IT TAKES A (GLOBAL) VIL­LAGE

ZOOMER Magazine - - ZOOM IN -

HER FEET MOVE WITH PRE­CI­SION, pump­ing the ped­als like an or­gan­ist. Her an­kle boots – four-inch heels – hint at punk. Her blood-red lips give way to a smile more in­tense. Her cropped hair re­veals a honed bone struc­ture. Yet it’s her hands that mes­mer­ize. They fly over, un­der, in and about hun­dreds of multi-hued threads, strung across an­cient looms that her mother and her mother and her mother be­fore her used to weave their tex­tile magic.

We’re in Peru­gia, in Marta’s work­shop, at the Lab­o­ra­to­rio Gi­u­ditta Brozzetti in the Church of San Francesco delle Donne. The loom has a time-hon­oured patina, worn where her great-grand­mother, the founder Gi­u­ditta Brozzetti, laid her own deft hands. This is the ori­gin of the Peru­gia table­cloth – it’s said the ta­ble in Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Sup­per was adorned with a Peru­gia cloth – and Marta’s stu­dio is one of the few re­main­ing tra­di­tional handweav­ing work­shops in Italy. It was Gi­u­ditta’s mis­sion to sus­tain the art and the pat­terns na­tive to Um­bria.

The United Na­tions World Tourism Or­ga­ni­za­tion (UNWTO) deemed 2017 the in­ter­na­tional year of sus­tain­able tourism; it de­fined it as the col­lec­tive ef­fort to sus­tain nat­u­ral her­itage and cul­tural val­ues as a way to bet­ter cel­e­brate diver­sity.

But it’s also a way of ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a place in a much more per­sonal way. “It’s go­ing be­hind the scenes,” says Tread­Right Foun­da­tion’s sus­tain­abil­ity am­bas­sador Cé­line Cousteau, the grand­daugh­ter of the ocean ex­plorer Jac­ques Cousteau, and a film­maker and hu­man­i­tar­ian. The not­for-profit Tread­Right, as part of The Travel Cor­po­ra­tion (TTC), sup­ports the UNWTO ini­tia­tive by aid­ing cul­tural her­itage trea­sures like Marta through aware­ness and grants from our tourism dol­lars. (The guided itin­er­ary we’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing was cre­ated by TTC’s Trafal­gar.)

“Sus­tain­able is one la­bel,” says Cousteau. “But mean­ing, that’s some­thing that we’re al­ways seek­ing, and sus­tain­abil­ity has mean­ing. If we have the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore new cul­tures, new places, new ways of think­ing,” Cousteau says, “I think that changes who we are.” —VV

For more on giv­ing back when you go: www. tread­right.org; www.trafal­gar.com/can. For the full Cousteau in­ter­view, go to www. ev­ery­thing­zoomer.com/trip-to-italy.

Cé­line Cousteau; (far left) Marta, and her tex­tiles, in her work­shop

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