International chimney sweep meeting
Since 1981, every year on the first weekend in September , chimney sweeps from almost all over the world meet in Santa Maria Maggiore to celebrate their job, their traditions, and their lifestyle.
Why in Santa Maria Maggiore? Why in the Vigezzo Valley? Why in the Piedmont region?
Because in the sad past, not so long ago, little boys – children no older than 10 – were forced to leave their poor families and the miserable valley to work as chimney sweeps in big cities. Many of them died of sickness, famine or from the effects of this harsh job, but the handful of these who went on to make a fortune wrote many pages of this history.
The gathering was established almost 40 years ago: in the beginning, only a few chimney sweeps came here from different regions and countries, but now it’s amazing: the last edition, in 2019, saw more than 1,300 chimney sweeps from Europe, Russia, America, and Asia parade through the little village of Santa Maria Maggiore – which only counts 1,300 inhabitants!
Traveling by the Vigezzo Vision train, we’ll reach Santa Maria Maggiore and celebrate these brave people: we’ll enjoy the parade, sing along with them, scream “SPAZZACAMINOOOO” with them, and have fun dirtying our faces just like them (yes, you read it right: dirty!!! Please don’t expect to go back to your hotel without any smudges). We’ll be immersed in this joyful atmosphere, surrounded by the incredible backdrop of the Alps.