The harvest in Cinque Terre was an exhausting, but exhilarating phase. It represented the final step of the complex and laborious cultivation of the vine: a massive task due to the harshness of the territory.
People used to work all-year round and lived out of what they produced and using the small amount of money coming from the sale of the wine. The villages spent twenty days in feverish activity.
Early in the morning the streets were filled with people of all ages. Men, women, young people and even older people with “corbe” (large wicker basket with four handles) and “paniere” (round wicker basket); they were all over the countryside, talking loudly, in a festive atmosphere.The elderly were detaching the clusters, cleaned them from rotting, discarded those unripe, divided the white from the red grapes and then prepared the loads. This was a tiring and boring work that the youngsters disdained, preferring to go back and forth with well-filled “corbe” and “paniere”.
Men carried the “corbe” on their shoulders, loading them on a “pagettu” (from the Latin “Paliarum” jute sack filled with straw to make the basket softer), burlap sack stuffed with straw or vine leaves to make the basket softer, while women carried the “paniere” on their head and placed it on a rolled burlap sack, or “varcu” (from the Germanic “Walkan” that means wrap up carelessly).
During the long itinerary from the vineyards to the cellar, carriers (in dialect called “camalli”) stopped one or more times depending on the difficulty and length of the path, laying the “corbe” filled up to the ridge, on the stone walls that marked the path (in dialect “pusela”) trying to recharge energy for the final effort.
Many young people from the neighboring hilly areas were ready to help transporting the grapes and in the evening, despite the great fatigue, there was a big party with dancing and wine for everybody!
The photos are by André Leuba, Eduard Kopp and Anselmo Crovara kept in the Archives of Memory Anselmo Crovara in Via Aldo Rollandi in Manarola
23 October 2020
The ancient village of Lemmen in Riomaggiore
8 October 2020
Agriculture in Cinque Terre: man and nature.
21 April 2020
Monterosso: poets, lemons and anchovies
27 March 2020
Cinque Terre’s beaches
30 January 2020
Manarola: the vertical village
18 September 2019
1919 – 2019: the harvest of the centenary in Volastra
1 May 2019
The Path n. 531: from Riomaggiore to Manarola through Beccara
12 April 2019
The path SVA between Monterosso and Levanto
2 December 2018
The Vernaccia: the first wine of the Cinque Terre
18 September 2018
Harvest 2018: great harvest in Volastra!!!
8 November 2017
Harvest 2017: quality and quantity for D.O.C. 5 Terre wine
12 August 2017
Path n. 536 to Monesteroli: stairway to heaven
14 March 2017
Path n. 509 : Monterosso–Soviore
19 January 2017
The Cinque Terre’s sweet wine: from Rinforzato to Sciacchetrà
14 January 2017
The Maremonti pedestrian cycle path from Levanto to Framura
19 November 2016
From Monterosso to Vernazza via sanctuaries
23 September 2016
Harvest 2016: excellent quality!
21 May 2016
The path n. 530 – From Volastra to Telegrafo
9 December 2015
Path n. 507 from San Bernardino to Vernazza
1 October 2015
Harvest 2015: the perfect season!