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Discover Marche: Montappone and the ancient tradition of making hats

Posted by on in Borghi - Villages
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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4495.JPGDear friends, welcome to My Own Italy to discover Italy with my personal touch!

Our travel today is to the Marche Region .

Let's go and visit an ancient and small village and its old and precious traditions, pointing out its own particular production of straw hats: Montappone.

 

 b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4513.JPGMontappone is located a few kilometers away from the sea and Sibillini mountains; it is a small village in the hills of Fermo, and we have news about it since the year one thousand AD.

The legend has that once upon a time in Montappone lived a King...

 

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The king was very wise and since his daughter was to be married, he established that her hand would go to the one who had brought the most beautiful thing.

A young poor farmer was in love with her and wanted to marry the princess, but he was afraid of being too poor to be worthy of the princess. Anyway the king said that "everyone is rich for what he has, and not for what he needs."

 b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4488.JPGThe farmer decided to fold ears of corn and the day after he came back to the castle with a crown made with braids straw sewn together, enhanced by a board that could shelter from sun or rain the beautiful face of the princess. The king, pleased by the entrepreneurship of the farmer, was happy to celebrate the marriage of those two young.

 

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Since then in Montappone everyone started to weave straw hoping to enjoy the same luck!

This is the reason why in Montappone started the tradition of making hats!

 

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But we can't forget that here there is a particular wheat: the jervicella, which is the best material to make hats. 

 Now you can see and appreciate all the aspects of making hats in the Hat Museum in Montappone.

 

  

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Here all the processing stages are shown step by step.

There are screenings, photographs, panels and vintage machinery working perfectly all along.

 

 

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In the museum there are precious pieces as the last hat worn by Federico Fellini find place, or as the feature straw of the early century, with common hats, work hats, ceremony hats.

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4449.JPG The production of Montappone is destined to 70% for the domestic market, but it is exported to many countries, particularly in France, Japan, United States, and in Russia and other Eastern European countries.

The companies that work within the District of Hat are a hundred with about 1,500 employees with annual revenue of 150 million Euros

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Although now the straw is imported from abroad, Montappone maintains firm its supremacy in the final product, so that the master hatters went to Ecuador to teach how to make the panama and they were the first to undertake trade with the East .

  

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4435.JPGYou can not miss the “mostra del cappellaio pazzo” , ("show of crazy hatter"), symbolic character representing the desire, hidden in each of us, to feel free to express its imagination.

So here hats designed and processed with absolute freedom and creativity, made in different materials to show the imagination, the creativity and skills of "master hatters" in Montappone.

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 Here it seems to enter the "Wonderland" giving space to the skills and the creativity of those who always dedicates the best energies to hats of every time.

Leisure me: this is my tourism!

 

 

Blog posted from Montappone FM, Italia View larger map
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