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HANDICRAFTS IN MONTOTTONE

In the past Montottone boasted a booming production of objects made in ceramic for daily use. Several families in the village supported themselves producing  jars, dishes etc. and going to sell them in the neighbouring markets. Unfortunately the competition from mass-produced factory goods had , with time, erased almost completely the activities of the traditional artisans making handmade crafts. A trace of this old production has remained however in one ancient  workshop in the village.

                      

THE HISTORY OF MONTOTTONE

Montottone was originally a “vicus”of the ancient colonies of Faleria and Fermo. In the Middle Ages it was the site of one of several castles spread around the Piceno area (seat of the ancient pre-Roman Piceni tribe). It seems to have been built by Actonis, Duke of Atri, from the family of Acquaviva. From him the castle took its name 'Mons Actonis', Hill of Actonis, until the XV century.  With time name became  Montottone.

It is situated 21 km from the provincial capital of Fermo. It has a population of around 1200 souls and is set at 277 meters above sea level. About 25 km away you can find the nice seaside beaches of the Adriatic sea.

The ancient village is entirely surrounded by old bricks walls, within which the streets have remained unchanged from past times. Although some years ago it was largely abandoned by its inhabitants, who chose to build new houses adjacent to the old centre, it has now been restored and rebuilt, taking care in reconstruction of the ancient existing buildings, and with its churches, its palaces, and small houses, it preserves today all its charm.

All around the village, cultivated fields, vineyards and olive trees set in lovely order, add colour to the beautiful views.  The surrounding walls and houses are built of locally-made bricks.

As mentioned, at the turn of the past century, Montottone was important for its ceramic production and for the skills of its ceramic artists. This kind of work was favoured by the natural deposits of clay in the area.              

In the Italian countryside, when people wanted to build a house,  after having chosen the place, they used to gather clay, build an oven, light it with wood, and fire the necessary bricks to erect the walls. They then finished the roof with beams cut from trees around their properties, sometimes oak, chestnut, or others like cherry, pear , and hazel.

 

 

 

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