The Country of Watches: our trip to the most beautiful, exclusive and hidden places in Italy, the world of Club Cavallo Italia and the people who love the beauty and the elegance, today stands at Pesariis, the watch country, a fraction of the municipality of Prato Carnico, in Friuli, 750 meters above sea level, with less than 180 inhabitants in 99 families.
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Pesariis is called the country of watches because its economy is based on watch production and, despite being a very small country, is one of the most important centers for watchmaking in Italy and hosts an important museum of the clock.
Documents confirm that watch production began in the 18th century thanks to Pesariis’s particular position and the presence of an important commercial place coupled with the solid and ancient tradition of metalworking.
Unfortunately, much of the documentation of the first period was lost in 1944 with the Cossack occupation, which also destroyed many of the collections of documents, but according to news reports, it seems that Mr. Solari, a character who settled in Pesariis around 1700, to have begun the development of the clock industry and the earliest confirmation of the clock production dates back to the mid-seventeenth century with a particular wrought iron wall clock that was successful in Veneto and Friuli.
In 1725, the Solari Factory was established in the north of the country with a totally handicraft production but, nevertheless, production grew in quality and quantity by beginning the production of tower clocks, documented in 1789 for the construction of the watch for the tower Civic of Cres by Antonio Solari.
We approach our days, between the 1920s and the 1930s, Solari’s firm, which changed the name of Fratelli Solari, developed greatly with the creation of new types of clocks without hands, palettes or chessboard, such as the model installed in the Poste Regie of Naples five meters high, unfortunately destroyed in a bombing during World War II.
In 1939 the company Solari split and was born the Fratelli Solari, based in Pesariis, and the Solari di Udine.
In the war period, Remigio Solari invented a new mechanism for timing watches and, at the end of the war, the Solari Brothers got the contract for the production of timepieces for the Italian State Railways stations, but the renewal was mainly by Solari of Udine, who in 1962 won the Compasso d’Oro with the signposts for airports and, in 1964, with the electromechanical clock Cifra 5, both of Gino Valle.
Subsequently, the company was acquired by Pirelli, then sold to the Gruppo Fornara and then made independent by reuniting the Pesariis plant.
Now that we have known the history of the italian clocks, let’s discover Pesariis, the country of watches, the small and beautiful village in Friuli, where clocks and sundials of all kinds are well in sight in its small streets and squares: 12 are the watches that enrich the path.
From the giant perpetual calendar clock to the water clock, from the clock of the planets to the checkerboard clock, from the clock to water tanks to the world map clock, you get lost in this beautiful village that is part of the most beautiful in Italy.
Of course in Pesariis, the country of watches, a visit to the Watchmaking Museum is mandatory, where a collection of watches representing the production of about three centuries is kept and open to the public, exhibited according to the chronological criterion that distinguishes the first eighteenth-century production, from pendulum clocks to bell-tower clocks, from the most recent ones with timepieces and snap-figure clocks.
The first board of Club Cavallo Italia: the stop at the Bottega del Tempo, in which the Uroburo appears, the Serpent King who bites the tail and represents the cycle of time. This shop, open in the country’s old-fashioned place, sells memories of the visit to Pesariis, the country of watches, handmade items: dolls of pieces, wooden toys, bronzini, jerseys and, of course, there is no lack of watches, even the most modern ones.
The second board of Club Cavallo Italia is at the end of our visit, which leads to the “Sot la Napa” farmhouse, in an ancient eighteenth century noble house where good summer cooking offers smoked ricotta dumplings of curd, fried zucchini, beef Sauris beer and blueberry cake.
Now that we arrived at the end of the article on Pesariis, the country of the watches, two tips: visit the other places we have chosen for you like as, for example, the Castle of Sammezzano, Siena and its palio, Burano, the most colorful city in Italy and the Cinque Terre.
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