'Little chimney sweeps in Santa Maria Maggiore.'
Little chimney sweeps on the balconies of the town hall of Santa Maria Maggiore during the International Chimney Sweeps Gathering (Raduno Internazionale dello Spazzacamino) in Valle Vigezzo. They are calling out loud "spazzacaminooooo!", as they did in the old days, meaning so much as: "Does anyone in this street needs his chimney sweeped?" Nowadays, as folklore, they look cute and happy. But in the past Valle Vigezzo was extremely poor and many children (boys, not girls) had to leave home in winter to live the hard and hungry life of little chimney sweeps in the cities of the Po plain. Photo Paul Smit.