As I could never give up my weekly appointment – on Thursdays – at Daniele’s violin workshop, I could never give up attending the so-called Stradomenica open-air market in Pesaro which takes place on the third Sunday of each month.
In the central area between Piazzale Carducci, right in front of the new Court House, and via La Marca, you can find stalls selling clothes, shoes, houseware, hats, umbrellas, fruit and vegetables (the typical Italian open-air market, so to speak, as it is usually potrayed in movies… which are not directed by Italians), whereas in the main square (Piazza del Popolo) and in via Rossini (which bears the name of the famous composer who was born in that street on Feb 29th in 1792 – oh my, it just dawned upon me that 2012 is a leap year and you know what we say about leap years in Italy: they are not particularly prodigal with lucky events… wait a minute, does our damaging our car, last week, up to almost 4.000 euro have anything to do with that at all???) ; anyway, in the square and in Rossini street, you find what I love to call unlikely things (improbabilia): old laces, stationery from the 50’s, sun-glasses from the 70’s, old (sometimes even worn out) clothes, shoes and bags, crib statues, Iranian statues, bookstalls, paintings, Christmas lights for apartments from the 60’s (of course bought by the underscribed person – who else ?), post-cards, dolls, stickers, lamps, Stalin busts, stamps and even pieces of meteorites (needless to say I got one for my husband).
My favourite stalls are in front of Palazzo Baviera (the one you see in the picture opposite the Ducal Palace), being Palazzo Baviera the seat where the court pages used to live, built in 1564 upon the project by the ducal architect Filippo Terzi who worked for Guidubaldo II Della Rovere.
Anyway, the two booths which I adore sell laces, table cloths, curtains, most of which have been hand embroidered by skilful hands from the late 19th century onwards. Being my mother expert at embroidering (see my post: Raffaella Corsini, the Art of Embroidery), I too am fond of old laces and embroideries and, alas!, each Stradomenica I buy something. The two booths are run by two gentlemen who come from Munich, but I think they are Turkish – I am not sure, and the pieces they take to the market have an odd appeal for me. Like the Lorelei chant.
Sie kämmt es mit goldenem Kamme
Und singt ein Lied dabei;
Das hat eine wundersame,
(Heinrich Heine, Lied von der Loreley).
For example, an Italian would hardly ever spend months embroidering a table cloth and then sew a lace around it which was not made by hand. And yet I bought such a lively table-cloth, with giant roses red and green, blue and purple, orange and yellow, cross-stiched, with a lace around made not by hand. What a naif simplicity about it, and a pinch of (healthy) snobbery too. Last Sunday I bought a linen tea table cloth. Stained. But then again, I know a very special person in the States who makes very special quilts using only stained, white, old table cloths because she believes that stains tell stories…
So, here I am, with a closet full of table cloths, tea table cloths, handkerchieves, curtains, stains and… stories to hand on to my daughter and, who knows, to future generations of story lovers.