Let us be honest, places like Faenza are not on the maps of the big tourist agencies. Frankly, I hope it stays this way: as soon as the first parking for tour buses is built, that’s it, the place is doomed. Faenza is one of the places that we are driven to by a little speck of light on the map: a family who’s agreed to be hospitable to strangers even though the strangers turn out far from being angels in disguise. Monya and Alessio are ready to feed us, talk to us, explain the local cuisine and take us to city fairs despite having their hands full with two little children. Thank you guys once again if you are reading this.
So, back to where I started: I actually thought I hadn’t even ever heard of Faenza, until I realized that in fact I heard its name many times over again: the word “fayans” is derived from the name of the place and is Russian for a certain type of ceramics (something your bathroom sink could be easily made of) which was once developed and has been produced in this town.
On the night we arrived even the town authorities had a special treat: a fair in the town center, which was dedicated to… well, kind of hazy on that one, maybe not to anything at all, just to good weather and happy people. Shops open, including some gelatterias with ridiculously good ice cream. Really, this is not just good ice cream, this is seriously good ice cream. Did I mention ice cream? It was really good! Plenty of tables with local artisans’ offerings, crowds, local police and fire brigade with their setups for kids (anyone who wanted could sit in carabineri’s car while a happy looking officer would turn on the siren for you! Yes, the whole place sounded like a police emergency in progress! You could sit on a police motorbike, too, you could ring a fireman’s bell, slide down a poll, aim a water hose at some structures, man, I mean – the works. Of course, nobody would let me on any of that stuff, so Max had to substitute.
You’d think it’s enough, but on the next evening our hosts took us to another party, around an ancient watchtower which was once a center of control for the territory. Free tour of the tower itself, open-air party, that sort of thing.
What a cool place. Come to Faenza, they know what to do with their time!