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Some of them were shops inherited generation after generation, but “progress” slowly killed all of what ceases to be profitable. Urban changes in the historic center of the cities, the cancellation of the old rental contracts,  the large retailers with long opening hours  difficult to compete against, and above all, the accelerated life style, the rush that has invaded all and has washed away the good habit of doing things with ease.

Shops, where the living experiences could be shared beyond the business, a place where people could express their concerns and receive advice, because the skill within the profession was important and the dedication to each client was highly valued. These shops where each counter spoke of History and little stories, that talk about good and bad times, about lives in the neighborhood and scenes that remind us that we were people, moved by human impulses and feelings, that made of the baker a companion, the barber a friend and the butcher a counselor.

Shop owners and shop keepers who worked as a family, who explain how they had to sleep on those counters, or even on a higher flat looking through a spy-hole to see if someone entered the shop. The same people that remember with a smile how someone famous stopped and visited them, or that keep in their memory one thousand neighborhood secrets and stories. Century old shops that are disappearing, perhaps for not wanting or simply for not knowing how to adapt to the new times. Only because their owners did not want to loose the essence that made them necessary. A tradition that can no longer sustain a family and that is being swept away by progress, absorbed by the truth of what today has become just History.

 

 

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