For The Love Of Sandals in Salento
“The first pair of sandals he made were for me,” quips Elisabetta, the wife of sandal designer Rino Del Beato. They helm Erredibi, a line of leather bags, accessories and sandals, which Rino proudly declares as the original Salento sandal. Establishing himself in 1976 as an artigianale, Italian for artisan, he wanted to distinct himself from the leather workers. Starting with leather bags, briefcases, belts and wallets, the sandal collection premièred at the 1984 trade show for leather in Florence.
Walk along the narrow streets of Otranto and you’ll find sandal stores at every corner. Fitted with beige soles and thick leather straps, these local sandals will bring you from the beach to the bar during the peak summer months in this coastal town located in the Puglia region of Italy.
We had chanced across the Erredibi store while exploring the town, quiet during spring. The myriad of colours through the shop windows with the promise of shopping for new shoes drew us in, where we found not only sandals, but also suede belts, leather bags and accessories.
Nowadays, Rino’s sandals are made in Brindisi, and then sent to the Erredibi store there and in Otranto, Lecce and Ostuni. They remain at an affordable price, we paid €29 for women’s leather sandals and €25 for a men’s suede belt.
His website has an online shopping option, but it’s mostly in Italian and it isn’t too easy to navigate. If you do have a chance to visit his stores, you’ll love the warm and helpful service, typical of relaxed vibe in Salento. Rino and Elisabetta also visit their stores daily – we met them again when we went to Lecce – and personally serve their customers.
Corso Garibaldi, 73028, Otranto, LE
Via Giuseppe Libertini, 61, 73100, Lecce, LE