Exhibition of the Local Handcraft
The Mostra dell’Artigianato Fasanese takes place every year in Palazzo dei Congressi at Selva di Fasano.
Here the perfect balance among mind, material and hand is displayed to testimony the quality of handmade products and the strong passion of artisans. Each of them is an artist that has perspicacity, refined style, limitless imagination, capability to choose the best raw materials and a unique manual skill acquired during the apprenticeship years in the workshop (called pettìche in local dialect) under the supervision of the master (u mèstre) that not only taught the craft but also educated them as they started to work very young.
In the 50s in Fasano there were around one thousand male and female artisans, in addition to them there were bakers and pastry chefs.
Why did the first exhibition take place?
After the Second World War, despite being the leader in Apulia, in Italy and abroad, the local handicraft had been affected by the general crisis. The mass production, made with second-rate materials, was cheaper and then was spreading in the market very quickly. For this reason local artisans, promoted by the lawyer Aquilino Giannaccari, decided to exhibit their products in order to re-launch the sector.
In 1950 Bepi Russi realized the poster and on the 15th June the first edition of the Mostra dell’Artigianato Fasanese took place. It was a successful event reported by the national communications media, also famous people were present among the visitors of the exhibition. After its closing, on the 2nd July 1950, the engineer Giuseppe Attoma designed the ”Village of handicraft” that must have been built in Fasano but his dream did not came true because the Cassa del Mezzogiorno didn’t finance the construction as promised.
The following editions of the exhibition took place at Selva di Fasano that was an important tourist attraction at the time.
47 edizions in 67 years
After the 20th edition in 1984,it has been interrupted for 6 years because of the restoration of Palazzo dei Congressi. In 1991 the exhibition restarted until today without interruptions.
The last edition, strongly wanted by Luana Amati, assessor for the productive activities has been designed and supervised by the architects Fabrizio Frate and Claudio Galeota in collaboration with Nuova Artigianfaso, leaded by Giovanni Laguardia. Here visitors have finally found the culture, the passion and the elegance of the ancient handicraft ready to look toward the future.