Every year at the annual San Rocco market you will see people arriving at Barga Giardino with small bundles wrapped up in newspaper in their hands or pulled out of shopping bags. 15th and 16th August is the traditional time to get the kitchen knives and scissors resharpened by Umberto the Arrotino – the knife sharpener.
Once upon a time there would have been many travelling knifesharpeners working in this area but that has changed over the years as peoples buying habits and expectations have changed.
These days it is just easier to throw away the pair of scissors that no longer cut as well as they did or buy a new sharp knife to replace the old blunt one. One person who knows this better that most is Umberto who has been working his trade since 1950. Now in his late 60’s, he has become more or less the last knife grinder still on the road.