It sometimes comes up in conversation, generally the question coming from new visitors to Barga, just how on earth do you get large objects like furniture through the small and steep streets of Barga Vecchia and into the narrow doors of most of the houses? The answer to the first part of that question is, of course, the Ape, the small three wheeler trucks that we have featured on barganews many times over the years.
The answer to the second part is a bit more complicated but it can probably be summed up as a peculiar mixture of brute force and ingenuity*.
Sometimes it looks as though the house has been built around some of the objects inside it and in fact maybe, just maybe, that might happen as recent alterations are made to houses that have large antique objects like tables, sideboards and beds which can no longer be carried out through the doors.
This week was a good example of the other method of getting a large very heavy antique table into a living room when the front door to the apartment and corridor where too small to allow the table to pass.
The table, weighing upwards of 70 kilos and nearly 3 metres long was manhandled off the Ape and carried up the stairs to the apartment. As you can see from the video below there then followed a number of attempts to lift up the table via ropes and pass it through the first floor window … all of which failed.
More help was needed and so after a quick telephone call, the four people pulling on the ropes had their numbers doubled as four more strong backs where put to the task – this time not Italians but Rumanian’s. The mix of languages, commands and counter-commands now adding to the confusion.
The main problem apart from the size of the table was the fact that it has six legs, making any attempt to get it in through the windows very troublesome.
If you watch the video to the end you can see that they abandoned their attempts to pass the table through the first floor window and instead returned back in the piazza and went for the more difficult route – straight up to the fourth floor.
The applause from the crowd seated in the L’osteria in Piazza Angelio rewarded their final successful attempt as the table, only slightly scratched after its long flight upwards was finally set on its feet and unwrapped from the protective bubble wrapping.
*anybody remember this article from 2008 about moving a Steinway piano to the second floor of a 500 year old palazzo in Piazza Angelio.