The brenta and the brentatori
in Indispensable immigrants
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Archaeology, philology, and history all agree on defining the territory of the brenta as southern Switzerland and northern Italy. All of the cities between the Alps and the Apennines had wine porters, but not all of these porters were brentatori. The region of the brenta included Piedmont, Lombardy, Trentino, Emilia, and the western part of the Veneto, essentially Verona. The specialised metier of the wine porters was one of the countless effects of the series of economic and social changes experienced in Western Europe between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries, and called by some historians the 'Commercial Revolution'. The statutes of the wine porters of Cremona are rather more compact and coordinated than those of Bologna. Any attempt to understand the world of wine porters has to give attention to the religious component of the guilds.

Indispensable immigrants

The wine porters of northern Italy and their saint, 1200–1800


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