I have always been a fan of papusse, as they are called in Venice, or Friulian, a name taken from their homeland, I can no longer do without finding these comfortable shoes at home and on the road.
The babouches that have bewitched the vips
And just on our last tour in Venice, in mid-September of last year, I had bought Le Papù by Calzature Parutto in a sunny orange shade. And I put them on for the first time there where this color is a symbol of the fruit of the island: in Sicily.
For this rather particular summer, however, it exploded a little late without having fully lived the spring, I chose two papusse as perfect travel companions in the shades of sand and sea.
I confess, however, that the choice was not easy at all since I really liked all the Venetian models of Parutto Calzature, both the Papù in velvet and those in canvas with intense colors that recall the magical ones of the houses of Venice that are reflected in the water of canals and lagoon.
No doubt however on the quality of these shoes, already tested. Each model, without false or without left and right to allow the upper to be perfectly modeled to the foot of those who wear it, is handmade by expert craftsmen with patience, love and precision. The inner sole is made of an agglomerate of recycled cottons which guarantees a healthy barrier for walking micro-trauma.
All creations are unique products, made with the best materials in Italy. And they all have their retro charm that not only goes well with everything, from the caftan that recalls the East to the Capri model ankle-length pants that Audrey Hepburn liked so much, but they represent a real way of being, a lifestyle.
Which also has a lot of respect for the environment. The Friulian were once made at home, with recycled fabrics and waste materials called blecs, using old bicycle tires as the sole. Each Friulian family had its own tradition of shoes that were sometimes embroidered with floral motifs. And one of these families brought them to Venice where they were embellished with velvets and lace to be worn by the nobles of the time who made them their favorite shoes together with the gondoliers who chose them because the soft sole did not risk ruining the paint of their boats.
Maria and Giuseppe Parutto were also Friulians, originally from Claut, a small mountain village in the Val Cellina, and from here they supplied themselves with Friulian or scarpéth which, during the long and harsh winters, were made by local women. Then they took them to Venice and the neighboring islands: Maria distributed them with the pannier, an ancient wicker basket carried on the shoulders, while Giuseppe sold them from his banquet on the fourth step on the Rialto Bridge. Tradition has been continued by his son Carlo who, however, in addition to selling them from his counter, also began to distribute them to shops and stylists all over the world who were looking for him there, on that bridge, where it all started, so much so that he used to repeat: “They do not travel the world, it is the world that revolves around them”.
The third generation is represented by Riccardo and his wife Roberta, who started their production at the end of 1997 looking for, while maintaining tradition, new technological and stylistic solutions. With them the company settles in Mogliano where it goes on led by Christian who represents the fourth generation and who gave birth to FriVen, which also in the name definitively unites Friuli with Venice.
Today, as in the past, they continue to be made by artisans but with selected high quality fabrics and sewn entirely by hand to combine the upper with the sole. Thanks to this technique, the internal coupling of the shoe not only maintains the breathability of the fabrics, but also guarantees the possibility of washing them in the washing machine.
Personally, I really appreciated that the boxes of these multifaceted slippers to which the Venetians gave the poetic name of papusse, are made of recycled paper, but not just any but the one in which the “fritoin” is wrapped, as in Veneto it is called the fried fish proposed directly at the counter.
And if the furlane continued to be produced and used in Friuli and Veneto, particularly in Venice, where it has never been difficult to find them for sale in numerous shops, between Rialto and Piazza San Marco, today they are reliving their moment of glory because “spotted” at the feet of numerous celebrities, who have chosen papusse not only because they are pleasant to look at and to wear but also because they are a symbol of tradition and environmental sustainability. A philosophy that we too have long supported. So these slippers could only conquer us too!
I have already revealed to you which colors I have chosen. They are both fairly neutral and easily combined. Le Papù in soft hazel velvet, which in the texture of the fabric recall the golden sand of the beaches, I wear them during the day with long dresses in nuances or in a contrasting color, combined with large wicker baskets and voluminous straw hair, while in the evening I show them off under long skirts or palazzo pants in silk.
The summer version of Le Papù in fresh blue canvas, like our sea when it is lashed by the mistral, are perfect with more sporty outfits: jeans and striped shirt in a sailor style or fresh chemisier in white or ivory linen or cotton.
The beauty of these shoes is that they make any clothing chic and, above all, they can be worn in any season: you should avoid wearing them only when it rains!
Le Papù can be ordered online and purchased directly in Venice where the two shops of San Polo 390 and San Polo 786, a few steps from the famous Rialto Bridge, have become absolute reference points for enthusiasts. And for me they are a safe haven for the purchase of my papusse: the only moment when I “get stuck” is to choose among the beautiful colors because I would buy them all!