By Betty Henderson •
Published: 11 May 2023 • 14:00
The Prada visionary has saved a beloved newsstand.
Photo credit: Patrizio Bertelli (via Facebook)
The newsstand, which has been an integral part of the town since 1953, belonged to Piero Scartoni, a sprightly 91-year-old with a passion for journalism.
Finally, after decades of tireless dedication, Scartoni can bid farewell to early mornings and retire, thanks to the intervention of his former customer turned saviour, Patrizio Bertelli, one of the visionaries behind Prada, and husband of Miuccia Prada.
In an interview on Wednesday, May 10, Scartoni fondly reminisced, “Bertelli was a special customer, buying stacks of newspapers and magazines during the 60s and 70s. Little did I know he would become one of Italy’s richest people. I am absolutely delighted that he has saved my beloved newsstand”.
Despite being eligible for retirement since 1996, Scartoni soldiered on, supported by his daughter, Cristiana. But with his advancing age, Scartoni acknowledged that it was time to bid farewell to his cherished trade. “I’m almost 100, so I should really stop,” he admitted with a hint of resignation.
The decline of newsstands is a pressing issue in Italy, with approximately 1,000 being lost each year. Scartoni ruefully observed, “All the newsstands in Arezzo are for sale, but nobody wants them. It’s a gruelling job that begins at 5am. The rewards hardly justify the effort anymore”.
Bertelli, who shares deep roots with Arezzo as the birthplace of both his career and his wife, the iconic fashion designer Miuccia Prada, recognises the importance of preserving historical and cultural establishments.
Apart from rescuing Scartoni’s newsstand, Bertelli has also saved other endangered landmarks in the city, including the venerable Buca di San Francesco restaurant, serving culinary delights since the 1920s, and the exquisite 19th-century Caffè dei Costanti.
This act of generosity from the fashion powerhouse has not only protectedd a piece of Arezzo’s history in saving the newsstand but also shows the value of community.
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