Cherasco is one the many small cities in the Langhe area where you find sweet sloping hills and the homeland of some the most precious wines of Piedmont. Many of the foreigners, who came to appreciate the Langhe to the point of choosing to live there, say they are reminded of Tuscany and the Chianti region.
Cherasco's fairly long history starts in mid 1200, but its importance is nowadays small when compared to the past. In any case it's a place where you can still get the feeling of the old days. In many places, when "discovered" again, restoration has often lost this feeling, but not here, as its treasures were like just hidden behind the time patina. A few times a year they have some thematic fairs buzzing around a lively cultural life. And of course this attracts lots of people ...
These pictures are from the Autumn fair, just loose slides and not a reportage. Street photography is the hardest one for me, under the crowd pressure composition becomes difficult and maybe I'm too shy for it, anyway I hope they will share a glimpse of the lively and colourful afternoon of an Autumn day.
The music was by a quartet of wonderful players, who played for hours and never got tired, but also the dancers seemed never to get enough of those traditional Occitan songs. I tried to record some of this in the twirling of the colours and the happy smiles that float amid them ... not sure I got any success in this, but I hope you will enjoy them anyway.
For those who asked, the instrument in one picture is the Gironde, la "vielle à roue", (wheel fiddle or hurdy gurdy in English), a traditional string instrument quite popular in the Occitan area and used since the Middle Age. A bit forgotten in modern times, since about 20 years has again a strong and steadily expanding group of followers.
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