This morning I was summoned to my terrace by a call that has been familiar since my childhood : “Arr-o-teeeeeeee-noooooooo !” I looked down to see the wandering knife grinder, whose system consists of a vintage moped whose motor turns a grinding wheel. I trotted briskly downstairs with my dull knives, and while watching the arrotino, who was concentrating so deeply on my smallest paring knife, I thought about traditions, like the wandering knife grinder, that remain in Italy but are gone in so many places. And how observing so many of these traditions, many of them artisanal, is meaningful to so many of you.
One of our clients wrote us last year to say that one highlight of a trip she shared with her granddaughter was watching silk being made, something she thought she would never see. Another marveled at seeing her own shoes being produced before her eyes. A New York city client talked about watching a chair being caned using an intricate system of weaving and lacing that was mesmerizing.
Throughout the year our travelers see mozzarella being produced, olive oil pressed, grapes picked and macerated, honey gathered, farro turned to flour, crocus turned to saffron.
Italy is still a country of strong traditions, artisan production and small-scale activities. Finding them is our delight. Introducing them to you is our joy.