Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 42 My Lecce jewels

Spent part of the day in Lecce. Had a nice conversation with a woman named Carmina. She runs a jewellery store called on the main drag, Piazza S. Oronzo called Cisternino.  (For you nosey parkers out there, yes, I did buy something. A pair of earrings.)

Carmina told me she's been working at the boutique since she was 8 years old. The shop belonged to her aunt, who had no kids. So she was the helper. But she loved being in the store even though the woman was quite a taskmaster, apparently.

What with one thing and another, Carmine was such a keener she ended up with the store even though she had earned a degree in classical piano.

What happened to the piano playing, I asked? Well, you know, she says, I got married and soon the kids came along, and that was that. But even with kids, she never did quit working at Cisternino.

Carmina is 66 looks now but looks at least 10 years younger. She's been behind that counter for 58 years.

She sighs. None of her three kids will be taking over the store. Two aren't interested. The one that would like to, a daughter that’s a gemologist, lives in Rome. Her husband has a very good job and there’s no question of them moving to Lecce.

Supper time is drawing near and we're about to go to Alle Calende Greche tonight to scarf down some pizza. It's the only restaurant in Martignano and reliably good. The other eatery is Berlino's but that's more – grungy, shall we say.

Lecce streets scenes

The Basilica di Santa Croce's spectacular rose window

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