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Sutri Etruscan vessel

The Art: Reproduction Etruscan vessel from Sutri, Italy

The Story: Although this may look like I unearthed it from some archealogical dig under Rome’s subway LineaA, it’s actually a small modern Etruscan reproduction I was given by an artist/potter I met in a little town outside of Rome called Sutri.

I had been looking for a gift for some time that would somehow represent what makes Rome my favourite city: the fact that the past, the present and the future all live together simultaneously in this Eternal City. Turns out I found the perfect thing while waiting for a bus in the tiny town of Sutri..

I was just killing time when I spotted a little pottery studio near the bus stop, so I wandered over and struck up a conversation with the artist who happened to be there. He was a young man who had a great interest in the Etruscan culture which pre-dated the Romans, and had followed this passion to Sutri. Here he had taught himself to create meticulous reproductions of their pottery, using their original techniques, materials and equipment, including a single-haired foxtail brush he used for some of the finer painting. He would painstakingly create and decorate his pottery and then (heartbreakingly, I thought), purposely damage each piece, to give it that patina of age. I told him how impressed I was with his desire for authenticity, and his passion for history and art, which obviously struck a chord, because he insisted I take this home as his gift to me.

For me, it is the perfect little symbol of everything I love about Italy – it’s a little old, a little new, a little damaged, and because of all of this, beautiful.

The Fact: If ancient cultures interest you, Sutri is a relatively undiscovered and beautiful Etruscan archeological site only an hour outside of Rome. And the characteristic town is well worth the visit.

Jane with Hat Tanzania

Jane Canapini is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada and the North American Travel Journalists Association. She established in 2014 to share information and tips based on personal experience so her readers could get the most out of their travels.

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