December 22, 2012. (Romereports.com)
Bundled in the heart of Rome, in Piazza Navona, you will find one of the most visited Christmas markets in all of Europe. The smell of roasted chestnuts fills the air
, and you are sure to find chocolate nuggets and Italian pastries.
They sell everything from sweets, to warm beverages, cotton candy, and of course, Nativity sets, Advent wreaths and Christmas tree ornaments. But the lifeline of these markets are the artisans.
They spend half a year toiling in their shops and the other half, in the market selling their work. They fear that one day, they will be out of job. MARIKA MARIZI
Artisan, Piazza Navona (Rome)“Our story begins nearly 70 or 80 years ago, when my grandmother would write names of clients inside these crystal balls to decorate their tree. She also made brooms to sweep away problems and bad luck, and ornaments to decorate the tree, home or businesses. We try to continue this family tradition. It's very important, but unfortunately it's disappearing slowly.”
The work is tough, and dependent on sales. Some of the booths at this market are more than 50 years old. It is a job you cannot learn in a school.MASSIMILIANO DE RUVO
Artisan, Piazza Navona (Rome)“I learned simply by watching my parents, watching my grandparents. As a kid, I didn't play with sticks as other children, I had to build the puppets. Then for me it became like a game, and so I did it very willingly.”
Massimiliano is owner of this puppet booth. He defines it as ridiculous representations of humans used to make fun of ourselves.
His signature mark is his simplicity. He uses the same techniques that he learned 60 years ago.
MASSIMILIANO DE RUVO
Artisan, Piazza Navona (Rome)“I still live off of the puppets I make, because that's what I do. It allows me to be united with my past, with my grandparents, with those who are no longer with us. So for me, it's very important.”
Visiting the market is also an opportunity to learn about the traditions of various cultures, through their art work. It is a trip through time, with a lot of family tradition behind it