Saturday, November 7, 2015

Cesare Mazzini

On our first day in Montepulciano, we walked into what might well be the highlight of our entire three months in Europe. After checking into our apartment, we went out for a walk and within 50 meters we saw a man working in his copper shop. Cesare Mazzetti invited us into the shop along with another couple. With only a few words of English he made us feel like old friends as he shared his work with us.
Jina checking the ringing
Steve hearing the ringing
He quickly figured out that Linda and Patti are the Ministers of Finance and the Generals in our households. Then he asked about children. Linda and I were a big disappointment when we told him we had none. We were moved to one side while he brought out a shiny copper disc that he began stamping with hearts and flowers as he explained through pictures that this disc should be placed under Linda’s pillow at night. A bit of ‘frisky-frisky’ would soon lead to four children. He showed us pictures of a couple who had been on their honeymoon when he made a disc for them. Nine months later they had a bouncing baby boy and he had the pictures to prove it. After including our anniversary date and initials, he handed the disc to Linda who promised to put it under her pillow, too. He then made discs for Steve and Patti and the other couple including initials of their children. Of course they are to also use the discs to produce more children. Four is the magic number.

The horse is the weather vane Steve and Patti purchased
Cesare is a third generation master of his craft. Born in 1936, he was forced to begin his career as a plumber because copper was unavailable after World War II. In fact, copper items were melted down during the war to make weapons, something that made Cesare very sad. Cesare uses traditional and modern methods in his shop, but any modern methods are only to speed up the process, not to change in any way the quality of the final products. Cesare’s son Enrico  is an electrical engineer so Cesare may be the last of his line in the coppersmithing business. Enrico did give us some hope that perhaps his son Lorenzo will follow in grandfather’s footsteps. We hope so.

Hearts with our initials
Flowers for initials of our children (Empty)
Anniversary date in the middle

Two days later, we visited the store run by his wonderful wife Iolanda.  She sells the beautiful copper kitchen ware and decorative pieces at very reasonable prices by American standards. We purchased several items at about 75% of what copper ware of lesser quality would cost in the US. Steve and Patty also bought a horse-topped weather vane for their home. They will ship our purchases home along with a few of the clothes we no longer need as the weather turns colder. More room in the luggage for presents.

Cesare, Iolande and Enrico in the shop
Kent and Jina with their purchase
Our purchases: an omelet pan and a wine cooler
Rick Steves talks about Cesare, but we discovered him on our own and created some memories that will last our lifetimes. You can check out his website at and purchase his work at If you have a special project, you might even email his with a description and he can give you a quote. You won’t be disappointed.

I had trouble with the videos. They may work - or may not.

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