Bienno’s Art&Crafts Exhibition (Mostra Mercato Bienno)
The Mostra Mercato Bienno is one of the major artisan and artist exhibition in Italy that, this year, will reach the 29th edition and will be held in our village from 24th August to 1st September, 2019.
You can visit the Mostra Mercato Bienno in the following opening hours:
- Saturday, August 24th, from 6 pm to midnight (usually the opening takes place an hour before);
- on working days from 5 pm to midnight;
- on Sunday from 10 am to midnight;
- Saturday, August 31st, from 2.00 pm to midnight.
In all these years the Mostra Mercato Bienno has established itself as one of the most interesting Italian exhibitions related to craftsmanship. Some numbers, just to make you understand that it is not just a “country festival”: over 200,000 visitors in last year’s edition, more than 200 exhibitors coming from all over Italy and beyond. Performances, musical plays and typical products (“spongade”, cured meats, mountain cheeses, honey etc.) complete the picture of the event.
As you can imagine, a day is not enough to visit Bienno’s exhibition, to breathe its magic and discover the inside of the beautiful courtyards and cellars of private houses (mainly medieval and from the Renaissance), open to the public for this very special occasion. Given the high turnout, we recommend you to book your stay in Bienno immediately, opting, if possible, for midweek days.
Barbara still remembers:
- the first editions of the exhibition, when as a girl she were part of that group of volunteers who helped to make it born and grow. The first editions were convivial: the few exhibitors knew each other, the first courses began (Gregorian chant, Renaissance dance, restoration, and many others in the years to follow). The original group spent evenings preparing the candles that lit up the alleys of the historic center of Bienno in such an evocative way.
- The birth of the first food courts managed by the volunteer groups that (today as then) gave the proceeds to a social purpose. Therefore we invite you to take advantage of the Mostra Mercato Bienno also for dinner, as we do every year, enjoying good food and typical local dishes at one of the following associations: Campolungo, Operation Mato Grosso, Locanda del Borgo, Mc DonAldo, Alpini Bienno and ASD SG Bosco Bienno Calcio.
- The dinners and evenings post-exhibition of the first years, spent in joy with the group of friends-volunteers involved in the organization and some of the exhibitors, under the porch of the house of Ilde and Emilio, the very true heart of Mostra Mercato Bienno (you will understand why read on). Barbara the cakes with fresh fruit she cooked for the occasion, her small contribution to those convivial occasions.
Barbara still remember… the first guests who stayed in our attic: among these, in the history of the family there is the memory of the group of Japanese students of Gregorian chant course who gleefully sang morning and evening.
A first taste of what, many years later, would become the B&B L’orto di BaLù: our house that opens to host those who come to Valle Camonica to visit the exhibition or the first Italian UNESCO World Heritage Site or Bienno heritage, one de “The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy”, or to meet relatives and friends, for a holiday of hiking, biking or motorcycling between lakes and alpine passes.
Back to Bienno Exhibition, we often forget to mention the person who gave birth to this brilliant idea, in some ways a visionary: Emilio Visconti, who in 1991 started the first exhibition and that for years, regardless the many difficulties experienced, has unearthed throughout Italy skilled artisans to bring to Bienno.
These were the years when Scuola Bottega, an artisan school opened in Bienno thanks to Emilio, prepared young people to face the future by developing manual arts, helping them to enter the world of work under the supervision of skilled artisans.
Too often, in our hyper-technological society the work and ingenuity that characterize artisans and artists is diminished. Mostra Mercato Bienno contributes to enhancing its value.
“When you buy something from a craftsman, you do not buy a simple object.
You buy hundreds of work hours, experiments, failure and tests.
You buy days, weeks and months of frustration and sheer joy.
You do not buy an object, but a piece of his heart and a moment of somebody else’s life.
When you buy something from a craftsman, you buy the time spent by the craftsman to pursue his passion, and your pleasure.”
The IXXX Mostra Mercato Bienno is waiting for you to rediscover the skill, the passion, the dedication and the pride that derive from a work done to perfection with your own hands. Take advantage of this opportunity to discover other pleasant aspects of Valle Camonica!
PS If you like to know one of the guys who learned a profession thanks to Bienno’s Scuola Bottega, you can visit Paolo’s leather workshop located in the central Via Contrizio at number 41.