Cloudy skies and rain may have obscured most of northern Italy over the weekend, yet in the town of Santa Maria Maggiore in Piemonte, the weather was not going to matter in the least bit. In this alpine community just 8 miles from Switzerland’s southern boundary, chimney sweepers (spazzacamini) from around the world came together once again for the annual September event. Representatives hailed from the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Romania, Lithuania and Estonia. Japan and the Republic of Moldova were also said to be among the soot-faced participants but I saw neither (for the latter it was because I had no idea what their country’s flag looked like).
A great crowd showed up for the parade on Sunday but eventually the rain did manage to turn a few visitors away after it was over. More photos on flickr.