Sun, Jan 26, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Italy’s ‘Slow City’ goes global with mellow message

One of the 183 representative cities of the Cittaslow movement, Orvieto is working to keep a community’s qualities, such as craftmanship and tourism, to survive Italy’s economic crisis

By Ella Ide  /  AFP, ORVIETO, Italy

Oliveti believes the Cittaslow philosophy can be used to the same end, by “privileging a community’s qualities, such as craftmanship, technology or tourism, and using them as a key to overcome the economic crisis.”

Orvieto prides itself on its remaining traditional artisans, printers and potters, working in old laboratories dotted around the town center.

“We have clients from Italy and abroad, but no plans to move away to expand the business. It’s not about money, it’s about living a tranquil life,” ceramics maker Walter Ambrosini said, as he put freshly crafted cups into a kiln.

Despite the crisis, Ricetti agrees: “We would not be able to produce the same quality of product without the slow component. We weather our wood for five years before working it and Orvieto gives us the time and space to do so.”

While the movement is currently limited to small towns, Oliveti said he hopes to persuade larger cities from Barcelona to Seoul to adopt some of the movement’s ideas and generate “islands of Cittaslow culture” in the bustle.

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