Then in Spring the earth would be turned over manually, men would refresh the earth by flipping every clod. They needed to be strong but also able, some managed to make every blade of grass disappear even without digging into the ground properly. The foreman would have to make sure every job was done as it should be, and they dug for 6 hours. Every worker was entitled to half a litre of wine and there was a break for breakfast.
Tradition wanted that oil-preserved herrings were put at the end of the rows of vines every so many, so when pairs of workers reached them they'd dip their bread in them. Of course the first ones were the best tasting! A poor world, filled with strong tastes, perfumes and flavors that have long since disappeared. Nothing to do with frozen pastas and breads of today. It is in their honour that me and the guys eat loaves with our porchetta, coppiette and olives and wash them down with Frascati.