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From Paris to Grottole to learn the art of crochet

Have you ever thought of immersing yourself in a new culture and learning local traditions and arts? That’s exactly what Capucine, a young seamstress from Paris, decided to do when she chose to spend a few months in Italy and Grottole in search of living culture and authentic relationships with the local community, such as with Addolorata and Rosalba.


Capucine and Addolorata

In this interview, Capucine shares her experiences living in Grottole and the impact it has had on her life by answering questions from Rocco Pisilli, our community host.

Hi Capucine, what do you do in life and what brought you to live in Grottole?

Hello Rocco, I am a seamstress specialized in tailoring. I work in workshops of fashion houses such as Balenciaga, Givenchy and Céline. This year, I did a 6 months mission for the fashion show of Balenciaga Couture. That allowed me to have time for my projects. Especially for this one, who was to come to Italy for three months to improve my level of Italian. I traveled alone for 1 month and a half, during the middle of my trip I started to search on the internet a place where I could meet the locals and participate in their everyday life in order to fit in with the real Italians life. Fast enough I found the website of WonderGrottole. I wrote to Andrea to find out if a long-term stay would be possible. He answered me enthusiastically, telling me that he would hope to put me in touch with the women of the village to learn from them the craft of village sewing, such as crochet. This is how the adventure started.

What are your favorite things about Grottole?

My favorite things about Grottole are its beautiful view on the Basilicata, the architecture of the historical center but above all, its inhabitants. Thanks to them, I felt really welcome. They made me discover the region through their own vision and stories. They made me travel in space and time with a lot of emotions.

What do you think about Gottole’s community?

Right now, I consider part of the Grottole community like my own family. They invited me, opened their doors and their hearts to me like nowhere else. They have an unlimited sense of hospitality and generosity. They have their share of daily hassles but they all carry within them the joy of living, the love of cooking and their village. I learned a lot from them, not only about craftsmanship, but also about the beauty of life and human relationships.


a dinner in Grottole


What else did you learn in Grottole?

In Grottole, my purpose was to meet the ancient lady to learn with them the crochet, which I didn’t know at all. For me, it is also a pleasure to learn from the elders. I also discovered a lot of different typical techniques of this place and his region. I also practiced my passion to share some beautiful experiences of life with the young. Thanks to WonderGrottole and Casa Netural, I did two interventions in two different schools in Matera. It was a wonderful moment of discovery and sharing. 

How different is your lifestyle in Grottole compared to Paris?

My life in Grottole is totally different compared to Paris, in the way of perception of time. Here, people take time to stop, to talk, to help each other and to share time together around a good coffee or a good meal. Also, here, most of the products I consume come from the countryside, everything is fresh and of good quality, from vegetables, pasta to wine.

Would you recommend spending some months in Grottole to your friends?

I will surely recommend to a lot of friends who are attracted by this way of life to come. Here, there is a lot to discover in craftsmanship (ceramic, embroidery, knitting), also in agriculture (vegetables, olive oil, honey, wine…) and all of these beautiful traditions who make this village so unique.

A last question: What are your favorite things about Chritsmas in Grottole?

My favorite things about Christmas in Grottole are this special atmosphere and decorations (in the streets, in the church and in the houses) but most of it, the tombola, which is a custom that is practiced regularly during the celebrations before Christmas.


The “tombola”


Thank you Capucine, it was a privilege to meet you for us.

One ‘last thing, I would like to give special thanks to Rosalba, Francesco and the entire WonderGrottole and Casa Netural team without whom I would not have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people and who welcomed me as a member of their family.

Capucine’s trip to Grottole was full of discovery, learning, and connecting with the local community. From learning new techniques to experiencing the joy of a slower pace of life, his time in the village was truly transformative. If you are looking for an immersive cultural experience, consider following in Capucine’s footsteps and spending some time in a small town like Grottole. You never know what new traditions and relationships you might discover.