Lidia Cosentino has more than 20 years experience in the tourist industry and currently works as a Station Manager for the airport in Lamezia Terme. Barbara Aiello is rabbi of Calabria’s only Jewish synagogue. Togther they share a passion that binds them together in unique service to their community – a consignment program that benefits the tiny mountain village of Serrastretta.
Located in the “toe” of the Italian “boot,” the region called Calabria, the village of Serrastretta has seen its share of hardship. Lidia notes, “Our region is hurting. Year after year it has to deal with an unstoppable emigration of young and old as they move to the north of Italy and onward to other countries as well.”
But Lidia and Barbara are not discouraged by the difficult economic conditions that have plagued Calabria for decades. Instead they believe that creativity and determination can positively influence the social and economic life of their isolated village.
“We wanted to develop an economic program that involves our residents,” says Barbara who hit on the idea of Calabria Treasures during one of her long walks through the village.
Locals, together with Lidia, determine a selling price for their vintage items. When an item is sold, the consigner receives her/his stipend – thus adding to the economic growth of the area.
These vintage items reminiscent of a time gone by provide a tangible connection to a vibrant past and rich heritage.
Lidia puts it best when she says, “We have so much to give the world because we have not forgotten our roots.”
Calabria Treasures that find their way into the homes of Calabrian families around the world continues to honor the craftsmanship, artistry, and ancestry of a people and a region.