Still today many visitors, lingering on historic center’s streets and looking at the big tiles double colour, made with local white stone and dark volcanic stone, wonder how it is possible that in a country at 1,400 meters above sea level, between the highest mountains of Abruzzo, can reveal such a wealth of artworks and culture, which makes Pescocostanzo one of the most interesting, most visited, studied and appreciated art centers of the entire region.
Pescocostanzo civility ?
In Pescocostanzo, a social class was formed on time, having important economic resources, coming from intensive ovine breeding, and it was culturally high, managing to lead the community towards a well-being high degree and an efficient administrative organization.
This community was able, over the years, to make important choices and invest resources in artworks, planning, directing and increasing the wealth of amazing artworks, preserved until today.
Its talents made Pescocostanzo famous as an invention and diffusion center of a qualified craft production.
1890 people were living here during the year 1732, and 145 of them were artisans.
Nunzio Federico Faraglia states, in a description about Pescocostanzo craftwork, that in the early nineteenth century, the profession of goldsmith was practiced in thirteen different shops.
Although a long period of crisis, the artisan tradition remained alive.
The goldsmith’s art has renewed its own energy thanks to an artisan new generation.
Significant is the growth of workshops producing the famous and requested filigree jewels and the gold laminates, which are authentic artworks, codified in forms that have become our proud identity symbol :
“the presentosa”, “the cannatora”, “the ” Sciacquajje “earrings, ” the cornelian ring “.
So that Pescocostanzo came back to play a leading role in this sector, which reaffirms great interest and value for the whole territory.
These young master craftsmen have saved the wealth of knowledge, technical skills, style and quality, ensuring continuity to a celebrated tradition.
Art is in their hands.
The enthusiasm, the passion for various materials, the imagination and the ability give life to creations of beauty.
Just the hands are interpreters of the ideas, sensitivity and creativity of these master goldsmiths who narrate the history of a community and perpetuate the noble tradition, but with their talent and expertise are able to conceive new forms and symbols, with a high uniqueness profile.
Carlo Rainaldi makes part of this group
His workshop “la Casina d’oro” is in front of the main Church, and is active since 1991, almost 30 years of activity and research.
The desire to actualize his offer, meeting the tastes of an increasing clientele, led him to study, and deeply researching into the world of goldsmith art, in order to elaborate and experiment new models combining ancient and new forms.
Over the years he has realized, with skill and success, unique creations with the use of laminate, filigree and precious stones, gaining appreciation and positive feedback.
This creativity was rewarded at the “Premio Scanno” – Artistic Crafts Section in 1989.
On the occasion of Italy Unification recurrence, he was present at the exhibition commissioned by our Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano. It was organized in Rome on Italian popular traditions. At Castel Sant’Angelo, and representing the Abruzzo region, he recently produced the IKO coinage, it is the coin of the homonymous Recovery of Italian Villages Foundation (see Pennadomo).
Climbing the short stair that leads to the “Casina d’oro vignale”, and taking a look at the shop window, shining with exemplary creations, taken from the local traditional repertoire, means discovering a real treasure, presented in an original and elegant way.
But the narration continues.
Combined with classic-traditional jewels, here are the new “loves”, the fruit of his talent, of his inspiration.
The most recent ones are inspired by the observation and study of local architectural elements and some important forms of sacred art, but also by old pastoral activity and by simple nature:
- St. John “rosone”
- Holy water
- ice collection
Passion for the goldsmith craftsmanship, commitment to tradition’s recovery, history diffusion and knowledge of local arts, are themes that Carlo Rainaldi has included in the activity program during his administrative mandate, that for 11 years has seen him engaged as councilor for tourism and culture in Pescocostanzo, as well as deputy mayor of his municipality.
In these 11 years, he has spent his energies to realize important events, always focusing the strong cultural identity that Pescocostanzo can boast since centuries; the goldsmith’s art had always a leading role in the many initiatives proposed
At least two important exhibitions deserve to be mentioned in this regard:
“MYTH AND TRADITION” (ancient Peligni and Sanniti finds) in collaboration with the Abruzzo National Archaeological Museum of Chieti;
“THE FIVE HUNDRED YEARS OF CANNATORA” in collaboration with the “National Museum of Popular Arts and Tradition in Rome”.
His passion was born at the young age, the first training almost self-taught, then the training completion inside the most important goldsmith’s workshops in Naples.