Over the years, several traditional professions have been developed in the Alcantara Valley which have become one of the main features of the local economy. These crafts, according to traditions, have been handed down from father to son allowing to maintain this important art form even nowadays.
Handicraft has been always distinguishing itself for its high quality works, and nowadays this can be easily noticed in the few craftsman's ateliers still left: ideas, creativity, manual skills of men and women have given life to works of art of remarkable value.
There are several traditional professions in the Alcantara Valley that make it a place where handicraft has a high value: there are tailors, embroiderers, spinsters who thanks to their creativity and patience can create wonderful artifacts.
There are also jobs which are traditionally associated with men's world, such as cobblers, blacksmiths and sculptors whose creativity and chisel give a new shape to rocks or wood (in particular pearwood, cherry, oleander and olive wood).
In the past there were trades that nowadays have disappeared, such as the charcoal burner or the chair repairer, that many elderly people still remember and that have become an important part of the local traditions, even if the technological progress replaced the handicraft.
A very ancient craft that has never lost its value in the area and that attracts many tourists is that of the pastry chef. Every occasion here is marked by a dessert made with local products, such as nuts, honey, chestnuts, ricotta cheese, pistachio and almonds, that are generously given by this wonderful land.
Thanks to the presence of several plants with medicinal properties the herbal field has been always widespread in this area, and nowadays the ancient knowledge is used in a modern way.
The tools of the ancient professions
(photo by: Sara La Rosa)