The shoemaker (u scarpêre, in Alberobello dialect) has always been considered a hard worker, busy for many hours in his workshop repairing old shoes and making new ones starting from wooden or iron lasts. It is easy to imagine a shoemaker at work in a trullo, comfortably seated on his stool while he repairs shoes holding them in his hands. A curious tool of this job is the "deschetto", the typical shoemaker's work table placed near the bed in one of the historic Trulli Holiday homes, adapted to act as a bedside table.
Often, behind the shoemaker, there was a shelving with repaired and soon-to-be repaired shoes, along with the tools. The most used were certainly hammers and anvils, pliers, nails and blades. The shoemaker placed the shoes on anvils of different shapes, such as those that in our trullo are located to the right of the fireplace. It was not uncommon to give the shoemaker shoes that were skilfully "polished".
Shoemaking was certainly a highly sought-after profession, but not very satisfactory from the economic point of view. In fact, it was said that "the shoemaker makes shoes for others and he goes with broken shoes", as his work was not very profitable and therefore he could not take care of his own shoes. Sometimes it is the same like that today, don't you think?
Source: “Humanism of the Stone. Reflections”, yearbooks 1999/2008 (Gino Angiulli, professor, geologist and writer).
In the pictures: Lorenzo Tarafino, Alberobello shoemaker by profession for generations; he is passionate about his job and he is always in the workshop to check that the work of the young apprentices is going through.