In the Puglia episode of the first season of Dream of Italy on PBS, Kathy visits a family workshop to observe the unique process of making many icons used for religious processions.
Paper mâché was introduced to Italy from Spain in the late 17th century. It had a practical purpose – to create lightweight icons for Italy’s sometimes days-long religious processions. The artisanal tradition has lived on in Lecce where Claudio Riso and his brothers Giuseppe and Sandro handcraft religious figures and peasant scenes. Their work is celebrated the world over and their pieces make for perfect souvenirs to bring home. Visit their workshop and store Cartapesta Claudio Riso at Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 27. For more information, visit: www.cartapestariso.it