Spring is par excellence a mid-season where rainy days and sunny days alternate, perfect for catching a cold and never knowing how to dress to be elegant but practical.
There is a cloth produced in Tuscany, to be precise in Casentino, which solves every problem: the Casetino cloth!
The Casentino is one of the four valleys in the province of Arezzo where Arno river rises and then crosses the whole of Tuscany bathing both Florence and Pisa.
These beautiful mountains were chosen as a place of prayer by St. Francis, today the convent of Verna, and by San Romualdo the hermitage of Camaldoli, as isolated and perfect places for a spiritual retreat.
The presence of woods, water and a favorable climate have also led to the development of an agri-food industry of excellence. If you are lucky enough to go to Casentino, for example, you cannot miss the Casentino gray ham.
However, what most represents Casentino in the world is the original cloth of this valley.
Casentino cloth has become so iconic that I can say I am wearing a Casentino to know that we are talking about an iconic orange coat of this valley.
The writer Mazzantini in her best seller Don’t move writes: “Your mother wore a Casentino coat, orange and violent like the sun we would find in summer“.
The tradition of the Casentino cloth is very old. Already at the time of the Etruscans and Romans there were evidence of this cloth.
The peculiarity and fame of this woolen cloth is due to its resistance, color and the curl texture that makes it unique, waterproof and warm.
In the Middle Ages the woolen cloth became so popular that the inhabitants of the Valley used it to pay taxes to the Florentines.
The notoriety arrives in Florence in the late nineteenth century, the resistance, heat and impermeability of the fabric leads the producers of Stia to propose it to the barrocciai (coachman) as capes for their horses.
Given the properties of the fabric, the conductors of the carriages decide to use it also for their own clothes and unwittingly launch a new fashion!
The most famous shade of Casentino is Casentino-orange, a strong, bright color that tends to red.
Also in this case, the notoriety of color has a curious history with unexpected results.
The typical color was not created intentionally but out of inexperience with new chemicals. It was this unique and bright color that intrigued the Florentine fashionistas.
The traditional Casentino is worn with a fox collar, a symbol of elegance and refinement and is usually a double-breasted. Famous people in Florence and all over the world have worn a Casentino, among the best known: Bettino Ricasoli, Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini.
This fortune led to the development of the textile industry in Casentino, the two largest and most active wool mills are located in Stia and Soci (Bibbiena).
Today Casentino coat producers offer more colors and shapes to follow the trends but without ever losing elegance. You can also find capes, bags and various accessories made of Casentino cloth.
Tuscany is full of stories like this and preciousness. We are waiting for you, at Villa Campestri, to share with you all our knowledge and advise you for your holiday and if you want also for your Tuscan purchases!
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