Cervarezza Terme, a small town in the Upper Apennines Reggiano located in the municipality of Busana, and is known not only as a summer resort, but also as a center, one in Emilia Romagna, for the cork industry.
From this small town it originated almost all families currently producing corks in Emilia Romagna.
There is no documentary evidence of the beginning of the cork industry in Cervarezza, but through the testimony left by the elders of the land and handed down from father to son, the activity of the cork is traced to about half of the eighteenth century. The first official document that testifies to the cork industry and the manufacture of stoppers in the country dates back to January 23, 1889; It is kept in the archive of the municipality of Busana, and regards "the sale by public auction of 80 pieces of cork stoppers and 200, seized against a defaulter of municipal taxes and tax '
The misery of the end '800 forced several residents Cervarezza emigration. Many mountaineers went with the sheep to winter in Maremma, and here also cutting the wood, met the sole of cork.
Before working on the spot, then later they brought the peel at home with wagons or shoulder.
A Cervarezza zest was treated according to the rules learned in Tuscany and participated in the work in barns, cellars and stables, all members of the family.
The cork was boiled in a copper bath, then with a sharp knife the men "scaracciavano" getting the squares that then women arrotondavano.
A good scaracciatore was approximately 2,500 caps a day.
Before selling the caps were counted and bagged, then left for the towns and villages of the low with barocci pulled by horses or mules. They received money from the sale and sometimes used the "barter". Among the first in families that have started this activity they are to remember the Galassi, the Zanichelli, the Edit and Mazzoni. Following the improvement of wine production spreads the practice of bottling and Cervarezza is increased production, which went from sideline to farming and agriculture, in small industry in its own right, with new job opportunities for the whole country in particular for women and children. For some families become the main activity.
At the beginning of '900 some tappai Cervarezza used grinding machines and created stores in Reggio and La Spezia, where he moved shortly their activities, without losing contact with the country.
It should be mentioned among them Luca Beccari that in the '20s by his emporium near St. Stephen, supplied the whole city of Reggio Emilia and a large part of the plain. In 1927, he sponsors the Fisherman Reggiano with the advertising of "its unsurpassed stoppers for wine storage that are not afraid of competition because guaranteed real Spain '
Cork worked came not only from the Maremma and Sardinia but was bought abroad, as documented in a letter from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, dated August 4, 1906 and filed with the City of Busana, informing turacciolai "the auction of the bark of the cork harvest in 1906 in Algiers."
During the Second World War the production of stoppers Cervarezza suffered a sharp slowdown as most of the men were at the front. In the census of 1921 he stated that "Throughout the town there is only one industry, that / you for making cork stoppers. The plants for this industry is reduced to a ten installations of electric motors of small power ...
In 1925 it was founded the first cooperative society between the workers of the stoppers to counter the taxes for the year that were applied to the processing of the caps. (Document from Archive of Busana).
In 1926 the mayor of Busana send a questionnaire to turacciolai to regularize the complaints of various exercises in the City. From the data collected it is learned that the exercises were 15 including 12 equipped with the electric motor and the amount of cork machined ranged from a minimum of 8 tons to a maximum of 45 quintals.
After about a decade in the ISTAT 1939 census shows that households producing caps Cervarezza were sixty.
The sale took place mainly in the Reggio Emilia and Modena to plug bottles of Lambrusco, but also in neighboring regions of northern Italy.
During the period of World War II work suffered an interruption, but recovered quickly
after the war ended and production increased gradually. In 1950 Cervarezza there were 30 small workshops, but only eight years later there remained 20, but that presented the best equipped and worked all year. 1955 is the year in which created the first real companies. About thirty people leave the camps to install machinery and turn occasional employment in a continuing professional commitment can create 600-700 thousand caps a year made from 150 to 200 bales of cork.
In those years, the caps were placed Cervarezza markets Emilia, Lombardy, Trentino, in Tuscany and other regions. Pharmacists Italian called small stoppers from them used drugs "stoppers Cervarezza".
Local companies bought the material in Genoa at wholesalers, to remember the stock of Berlingeri, who arrived by sea from Spain, Portugal, Sardinia and Sicily.
In the mid-sixties, for the purchase of seasonal virgin cork, individual craftsmen went autonomously in Sardinia or Spain unable to agree among themselves to buy the material together.
Only in 1973 some cork-attempted the creation of a local consortium for the production of the stoppers through which it was planned to buy the raw material, to carry out some parts of the processing and to market the product. The consortium was short-lived because of uncertain funding and the strong individualism typical of entrepreneurs mountaineers.
In recent decades there have been profound changes in the country. Few of the younger generation have followed in the footsteps of their fathers in the cork industry.
30-40 of the complex craft of the fifties , leaving none to 3 or 4 , with a sharp decline of labor . The new factories , place largely in the industrial area of Cervarezza are designed as complex modern , with new production lines , stores with well-stocked and well ordered space .
Among the families that have helped to keep this activity until nowadays must remember that of Galassi Giuseppe ( Sugherificio Garden ) , of Ambrose and Danilo Guglielmi ( now New Artigiansughero ) , Bolzoni Joseph and sons , Gino Sironi , of Novelli Bruno , Guerri Adriano and Piergiorgio .
Some craftsmen who in past years had moved and settled in the plain between Parma and Reggio have created two large complexes : the Eurosughero and Italsughero .
These operators must be given credit for having preserved this important tradition of life and culture , which we hope will still have a future .