“Calza di cuoio”, un angolo dedicato alla storia dei nativi americani

In Via Fia­no 12 in Bor­go Cam­pi­do­glio the­re used to be an aban­do­ned car­pen­try. Sin­ce Decem­ber 1st of last year it beco­me home of “Cal­za di cuo­io”, a social pro­mo­tion asso­cia­tion that inclu­des an area dedi­ca­ted to a museum about Nati­ve Ame­ri­cans, a labo­ra­to­ry for the pro­duc­tion of items made using lea­ther, a shop that sells tho­se items, an area dedi­ca­ted to wor­shop on how to work leather.

Soul of this spa­ce is Luca Gai­da­no, pas­sio­na­te about Nati­ve Ame­ri­cans sin­ce his youn­ge­st age. “Eve­ry­thing star­ted when I was 8 years old” he tells us “rea­ding the book “India­ni male­det­ti india­ni” writ­ten by Pie­ro Pie­ro­ni and Ric­car­do Gat­te­schi. Nati­ve Ame­ri­cans were living the way I would have liked to live. I have always been pas­sio­na­te about natu­re and the environment”.

The book is kept in the libra­ry of the asso­cia­tion toge­ther with other books, some of them very rare, all about Nati­ve Ame­ri­cans. The highlight is repre­sen­ted by appro­xi­ma­te­ly 200 pie­ces, all ori­gi­nals and all resul­ts of 40 years of hard work. “A uni­que col­lec­tion” as Luca Gai­da­no is tel­ling us very proudly.

In the area dedi­ca­ted to the pro­duc­tion, Luca is making all kinds of objec­ts using mostly lea­ther but also wood, except clo­thing and shoes. For exam­ple you can find lamps, key­chains, pil­lo­ws and now also face masks! “I like to recy­cle lea­ther. All the lea­ther I use is waste from food pro­duc­tion and not some­thing eli­ti­st. I star­ted when I was a stu­dent making nec­kla­ces and sel­ling them on the beach during my holi­days. Later I evol­ved and I star­ted to make objec­ts fir­st for me and then I star­ted to sell them”.

Along­si­de he grew his pas­sion for Nati­ve Ame­ri­cans. He has been seve­ral times in the USA cove­ring up to 9000 km during each trip. Seve­ral times he even con­si­de­red to move the­re but then his life took a dif­fe­rent path. He ope­ned his fir­st sto­re “Cal­za di cuo­io” in 1991 in Gia­ve­no. Then in the Asti region, later on in Bar­do­nec­chia, until he arri­ved in Tori­no in Bor­go Campidoglio.

“Right now the situa­tion with COVID is dra­ma­tic becau­se our busi­ness is not con­si­de­red essen­tial. I sell a dream and a sto­ry that is  behind each item” he is tel­ling us “I get atta­ched to all my crea­tions. In the begin­ning it was dif­fi­cult for me to sell them. It is dif­fi­cult to explain what’s behind each item, not only in terms of value, but also in terms of work. My hour­ly cost is 10 euros an hour.  Other­wi­se I wouldn’t sell anything.”

Once the pan­de­mic is over, he has a lot of pro­jec­ts. “Our goal is to pro­mo­te kno­w­led­ge using our hands. We would like to give clas­ses again and then con­fe­ren­ces and scree­nings and why not, one day invi­te some Nati­ve Ame­ri­cans to come to visit and talk about them­sel­ves . I always say it: I have been wor­king for 43 years and I am still learning”

Via Fia­no 12 – Bor­go Campidoglio