianca" and between that and having friends in town this week, I am getting a late start on the day. Today is also another one of those Italian spring holidays. So, I need to get to work now! Thank you for reading.