Ancient Trades Thrive in Italy

Basket weavers, blacksmiths, knife grinders and practitioners of other traditional trades are holding out in Italy, the Milan chamber of commerce announced.

There are some 17,000 artisanal businesses across the country, including almost 7,000 carpenters, 5,000 cobblers and 3,000 picture-framers, a survey said.

Some 1,725 small businesses specialize in embroidery, lacework and crochet. Traditional trades are most common in Rome (6.4 percent), Bolzano (5 percent) and Milan (4 percent). Rome is the city with the highest number of shoemakers, while Bolzano is in the lead for chimney sweeps and Milan for blacksmiths.

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