Stia – Castel San Niccolò
In the open-air museum of Casentino
Two souls, two materials mutually opposite run through the history of Stia and the whole of Casentino.
On one hand, wool and the rustic cloth of Casentino, on the other, coriaceous essence of the stone.
Both processing reflects a necessity triggered by impervious land and simple subsistence needs: in short, it’s a practice rooted in the heart of its inhabitants.
Like in a huge nativity scene shepherds, weavers and spinners have crossed over the centuries the lonely spaces in Casentino, passing the Romanesque churches of Romena and Socana, the castle of Porciano covered with ivy, the hermitage of Camaldoli, the sanctuary of La Verna, the fulling mills and the old dyers.
The landscapes have absorbed the rhythmic step, the ritual gestures of its inhabitants: they hand it over intact to the modern traveler who wants to explore the green domes of mountains and the ineffable seduction of sacred monuments, palaces and cottages. Life, meant in its genuineness, is the pride of the local artisans.
The exuberance doesn’t distinguish their artistic research which often takes place in privacy.
Yet the composure of statues, bas-reliefs, fireplaces, capitals and architraves is a reflection of the mystical wisdom of the stonemasons and the awareness of touching through calculated gestures the summit of simplicity and purity: in a word, beauty.
So it happens to the Casentino cloth: rough, waterproof, resistant and with his shrill orange color has managed to conquer the haute couture and transformed into women’s coats, jackets, duffle coats, blazers, hooded capes.
And to complete the picture: in an old mill still in use chestnut flour will delight your palate giving you a taste of traditional cuisine. Follow the map of tradition.