Via dei Sediari – The Chair Makers’ Street

April 12, 2012 / Local Interest
Rome, Lazio
Although there are not many chair makers left on and around Via dei Sediari which is just behind the senate house, the few botteghe there that practice this old trade still do a brisk business, especially wicker furniture.

Ask this sediaro about his trade however and he will admit that small shops like his are becoming ever more scarce, that the government isn’t doing enough for artisans, there is too much bureaucracy even for a small business like his, etc.

All of a sudden he gets a devilish grin on his face, raises his voice three notches, and continues, “No, my TWO CHILDREN will not take over the SHOP from their father. That would mean work for them, and they are smarter than that . . they will get a job in the public (gov’t) sector, do’ pi’i sordi e’n fai’n cazzo! Almeno cosí magnano…

Let’s just say that’s ..ahem… a colorful expression in Roman dialect. It roughly translates as “where you can earn money without working,” except in this case it also means to steal money. That final phrase, spoken loud enough to be heard by the entire block, literally means “At least this way they’ll be able to eat,” here in Roman however having the double meaning “they be able to embezzle.” I then recognize the two elegant gentlemen who have just walked by… two Senators on their way to lunch next door.


by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

8 Responses to “Via dei Sediari – The Chair Makers’ Street”

  1. Penny Ewles-Bergeron
    Penny Ewles-Bergeron

    Another tableau from the rich life of Rome – it’s got it all – local colour, artisan work, family life and a little bit of politics too. Thanks so much GB!


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