PEOPLE OF MARCHE - BASILIO TESTELLA
Posted: Feb 07 2015
The Marche region is a beautiful area in the middle of Italy along the coast of the Adriatic sea. It is not only the largest shoemaking district in Italy, it also has lovely beaches, great food - and great people. We at Italigente want to tell you about some of them, and since we are a shoe company, we start with a shoe man: Basilio Testella. The now late Basilio was the uncle to Claudio who together with his daughter Deborah and son Giancarlo makes Italigente's shoes. Basilio, or Vasi as he was called locally, was a legend in the small town of Montegranaro. He had his own brand and also made shoes for various companies around the world. Basilio crafted the shoes completely by hand, he didn't have a single machine in his a bit untidy but very charming workshop.
Basilio Testella started making shoes as early as at the age of eight, in 1938. He lived in the countryside with his father working with wood, and Basilio helped repairing shoes that was damaged. In 1944 he started working at a shoe factory of a relative, Alberto Guardiani. He quickly made a name of himself there and soon it was him teaching all the new apprentices coming to the factory. In 1964 he left to start his own business, and opened the shop Il Maggiolini in Montegranaro. He not only make shoes, he has continued with the training of others. Famous names like Lattanzi, Santoni, Campanile and Artioli all have spent time there training. And Magnus Ericson, founder of Italigente, also has Basilio to thank for much of the knowledge he has about how to craft shoes by hand.
It's people like Basilio Testella that will make sure that the beautiful artisanship of making shoes the old fashioned way will stay around for centuries to come. He will be remembered for a long, long time.