A Plunge into the Past

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Un salto nel Passato” (A Plunge into the Past), one of the most atmospheric events in the Verbano Cusio Ossola province, is held every two years in Baveno during the run up to Christmas. An authentic reconstruction of a past era, it focuses largely on reproducing the traditional crafts of the local area.

The event sees the participation every year of over 500 local people who relive the roles of craftsmen, musicians, pork butchers, stone masons, washerwomen, seamstresses, spinners of wool, blacksmiths and carpenters, seen in the working environments of the past, specially recreated for the occasion. Walking around the centre, visitors are continually delighted to rediscover a way of life now lost.

You can watch the carpenter as he saws and planes a block of wood, the knife-grinder at work, weavers at their loom, shepherds with their sheep, the blacksmith at his forge.

As we are in Italy, food naturally has a prominent part in the festival, and wholesome plain dishes in keeping with tradition are available in the many “inns” on the route. You can buy a souvenir from the wide selection of crafts on display: material, jewellery, or articles made of wood, stone and pottery. Specially-made coins for your purchases add further authenticity to the occasion.

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