Marko Senčar Mrdaković
In my research, I focused mainly on town squares as a cultural heritage of small and medium-sized Mediterranean towns in Tuscany. It is interesting how the physical shape of the square generate social, political and economic relations in towns; I shifted the focus mainly on two, Cetona and Monticchiello. The function of the square went through major and minor changes throughout history - in smaller towns the square was crucial for meetings between town dwellers and people from the countryside. It was a place of crafts and trade in local products and crops. Today, the square in a way retains its function of "meeting", "exchanging", etc., but above all it also promotes creative practices (in connection with heritage) and represents the potential for economic and cultural development of the place. The square as a public space creates many economic potentials and potentials for strengthening social ties, as empirical examples from Tuscany show. Especially in Tuscany, the importance of the market is particularly prominent in social, political and economic relations in cities. In the village of Monticchiello, I devoted myself mainly to the creative pursuits of the Teatro Povero. For more than 50 years, in a village of about 200 inhabitants, the majority of the population has been involved in theater. Theater is "born" in the square, where performances are traditionally performed. In this way, the square turns into a stage every year and is visited by people from distant places, especially Italy. For the locals, voluntary creative participation in the market represents the strengthening of local identity and social ties with both fellow citizens and ancestors. The income provided by the performances allows additional employment in the place (eg museums, restaurants). Thus, we can observe that village policy encourages creative practices in public space, on the square, and in this way discourages people from emigrating and contributes to the overall well-being of the village. I conducted a fieldwork also in the town of Cetona, where it also should be emphasized the great social, political and economic significance of the square. More pronounced than in other smaller Italian cities, the town square function as the market, and in addition, it has the function of meeting and staging events. There are many shops on the square that are owned by the locals and where you can buy local products. I was especially interested in the story of the pottery shop, which represents an important link between cultural heritage and the promotion of artistic practices in the town. As an ethnographer I participated in and documented many events that took place on the square during my stay in Cetona, for example, Saturday markets, ceramic manufacturing process, Stations of the Cross procession and preparation on Cetona in Fiore.