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Author Topic: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo  (Read 5474 times)

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Tamba

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2012, 06:37:30 AM »

Owen, this entire trip was organised by my beautiful wife and children as a 50th birthday present so I have no idea of the cost, which is probably a good thing!!

KLR, I definitely saw a few 3 rows under construction, are you sure you wouldn't like this gorgeous Mory instead?

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Chris Ryall

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2012, 08:35:01 AM »

What lovely pics.  Intimate and personal - seeing the family members "as they are" in working mode. Even in Ch.d'Ars you don't get this. *M&S are basically on holiday like you - albeit a "busman's" holiday  ;)

*I know, I know, but the alternative ordering was worse
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IanD

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2012, 11:39:45 AM »

Ryanair was ok, except when you arrive on time they play a fanfare.

Last time I was in Stockholm .. we turned up and there was no flight at all!  Ryanair hadn't bothered in any way to use the email and mobile phone number these pirates voleurs noble aviators insist you provide before they "charge you for paying"!  There was a later flight, we'd been rebooked en block and  all just sat at the airport for 4 hours .. having had to leave one of the best capitals in Europe just before lunch time to catch the s0dding plane.

I digress :|bl in my day the CASTAGNARI sign was totally plain and half the size of the on in Tim's photo.  Guess planning regulations have changed?  :|glug
You were lucky -- in *my* day they didn't have a sign of any description; they had one of those plastic doorbells with a black button and a clear cover, underneath which was a piece of paper about 2" x 1/2" with "Castagnari" typed on it -- by the look of it on the old wobbly typewriter they used to use for invoices ;-)
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Tamba

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2012, 10:24:49 PM »

Right, nearly at the end now!
After the Castagnari visit we took the bus to Castelfidardo. First we visited the International Accordion Museum which is a must for all squeezers no matter whether you be chromatic, diatonic, unisonoric etc. As you might imagine there are lots of glass cases full of all kinds of weird/winderful/beautiful boxes. Again I don't want to spoil anyone else's visit with a lot of pictures but here are a couple of must see exhibits. As a lover of Leonardo (Da Vinci not Di Caprio) I was delighted to see his prototype accordion realised so beautifully, and especially for KLR here is the mother of all tuning tables! Finally, the Paolo Soprani building  which has been converted to offices, there is a musical instrument shop on the ground floor which does stock a couple of Paolo Soprani Diatonics.
Next up will be my visit to Baffetti and that will be the end (cue general sigh of relief!)
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Owen Woods

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2012, 01:03:03 AM »

I once met someone with a really early PS that the museum tried to buy off him. He had it restored specifically to sell to them and then fell in love with it. Beautiful thing, flat metal keyboard, 12 bass.
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Inventor

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2012, 01:02:17 PM »

Tamba please spoil us with lots of lovely and winderful pictures. I always wanted to visit Castelfidado but never for various reasons made it. Now I am a little old and find travel difficult, so as many pictures as possible would be most appreciated.
Inventor.
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Gary Chapin

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2012, 02:24:28 PM »

These are amazing pictures and stories.  Thank you so much!
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KLR

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2012, 05:33:52 PM »

That Mory is something else.  Silkscreen paneling on the pallets, love it.

There's a few vids of early Paolos on YT.  Lars' one of a pepperpot vs an early C#/D is particularly interesting.  Those old boxes had a sound all their own. 
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Mike Averill

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2012, 06:36:51 PM »

That Mory is something else.  Silkscreen paneling on the pallets, love it.

My Sander has that same fabric print on the bellows. I guess they use the offcuts for pallet covering
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Rees

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2012, 06:40:36 PM »

That Mory is something else.  Silkscreen paneling on the pallets, love it.

My Sander has that same fabric print on the bellows. I guess they use the offcuts for pallet covering

They do exactly that - a nice touch.
That's one of the things I like about Castagnari - they're just as pretty under the bonnet  (:)
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Tamba

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2012, 11:12:41 AM »

Here a a couple more pictures from the museum and a couple of shots of Castelfidardo so that you can see how sunny it was there a week ago! I will write something about my trip to Baffetti when I have a bit more time. I'm so glad people are enjoying these photos and I really hope that this thread will inspire some people to make a visit to this beautiful area.
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Tamba

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2012, 11:47:11 AM »

... and so on to Baffetti. On arrival in Castelfidardo I couldn't locate a taxi to take us to Baffetti (about 4k from the town centre) so I asked in the Tourist Information office where I could find one. They rang Baffetti who came and picked us up!! When we arrived at the factory, and it is much more of a 'factory' than Castagnari (which is a workshop, in a house in the backstreets of Recanati), on a small and modern industrial estate, we were met by Genuino Baffetti, son of Dino. He showed us around their roomy factory, they were making a batch of Organettos that day, piled high with carcasses and reed blocks, fondi etc. It struck me that although they were in such a modern factory building, a lot of the processes they were using were the same as at Castagnari, a lot of hands on tweaking etc.(I saw a compact 3 row in development but promised not to say too much about it).

Genuino (best name ever) was charming, proud of his family business and passionate about making squeezeboxes (like Sandro at Castagnari). Apparently the very elderly and retired Dino likes to come in as often as possible because "he loves the wood". After our trip around the factory he took us upstairs to a showroom with some comfy chairs and shelves full of their many models. Genuino kept on choosing boxes for me to have a go on, I could see that he was really listening to how each box sounded in my hands and we did talk about different players and their styles. He also did a hilarious impression of an Organetto player to show me how loud they were, although he doesn't play himself.

I had my Epsilon G/C (metal badge) with me and Genuino was interested to see how it was holding up and how it sounded. To sit in the Baffetti factory and play "The Nutting Girl" in the place were my box was born was a very special moment for me. I even got to go home with a Dino Baffetti pen. I didn't take photos at Baffetti, I was too busy looking at everything to remember, but Genuino took some pictures of myself and Iris knocking out "The Spotted Dog" in his showroom. And after all that, he took us back to the bus stop in Castelfidardo (with a load of boxes in the back, off to his tuner).
So that is pretty much it for this trip, I'll just post something about my general observations and then I'll stop banging on about it, I promise.
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Tamba

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2012, 04:24:45 PM »

...and so to the end. A few observations that I didn't manage to squeeze in along the way. Since my trip I have a new found respect for the people who make the fantastic instruments that we are so lucky to play, I am not surprised at the relatively high cost of Italian boxes. The processes I witnessed were labour intensive and showed passionate attention to detail (there was also no sense of urgency or rush as I'm sure that Rees will confirm  (:)). Also the cost of living in Italy is high and there is no doubt that the economy is in a fragile state and the Italian people are struggling with this. Neither Castagnari or Baffetti seemed to be rolling in money or taking advantage of peoples desire for a top end box. I was totally convinced by the integrity and commitment of everyone at Castagnari and Baffetti. For the record I have more Hohners (3) than Italian boxes (2) so I don't think I am biased towards the Italian manufacturers!

Of all the boxes I played on my trip the best was the Catagnari Mas (beautiful look and sound), the worst was the Paolo Soprani that I played in the music shop in the old PS building (flat and lifeless), the most fun was the Baffetti Organetto with yellow and orange buttons 8) and the biggest surprise was the 2 row Victoria (much better known for their PAs and CBAs) - a really smooth box and lovely tone on the right hand but way too loud on the bass end.

If anyone else is thinking of making this trip I would recommend it without hesitation, we did the whole thing, there and back, in 5 days which gave us plenty of time to do the squeezebox stuff as well as have a walk around Loreto (stunning) and a day at the seaside in Porto Recanati. So, two final pictures, one for the Ladies from the accordeon museum, and one of me on my last night in Recanati playing in the piazza ( and guess what, the Italians really like Stephan Delicq tunes too) the Minnie Mouse bag that is down by my feet belongs to my daughter, honest!

Thanks for reading what I have written and I hope it will inspire you to make this trip and also to reassure you that the future of our beautiful instruments is in good hands.
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Adam-T

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2012, 04:33:04 PM »

Thanks for a fantastic tour, I found it especially interesting because I have a Baffetti and will be finally adding a Castagnari soon (a very humble Lilly, not anything exotica like a Rik, Handry etc) so you will have covered both the makers of the two Italian boxes I (will soon) have  :|||: ..

If you feel like spoiling those of us who will never get there with more pics on a FlickR page etc we`d be grateful :) ........
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Bobtheboat

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2012, 04:59:24 PM »

Great stuff Tamba! Was really interested to read about your trip especially the visits to Castagnari and Baffetti! Thanks, Bob.
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tedrick

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2012, 07:07:42 PM »

How did the economy in Northern Italy seem? I have heard news reports that the economy is getting very bad in Italy -

Is the economic situation in Italy as dire as Spain and Greece (not to mention Portugal?)

How will these small craftsmen survive?

Reed
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Tamba

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2012, 11:08:41 AM »

The economy in Northern Italy is in a very precarious state at present. A few people I met told me how tough things had become over the past 2 years. The problem is that the Italian economy is so big that a bail-out is regarded as impossible because the EU doesn't have the funds to do this. I think Castagnari and Baffetti should be able to buck this trend, it seems that ( as in the UK) those manufacturers in niche markets are managing to weather the economic storm, and I would imagine that alot of their sales are outside of Italy which probably helps...... fingers crossed.
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Adam-T

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2012, 11:18:35 AM »

Yup - buy the boxes and they`ll stay around to make them.

I can`t see how Voci Armoniche pulling surcharge stunts on non standard reed orders is going to help though it could be a desperation move to increase profits (or stay afloat) without putting the basic price of reeds up.
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C#D Casti

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2012, 04:20:58 PM »

Loved your review of your trip to Recanati, especially to Castagnari. As a matter of interest, approximately how many accordions do they produce per year?
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Tamba

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Re: A holiday in Recanati and Castelfidardo
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2012, 09:44:58 PM »

Sorry, I didn't ask how many they make a year, once I got through Castagnari's front door I was like a small boy in a sweet shop, I did manage to ask some grown-up questions but that wasn't one of them! However I made a rough guesstimate in my head, multiplied it by the average price of one of their boxes and ended up with a figure that would probably leave them bankrupt within a year (at least 12 full time staff/family from what I saw), god knows how they make a living! Mind you, they have been doing it for a long time as you can see from this very early model  8).

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