Piera Ciresa is the co-owner of the Ciresa Val di Fiemme, a tonewood company located in the small village of Tesero high up in the Italian Alps. The company provides spruce for violin instruments and piano sound boards that was harvested from the Val di Fiemme, the Valley of the Flame, where the great violin makers of old such as Stradivari, Guarnari, and Amati got their wood. The interview begins in a special park in the town of Cavalese where important political and economic decisions, including the management of the forest, were made by elected representatives of the community going back as far as the Middle Ages. I later toured the factory with Piera and learned about “bearclaw” spruce.

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