Naples:life,death &
                Miracle contact: Jeff Matthews

Give Me that Old-Time Profession! (4)

This is the fourth in a series. Here is the first one—including the general introduction to the series.

The wine vendor.
Modern European laws that regulate the consumption of alcohol guarantee that this is one job that is gone forever. (Not that I haven't looked!)

Chestnut vendor. This guy still exists and is as popular as ever. The winter months are his season, and there is nothing like finding someone selling hot, roasted chestnuts on a chilly day. He still looks pretty much the same, and the equipment hasn't changed much, either. The brazier is the same, and you can still get warm standing next to it. Interestingly, there is another item sold from the brazier
—corn on the cob (see this drawing.) I haven't seen one of those vendors recently, but I imagine they're around.

Pottery repairman.  There is a running joke —at least one running around in my head— that Naples is a land of specialists. We joke that if the door handle on your car breaks, you have to go to the "car door handle repairman." That's all he does! That's a slight exaggeration, but not much. The pottery man in this drawing would have been just such a specialist. Plastic and super-glue have sort of put this business out of business, I would imagine. To the extent that such professions still exist, the gentleman would today shout out his availability from one of those very loud motor-tricycles with a flat-bed compartment on the back as he speeds around the streets.

The snail vendor. There is a group called "Slow Food"in Naples. They don't mean slimy critters that run so slowly they can't escape, but rather service that is so slow they can call it "leisurely" and "elegant" and pretend that this is the way people used to dine before the rush-rush present day of American fast-food. Of course, the ancient Romans—as research has shown—ate on the run a lot.

This drawing presents something else, however—snails. I have never seen anyone eat a snail in Naples, much less sell them on the street. There might be a specialized restaurant, the way they have for places that sell horse meat, but I have not seen one. The logo on the sign outside would be a snail, I suppose, but the above-mentioned Slow Food people
have preempted that one. As far as I know, they don't serve snails
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