Tuesday, June 5, 2012

L'Arte del Sandalo Caprese....

It has been a wild few days!
raining something like 15 inches overnight!

I can finally share a little 
bit about Antonio Viva 
the sandal craftsman I met on Capri.

I had a mission on Capri
one was to find the Carthusia perfumery and the other was to find
Antonio Viva...
I had an address but left it at home in America..oops!
 I stumbled upon him on a side street in the town
of AnaCapri...
He was sitting at his bench working away...
There were only a few people milling about on that street
and he looked up as soon as I approached the shop.
He greeted me and waved me over to his side...
I told him how beautiful I thought all the shoes were
and of course he then replied "Would you like me to make you a pair?"
Contrary to what I had heard from others
they could be made in 10 minutes while I waited he informed me!
Of course then it was on!
I didn't even ask how much at first because I felt like this was a one time chance
and this was who I wanted to make them!

This picture gives you only a glimpse of the volume of styles to choose from...
so I had some looking to do!
Frilly, gemstone studded, metallic,ropes, colors galore!
For me the draw with Antonio was his shop.
There are other famous sandal makers here
but his workspace is down to earth
and the way my kind of craftsman and artist works...
not all neat and tidy but a bit chaotic...
He asked if I had seen him on T.V. and I said yes..
not realizing he meant with Giada...
Am I crazy or is he the cameo sandal maker in Eat, Pray,Love,
or whom she mentioned?
In the window to his left are a plethora of photos of patrons
like you and me and of celebrity status..
some of the likes of Sophia Lauren and Jackie O.
I decided to keep my style
simple ...
soft natural brown leather straps....
he tried to persuade me to go with a color or some beads,etc.
but I figured if I went trendy I may not wear them in 10 years.
He sat down and got to work after deciding on my size..
his hands and fingers are calloused ,stained , scratched , and nails worn
from years of practicing his craft...
He did have a grin when he asked if I had seen him on T.V.
I smiled and told him however the real reason I
sought him out was because he made works of art that could be worn...
I explained I was with a group of artists...
Lots of tourists he said and the occasional artist...
the part about our priest with us 8 ladies was amusing to him 
as it was to most.
He inquired as to what my husband did
 and when I started talking motorcycles
peaked his interest..
We had a conversation about working  daily with your hands 
to make
something like a shoe or a motorcycle.
I personally think them all works of art.
He walked me through the shop to try and persuade me one last time to go for colored leather.
I watched as he made my pair and I slipped them on when he was done..
compared to the sample pairs  these slipped on literally like a well
fitting glove...
no way to describe how soft the leather feels...
He slipped them into a bag for his son to ring me up and then took my hand
and thanked me.
He headed back to his bench and went to work on a new pair.
His son placed
 a history about his father in my bag
and also pulled out a fat history book of Capri
 and told me this was just for me with a wink.

I didn't see anyone else get one 
and it was not a guide book 
it was a real book that cost a few Euros.
 I'd like to think I was the lucky one for the day!
Antonio Viva is a true craftsman and a real gentleman.
He embodies the friendliness and  spirit
 I experienced on my Italian adventure....
you can view some of his creations at
Happy Tuesday to all!



1 comment:

  1. What a fun story!! You will think of your trip every time you slip on those sandals! They are adorable!