Follina: Local color - people seen at the Christmas Market. Tucked amongst the Prosecco vineyards the picturesque village of Follina, just north west of Venice, is famous for it’s Cistercian Abbey built in 1150. Not to be missed, is a visit, not only to the Abbazia di Santa Maria di Follina itself, an impressive fusion of Romanesque and Gothic styles but also to its cloisters with elegant columns. For the past seven years every first weekend of December a Christmas market is held in and around the main square, called Colori d’Inverno or winter colors the market opens the festive season.
Above: Better known as La Contessa, local watercolor artist, Francesca Brandolini d’Adda stands in the main Follina square in front of her enlarged watercolor of the Follina square as it used to be in the mid 19th century.
Follina: Local color - people seen at the Christmas Market. Marco Milillo is a private investigator in Conegliano and also a landscape and fashion photographer. Melillo presented his infrared, black and white photos of vineyards.
Follina: Local color - people seen at the Christmas Market. Gigi Miracoli with his partners produces biological wine in Venice, Yes Venice, the winery is called La Laguna nel Bicchiere or The Lagoon in a Glass and the wines are derived from an unusual bower-fruit garden at the Murano Cemetery, and from a vineyard of the 1960s in Giudecca's Cipriani zone. He is also a street artist; he blows bubbles, eats fire and walks on fire, just to name a few of the crazy things he does to amuse.
Follina: Local color - people seen at the Christmas Market. Mari is the youngest of the hoteliers Zanon siblings; she runs the La Volta luxury gift shop, which is part of the elegant Relais & Chateaux Villa Abbazia Hotel complex. La Volta looks onto the main square and in the store you can find elegant gifts, ranging from silver, hand blown glass, candles, pot-pourri, perfumes and naturally at this time of the year Christmas ornaments.
Follina: Local color - people seen at the Christmas Market. The indefatigable Maria Gabriella Sorbara Sammartini owns and runs two Magamaison stores, as well as her home, her husband the very talented wood worker, Vettor Sammartini, two dachshunds, Molly and Krauti, and last but not least Berta the cat. And, she still has the energy to visit clients and run Magamaison the interior decorating showroom/store/laboratory, which sells custom made items for the home. New for Christmas these amusing embroidered linen sacks, which can hold towel sets, Foutas or anything that strikes your fancy.
Follina: Local color - people seen at the Christmas Market. Local chocolatier Oriana Chantal Balliana has a soft spot for heart shaped chocolates; in fact her company is called Q-ori & Chocolato, Q-ori being a play on the word hearts in Italian. Year round, with her gourmet chocolates she tours the local specialized fairs and recently she has gone to India for a wedding where she made flower and… wait for it…. Heart shaped chocolates, non stop for five days running.
Follina: Local color - people seen at the Christmas Market. In the neighboring village of Miane, entrepreneur Ornella Tonet founded the luxury small knitwear workshop Carella with her late sister Carla. Later the ToneT collection (in the photograph above) was added to the company, it focuses on a total look with strong stylistic contents. The quality Italian knitwear company sells in major markets around the world as well as producing samples and knitwear for third parties.
Follina: Local color - people seen at the Christmas Market. Self taught florist Francesca Simonetti's shop, L’Idea in Follina is right by the Cistercian abbey, so it is no wonder that she specializes in flower arrangements for churches and weddings. She conceived and designed the decorations for the Christmas market. Her style could be described as modern country.
L’Idea: Via Padre Anacleto Milani 2 – Follina (Treviso) – tel: +390438970033
Follina: Local color - the Christmas Market. The obelisk decorations conceived and designed by Francesca Simonetti of L’Idea flower shop in Follina where scattered around the streets and added a festive tone to the Christmas market. “I am inspired by what is available,” she explained.