Acquaviva Picena, a medieval village surrounded by walls and bastions, has a particular artistic tradition: they make paiorole, that is, baskets made with straw, wicker and various types of reed or cane.

In the 1970s they even began making little dolls and figures for the nativity scene using corn husk.  There is an interesting Pajarola Museum which houses a characteristic collection of baskets, kitchen utensils and dolls made of braided straw, wicker and other natural materials.

In the province of Macerata, at Mogliano, they specialise in weaving cane, wicker and bamboo to make handbags, containers of all sorts, decorative objects and even furnishings.

Montappone, a small town with a medieval centre, is famous for straw hat making, an ancient artisanal trade here. In order to hold on to this tradition, the city opened the Museo del Cappello (Hat Museum) which illustrates all of the processes which go into the making of hats, from the preparation of the straw to the press which gives the hat its shape. In it you can enjoy projections, photographs, panels and still-functioning old machinery set along the entire length of the museum. The importance of this ancient craft is further enhanced by a yearly three-day event called Il Cappello di Paglia (the Straw Hat). During it, the historic centre of the “capital of hats” is enlivened by more than 200 personages who show visitors how straw hats are made, from the harvest, to the weaving and sewing. It is not a re-enactment as such, but a representation of the activities which have made Montappone the “international hat centre”.

Text was taken up and elaborated by the pubblication “Made in Marche – 0km flavours and quality shopping”