Antichi Mestieri

There is a lot of talk in the Italian media these days of “ancient crafts” that have all but disappeared from everyday life. A widely publicized story involves Marco Grazietti, a 27 year old with a degree in Biotechnology who opted for a career as a shoemaker. Another article is about a Peruvian shoemaker who took over for a retiring Italian because no else wanted to continue the business (The Peruvian man hope to hand the business down to his son someday). There are many such opportunities all over Italy.

Despite the “crisis”, many consumers are now opting to spend more for quality foods and products. Perhaps we have learned our lesson that by saving a bit of money and buying corporate, in the long term we helped eliminate many craftspeople’s livelihoods while inflating multinationals and in the end getting a less durable (IKEA) or processed (insert corporate food chain) meals. In addition we lose contact with our community and send money across the globe that just winds up in shareholders’ bank accounts.

In Borbona this morning, the local pastry chef’s wife was lamenting the fact that many people want their pastries, but they don’t have the energy to keep up with the demand. They use no preservatives and the croissants are perfect, but they only make a very few of them each day because the pasticero is 70 years old and doesn’t want to get up at 4 AM any more.

Some bloggers have even claimed that becoming a shoemaker (or any other of these ancient crafts) has become the fashion. In Posta, there are many of these professions that are dying out because no one wants to do them. Perhaps we could start filling in these positions with foreigners afflicted by the crisis? I already have my heart set on becoming an arrotino! -(Just like Spinoza)

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