Nowadays Cinque Terre have to be grateful to the stubbornness and tenacity of the older generation and to its superhuman efforts that changed the landscape to make a living through agriculture, mainly destined to producing wine for sale.
In order to cultivate the vine, due to the roughness of this area, it was necessary to build an infinite number of dry-stone walls to create the terraces on which to plant the vines.
In consideration with what just said, the harvest assumed epic contours, as the connections between the fields were formed by narrow and inaccessible paths with countless stairways, which denied the possibility to use any kind of mechanical means of transportation.Every single cluster of grapes was transported with “corbe” (straw narrow and high basket) on men’s shoulders and with “paniere” (straw wide and low basket) on women’s head.
In some cases, the vineyards were so close to the sea level, that the harvest was done with the use of “gozzi” (typical ligurian fishermen boats) on which were loaded baskets full of grapes directly from the cliff.
To better understand the concept, please observe with due care the photos at the bottom of this article, courtesy given by Mr. Anselmo Crovara from Manarola, who also has a spectacular collection of agricultural objects exhibited in a small personal museum.
To better understand the present and to try to give a future to our territory, we must necessarily draw the hints from the past!
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.