“Spades, hoes and stones to work the ground, two oxen hooked to a wagon or a plow, three goats and two wise hands: these were Troia Luigi Fortunato’s fundamental elements in 1883.”
He was born in 1883 with a passion for stone terracing: building from scratch and the conservative restoration of boundary walls, wells or rooms extension was to him an art, a work to realise with exceptional attention and by taking a master degree. Although the real sustenance of his family life was the work in the fields and in vineyard, the stone working was his main passion.
Stones of an invaluable charm were picked up from the ground of terracing with picks and spades by Troia Luigi: he reused them to refurbish terracing or walls damaged by floods or to construct new rooms in houses, where a large number of people lived.
Partial view of an untouched wall, which was started in 1920 and completed in 1950. Water well built in 1900: the absence of water has changed it into a food shelter. Walls and trusses of a barn dating back to the early 1900s.
His passion, attention, exceptional care and fussiness in the realisation of every detail, were handed down from father to son for five generations. The stone working following the techniques of the ancient masters, the culture of wall construction, but also of the conservative restoration of roofs made of lose “stone”, the typical material of Langhe.
Troia Luigi Fortunato’s son in law was Luigi Bertola, who was born in 1912; he was a farmer with the woodworking passion too. The construction of roofs and boards for slabs was a job and an art for Luigi Bertola.
The first of his three sons, Giovanni, in 1957 decided to go and work for another company, but in 1970 he founded a company with another bricklayer to give birth to a firm with employees and workers.
Bertola Costruzioni & C. s.n.c. was founded in 2000: also Bertola’s sons work there. All of employees have a large cultural and technical background that is rooted in the traditional architectural modes and is accompanied by cutting-edge technological tools. Thanks to them we can create quality works by respecting the environment.
Currently, Giovanni Bertola is a grandfather and continues to protect and to hand down his knowledge: he is one of the masters in the Doing’s Bank, in which young people from all over the world have the chance to learn ancient jobs.
Roofs of lose “ciapé” and dry stone walls are the result of a challenge that wants to preserve the memory of ancient works and to hand down the beauty of natural and local materials.