The crafts of tradition
In the 14 th century, under the growing influence of the Florentine Republic, numerous new hamlets sprang up in Mugello. Economic activities, which became typical of the area, developed. The manual skills and the artistic capacities of the inhabitants of Mugello were expressed in the creation of hand made products, art works and objects of great value.
Numerous arts and crafts form the rich tradition of Mugello. Much of this cultural tradition has been handed down to the present, like, for example, the commercial role that certain town centres have reserved: “trading” that has been going on for centuries in these “new” hamlets. The historical structure of the buildings, like the porticos, or the make-up of the open squares and the old roads, offer present-day visitors the opportunity to interrelate on a personal level in the different shops, stores and traditional craft manufacturers.
The memory and the love of local traditions has always been felt in Mugello; in fact, there are numerous collectors of antique working tools and utensils, and countless antique shops that have lived on to bear witness to what once was: the trades and life of a long-ago past.
By tracing the ancient trades and crafts of the territory, it is possible to discover important towns like Scarperia, Firenzuola, Palazzuolo Sul Senio and Marradi, but it is also a way to come upon small vales and ancient abandoned hamlets, farm houses covered in overgrown bush, and mule tracks left by woodsmen or coal miners.
It is a journey into a past that will enrich the present; the description, the memory, and the understanding of the “life that once was”, will develop into the incentive, the way and the yearning to renew the world in which we live.