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Here we want to list/remember arts, crafts and other things that were once perhaps the characteristic of Moschiano (and other small villages) but which today have almost completely disappeared. So that they are not forgotten because they are certainly part of our tradition and cultural background and have often made the image of Italy and Moschiano great in the world.

Arts and crafts

  Shoemakers    

  Pastry chef  

  Cow, sheep and goat breeder  

  Stone workers (stonecutters) and dry stone wall builders  

  Diggers/Farmers

 

 

Other

  Crushers  

  Donkeys Mules and horses  

 Collecting and loading hay and wood

 Carruoccioli, Traini and Sciaraballi

 

  Arts and Crafts

  Shoemakers  

There have been no shoemakers in Moschiano for some years. The last one was...  We know that today we perhaps prefer to buy new shoes in a shop, perhaps designer ones, or even use sneakers that are often exaggeratedly expensive.

Once upon a time, not so far away, there were small artisan workshops where strictly leather shoes were "handmade" with a lot of patience and art.

Once the heels or soles of old shoes were worn out, they were taken to the cobbler to be replaced or repaired.

Not to mention the shoes of the people who went to dig the land. High, rough shoes with the famous "cendrelle" under the soles to make the sole less slippery and have more grip on the ground. For those who don't know, "cendrelle" were very short nails with a very large "head", almost like drawing pins or "punesse" but much stronger and more resistant because they were made of iron.

Who doesn't remember how in the 60s, 70s and 80s in Moschiano there were at least two excellent shoemakers Gioacchino Lanzella and Enzo Squitieri. True masters familiarly known only by their names "Giacchino" and "Enzo".

In addition to knowing how to create a shoe from scratch and naturally fix broken ones, their small shops also served as a meeting center. 

They sat on the stool with their lab coats sewing leather or nailing their heels, always with tacks in their mouths behind a small work table facing the door so they could see who was passing by. There were often other people around or the occasional customer who perhaps stayed a little longer than expected and was allowed to keep the "masters" company. Behind them or to one side there was the inevitable cage with a magpie inside. 

Those who passed by never failed to say hello or pop their heads into the shop, even if only for a few seconds. And they are always available and ready to disseminate wisdom.

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Enzo Squitieri

Enzo Squitieri

Ciabattino
Pasticciere

  Pastry chef  

Perhaps few people remember it but even before other pastry shops in the valley became famous in Moschiano there was one in the square that churned out sweets with an exquisite flavor and smells that literally made your head spin.

It was the famous pastry shop of "Donna Filomena" and the person responsible for all this was her son "Don Michele".

Son of Vincenzo Buonaiuto and Filomena Manfredi, Don Michele learned the art of pastry making from his father and, after the war, became a professional pastry chef, delighting Moschiano and Vallo with his creations in his family's bar/pastry shop in the square in Moschiano . He emigrated to America (to Poughkeepsie) and after working in a local pastry shop as head pastry chef in 1974 he opened his own shop (La Deliziosa) where he continued to dispense "delights" to the Italian community and beyond.

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Allevatori

Cow, sheep and goat farmers  

Who in the 60s and 70s didn't go at least once to get cow's milk "from Martino" (born De Stefano Martino) up in Capomoschiano or "from Vicenzino" (Vincenzo Romano) on the Pistiello down to Croce district. These were our two "milkmen". Martino had many cows, perhaps around twenty, and in addition to the needs of the people of Moschiano he also supplied milk to people from other villages in the valley. Vincenzino had one or maybe two cows and his 'customers' were mostly people who lived in the Croce district. Maybe when you got close to the stables where they kept the cows the smell was a bit nauseating, but do you want to enjoy the joy of seeing the cows milking in front of you and running home with fresh milk? 

For sheep and goats the situation was different also because sheep farming had been an important source of income for centuries. Proof of this is the story of the shepherdess to whom Our Lady of Charity appeared.

In Moschiano there were several people who had a flock of both goats and sheep, although often not very large. In fact, a typical flock of sheep consisted of 300-400 heads of livestock, often native but sometimes also bought and imported from Sicily. This also entailed the need to hire people who could help with the operation (the so-called "boys") and consequently had an impact on the local economy. Among the "boys" we remember one in particular called "Zomparulo".

Perhaps the pioneer of this type of farming, almost of an "industrial" nature we would say today, was Angelo Mazzocca towards the end of the 19th century. Grazing took place in the summer months on the mountains and valleys around Moschiano and the product (milk, cheese and ricotta ) was often sold directly on the spot. There was naturally also transhumance which took place in the months of April/May with the climb up the mountains and September/October with the return to the valley. Even though we didn't have the sea, it was similar to the one described by Gabriele D'Annunzio in his poem  “The Shepherds”. Until the 1960s in those months you could see this enormous quantity of sheep passing through Moschiano that almost "invaded" the main road with the dogs running back and forth and barking to keep them at bay while the animals bleated continuously and the jingle you could hear the bells around their necks from afar. Meanwhile, the shepherd wrapped himself in his black cloak with "the hunter" underneath it (an item of clothing with large pockets for storing bread and water) and with his hat on, whistling continuously to masterfully direct the dogs and his flock. . Scenes from times gone by.

When Angelo died his son Generoso inherited the business which he managed until the early 1950s when it passed to his son Angelo (known as “Ngelillo or pecoraro”).

Angelo and his wife Ines kept their sheep up in Santa Cristina, but at least once a week they drove around Moschiano and other towns up to Nola with their car selling cheese and ricotta directly to private individuals or supplying the shops in the area including the well-known pastry shop Santaniello in Lauro. This activity ceased towards the end of the 1960s when Angelo and his family shifted their attention from sheep farming to agriculture, especially chestnuts.

It must of course be remembered that in addition to milk, the sheep also provided the wool often used by locals (who could afford it because it was expensive) to make the famous and super efficient "wool mattresses". Until the end of the 1970s, the front door of Angelo Mazzocca and his brother Luigi's house (known as "o Chichione") was very typical. It was of a green color with the upper part inlaid with bucolic scenes representing shepherds and a flock. Unfortunately it was destroyed due to the wear of time. In its place, however, still today in what is now the house of Giovanni Mazzocca (son of the late Generoso Mazzocca, police inspector, in turn son of Angelo) you can admire another wooden door carved by another great craftsman carpenter from Moschiano (Nicola Moschiano). It shows pastoral scenes with shepherds, flock and dogs.

It should be noted that in the square until the 1970s there was also another family that tried its hand at producing ricotta and cheese but with milk not of its own production: Flora.

The last person to have a flock of sheep in Moschiano in the 1990s was Orlando Aschettino (known as "Nucalone")

However, there were many people who raised goats scattered throughout the country but the flocks numbered no more than 20-30 goats each. Among others we remember Salvatore Dalia and his son Antonio (known as "tatonno or barista") and Carmine Dalia in Capomoschiano. . In the Croce district there was instead "Nufrio" with less than ten goats which on sunny days could be seen from the churchyard in front of the Church of the Immacolata while they grazed on the slopes of the "Pestellone".

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Portone casa mazzocca (nuovo)

Portone casa mazzocca (nuovo)

Campanelle per pecore

Campanelle per pecore

Campanelle per pecore 2

Campanelle per pecore 2

Scalpellini

  Stone workers (stonemasons) and dry wall builders  

Being a stonemason is perhaps a job that very few people know existed. Indeed, at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century it was very popular and those who practiced it were in demand. Who do you think inlaid the stones of the façade of the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Carita. These stone artists engaged in hard work that paid little but required a lot of sacrifice. At the beginning of the 20th century some of them went to seek their fortune in America where they were much appreciated. Among others we remember Francesco Addeo who towards the end of the 19th century landed in America and settled in Rochester (NY) where his family joined him at the beginning of the 20th century and where he died. 

A work derived from that of the stonemason, if we want, was that of installing dry stone walls (i.e. without lime). To build dry stone walls requires a lot of skill. This job also slowly disappeared. When you go to the Sanctuary and you are on the last bend of the road before the Sanctuary, raise your eyes and admire the walls that stand out on the impervious Serra hill or those that you can still see up the Via della Crocella in Capomoschiano. Who do you think built them? They have been there for many years, testimony to painstaking work done by people who cared about their land. Among the last to do this work we remember "Peppe e Garibaldi" from Capomoschiano and Giuseppe Manzi from the Croce district.

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Frantoi

  Other

 

  Crushers  

Once upon a time there were 3 olive oil mills in Moschiano, two in the Piazza and one in the Croce district. Of the historic ones, one in Piazza was located in Vico San Rocco and was managed by Vittorio Settembre (known as "Baffone" for his unmistakable mustache (almost "Stalin-like"), helped by his late son and friend Rizziero (known as "the knight" ) and the other in the square right in front of the church adjacent to the grocery, salt and tobacco shop run by Carmine Volino, his wife Tuccella and helped by his parents (Biondina and Domenico) as well as their children. In addition to the Vittorio oil mill September also had a "Tavern" where he produced and sold excellent wine.

The oil mill in the Croce district, however, was more recently built and was managed until its closure by Mario Fiore, husband of "Cecchina". When the Volinos moved to Lauro where they still manage a renowned oil mill, Mario and Checchina took over the grocery, salt and tobacco shop and for a while also the oil mill in the square.

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Asini
Cavalli aschettino 1969

Cavalli aschettino 1969

Cavalli Aschettino

Cavalli Aschettino

Donkeys, Mules and Horses   

Nowadays you can still see some horses in Moschiano but their owners have them as a hobby rather than out of necessity. It wasn't like this in previous years where horses (those who could afford them), donkeys and mules were much more common in the streets and houses of Moschiano and were used in field work.

It seems like we can still see the donkeys or mules with their bags of hazelnuts or chestnuts or with fagots on their backs proceeding at a slow pace up and down the sheep tracks and valleys. We are still amazed at their strength and sense of balance when they walked uncertainly along the edges of the precipices. 

Or horses pulled the cart full of hay or tree trunks which then had to be skinned and dried.

Someone older will certainly also remember how when they were attached to carts to transport bundles, hay and poles from Moschiano to Nola they also served as a means of transport to go to or from school.

One of the last to disappear in the 70s was that of Armando "o cocchiere".

They have gradually disappeared, replaced by vans and off-road vehicles, but their work and their contribution to progress cannot be forgotten.

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