Alessandra Poli takes you inside the real Italy introducing you to the local artisans and undiscovered places off the beaten path. You will be diving into the soul of this beautiful country through its unique characters.Watch Trailer
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Meet Alessandra Poli
Meet Alessandra Poli. She’s Italian, Roman actually. She’s passionate. And she’s passionate about Italy. Alessandra’s been writing, producing, directing and hosting documentaries in her native Italy for more than a decade.Read More
Antonio is a rare creature and his passion is contagious! He built his first violin when he was – Doll maker 7 years old, carving it from a chocolate box without ever seeing a real one. Now he creates instruments of unique beauty and it’s difficult not to fall in love with his incredible art. He is inspired by certain shapes from the Middle Ages to the late 1700s and his affinity for wood allows him to create even the most complex of instruments with true craftsmanship. and luthier.
In entering Aron Demetz’s workshop you are immediately captured by the vast space dotted with statues of different sizes and shapes which seem to stare at you. These human figures, mostly made of wood, in poses sometimes dark, sometimes melancholic and even dramatic when completely burned, have a powerful fascination. Their unavoidable presence, due in particular to their odor of resin or varnish, evoke the biological and cosmic energies that animate every human being, they seem to be alive.
Claudio Pinchi is a renowned organ builder and restorer. He follows his family tradition in the craft of organ manufacturing which originated in the Middle Ages. Meeting Claudio was a real pleasure. He can bring a thousand year old organ back to life, and give a Church like the San Vitale in Assisi the soulful sound it was missing all along. Not only is he a very passionate and talented organ maker, he is also a lovely person. Claudio is friendly, welcoming, and easy-going, and we have a great time working together. His dedication to build a new organ for the town of Norcia, which was destroyed by the earthquake, was truly moving. He told me “A church without an organ is like a person without a voice.” That’s the real Italy!
Doctor & Chef
Enrico is a doctor but his passion for cuisine and great food, as well as his culinary talent, led him to become the head chef-in his spare time-in his own restaurant in the family’s agriturismo a small hotel usually found on a farm or vineyard. The menu is authentic and the ingredients are fresh and come straight from his veggie garden.
Florian Rabanser is a master distiller who lives at the foot of the Dolomites. He started his career as a chef and has always focused his attention in balancing the different ingredients. He now uses this skill to concoct his original distillates made with local herbs.
His spirits, especially the Gin, encapsulate his passion for genuine flavors. “I produce spirits conveying the deepest essence of a stern and typical mountain environment. I don’t like trite products; they do not express my being. In other words, it is exactly like my handshake: strong and vigorous».
Leather Artisan & Musician
Gianni is always smiling and is one of those people whose positive and cheerful energy radiates to everyone around him. His curiosity and diverse skills led him to become an eclectic artisan who makes knives, leather items, tamburelli and on top of all that he is an incredible musician.
Giuseppe can build a Trullo by himself, using roughly worked limestone boulders collected from his surrounding fields. He has also renovated ancient ones to create extremely individual and comfortable homes that are pleasantly cool in the oppressive heat of an Apulian summer.
Giuseppina & Sebastiano
Giuseppina, Sebastiano, and Renato are Marco De Bartoli’s kids. They inherited from their father, who was an innovative winemaker while respecting traditions, the passion, and the pride. They continue his ambitious project of making their own version of Marsala called “Vecchio Samperi”. Nowadays Vecchio Samperi can’t be considered a Marsala technically it is not because there is no added alcohol so therefore it is not fortified. But it’s the wine that has been produced in Marsala for hundreds of years
We can say that Judith Sotriffer was born with the passion for wood! In her workshop you can feel her buzzling energy while she is carving for reproduction with unique skills and dedication, the famous wooden dolls from Val Gardena and many other original toys. She masters the art of woodcarving which she learned from scratch following ancient and traditional techniques. Because of her love for perfection, she holds these small masterpieces in her hands at least 100 times before completing them. When you see her bright smile when she handles her toys you wonder if she is working or playing!
Stained glass artist
Maddalena is the fourth generation of stained glass artists. The art of glass painting reached its peak in the 12th century but eventually falling out of style, it was progressively abandoned from the 15th century onwards. In the mid 19th century, Francesco Moretti, Maddalena’s great-grandfather, rediscovered this art and enriched it. Today Maddalena uses her ancestor’s techniques to make marvelous stain glass windows.
Sicilian cart painter
Michele Ducato is a cart painter as per family tradition. The Ducato family is among the most important school in the art of decorating Sicilian carts. In their workshop some of the most beautiful and carts have been made.
Oskar Messner is not only a chef who creates original recipes combining tradition and innovation using only local ingredients but he is also an original dreamer: his admirable project of recovery and revitalization of local traditions and culture was in fact able to save from extinction the native sheep breed of the Funes Valley the Villnösser Brillenshaf. Today all the community is involved in his project and Oskar’s lamb recipes are appreciated all over Europe.
Artist and Designer
Peppino’s workshop that overlooks the Adriatic sea is the most beautiful spot in Polignano. The team and I spent the entire day in his workshop and he even invited us to his home for an intimate lunch. It was wonderful to meet his family and get to get to know him, beyond his work.
I love his amazing lamps and the way he can transform any piece of glass into a work of art. Watching him work is magical; as he perfectly places hundreds of pieces of glass to build a lamp. He truly embodies what it means to be a sustainable artist, leaving no piece of glass to waste.
The blue sea turtle lamp, which you see in the Puglia episode, is my favorite. I am definitely going to buy one, at least for my studio!
Raffaele Di Prinzio
The first thing that strikes you when you meet Raffaele is his hands. Strong, leathery, and black from the fire. They say it’s a product of his life dedicated to metal creation and hard work. He told me that once a red hot hand tool pierced his hand and he didn’t even bleed or feel any pain. What a man! He has spent his whole life making incredible objects and he is still working at 75 and it certainly isn’t an easy job! They let me try to strike the anvil and I could hardly lift the hammer. Raffaele is one man that deserves a lot of respect and admiration for his passion and persistence.