I come from a small village in Val Taleggio, where everyone has always done three jobs: bricklayer, woodsman and cheese maker.
My father and mother met in Switzerland, as emigrants.
At that time, the shop doors had signs with the words: “no dogs or Italians”.
I’ve always done this job, and I’ve seen all the changes. Thirty years ago, there was no safety on construction sites. We didn’t wear safety shoes or hard hats, there was no bureaucracy or inspections.
In 1990, I was installing a façade in Paris and I hurt my eye, but I put up with the pain until the end of my shift. I climbed down, and as soon as they saw me they rushed me to hospital. I had a piece of metal in my eye. They operated on me immediately and when I woke up, I got out of bed, signed the hospital discharge form and went back to the construction site.
In 1994, I was on cantilever scaffolding when I miscalculated the counterweights. I fell 6 meters and landed on my foot. The impact, the pain…it was noon. I continued working until 4pm, eventually giving up. They couldn’t believe it at the hospital because my foot was fractured and had to be plastered.
I went back to work the next day with my foot in plaster.
When I met Paolo, we were working at the same company. We did all kinds of work: bricklaying, installing windows, doors and facades, maintenance.
Then one day he said to me, “I’m leaving. I’m going to set up my own business”. And I said, “I’m coming with you”.