There are traditions in Italy that belong to history and that we still perpetuate today exactly because they tell the story of our country, of who we are. Among them is the grape harvest: Swide’s poignant postcards of memories from Italy.
Most of us are fond of wine, which we know very well belongs to the history of a country, especially Italy (ok, we’ll admit, France, too).
But what’s the history of grape harvest in Italy? The photographs of Swide’s gallery span between 1924 to 1950.
Wine of course, traces a story much older than this, but since this is the time of the year for the grape harvest and wine is a prism through which we read our history we decided to pick a very important historical moments of Italy, the one that spans from the period after WWI to the WWII and beyond, from 1924 to 1950.
It was a very difficult for Italy, 25 years of poverty and hardship, in which the people struggled to survive. And yet, they still maintained their traditions and dignity by striving to produce the best. The moment of the grape harvest was a moment of joy for the community because it was then that people reaped the effort of the whole year.
At that time the world of wine was steeped the traditions of the commoners, very distant to the Italian panorama of today. People used to crush the grapes with their feet after days and days of walking in the vineyards for hours in the sun collecting them. At the end of the process there was a big celebration and people kept their best dresses and shoes to wear then. What you see today are moments of history, depicted in the nameless faces of these photos.
Written by: Elisa della Barba