Finally, the most beautiful weekend of May in Lecce is back to liven up, by popular demand and after a two-year stop, “Craftsmanship of excellence”, an exhibition-market of artifacts scheduled again this year in the Baroque heart of the Salento capital – from 20 to 22 May – in the former Church of San Francesco della Scarpa.
Of the highest level, as usual, the names of international craftsmanship guests of the exhibition which on the last day of opening will be the ideal companion to the suggestions of “Open Courtyards”, a historic event dedicated to Italian architectural beauties that also opens in Lecce, for once a year, the interior of prestigious private buildings. Among the guests of the 2022 edition – the eleventh – also Roberto di Alicudi, the Neapolitan artist residing in the ancient Ericussa, who will be giving away one of his works in support of one of the activities of the Sylva Foundation, which aims to recovery and reforestation of degraded areas of Salento.
But it will not be the only solidarity activity connected to excellent craftsmanship which, as usual, will donate part of its proceeds to Progetto Itaca, a national association founded in Milan by Ughetta Radice Fossati to support people with mental health disorders and to their families – now also present in Salento – and to the Ant di Lecce.
ARTIGIANATO D’ECCELLENZA, an exhibition-market born from an idea of Maria Lucia Seracca Guerrieri Portaluri, is held every year at the end of May at the former Church of San Francesco della Scarpa, in the historic center of Lecce, and has as its main objective the promotion of craftsmanship in its highest forms and the enhancement of the territory that hosts it, Salento. In fact, the exhibition promises to virtuously mix the great international names of the author’s work with highly selected local exhibitors who, thanks to the contacts developed on this occasion, often manage to fit into wider artisan circuits.
Over the years, the event – inaugurated in 2009, in its first edition, by the Royals of Belgium Alberto and Paola of Liège – has seen the participation of hundreds of illustrious craftsmen from all over Europe: among these Lucia Odescalchi, Inés of Bourbon, Sophie of Habsburg, Mara Ruffo of Calabria, Idarica Gazzoni Frascara, Manuela Solaro del Borgo, Tiziana Frescobaldi, the Florentine company Grevi, Lady Victoria Fontaine Wolf, Domitilla Gucci, Giulia Michon Pecori. The initiative takes place in conjunction with the flowered weekend of “Open Courtyards”, or rather on the days when the city magically reveals itself in all its beauty to the thousands of visitors who flock to Salento to admire both the luminous stones of the Lecce baroque, both the wonderful handicrafts of excellence.
But it is not only the cultural aspect that is enhanced by the exhibition, which has always combined beauty with the value of solidarity. Over the years, in fact, the event has included in its programming initiatives designed to raise funds in support of the “Tria Corda” association, the pediatric onco-hematology department of the “Vito Fazzi” hospital in Lecce and Progetto Itaca: in 2017 , on the occasion of its eighth edition, Artigianato par excellence has organized for example an extraordinary concert with Beatrice Rana, an internationally renowned pianist originally from Salento. In 2019, however – on the occasion of the tenth edition – “Craftsmanship of excellence”, he wanted to celebrate the anniversary by financing the restoration, in agreement with the Lecce Curia, of the eighteenth-century canvas “The Martyrdom of San Fortunato”, the work of the late painter – Baroque of the Neapolitan school Oronzo Tiso kept in the Cathedral of the Salento capital.
L’ultima edizione della manifestazione si è conclusa con oltre 10mila visitatori e una ricca rassegna stampa nazionale e locale. Gli istituti bancari che hanno supportato la kermesse nel corso degli anni sono stati Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Popolare di Bari, Banca Popolare Pugliese.
Lecce, ex Chiesa di San Francesco della Scarpa, Via Benedetto Cairoli, 15
20, 21 e 22 maggio
Orari di apertura: venerdì 20 dalle 18.30 alle 21, sabato 21 e domenica 22 dalle 10 alle 21