Pasquale's a true Figaro, who lists his skills as tailor, shoemaker, cabinet-maker, dentist, and of course, gentlemen's hairdresser. On his website, Pasquale gives a full account of his responsibilities, including:
"The most important standards in my trade are: personel attention and individuality. I practice my profession in a most natural way. This is in contrast with the operation of most of the present hairdressers À la minute: modernisation, rationalisation, complex machinery etc. They forget the real profession. SOCIAL and CULTURAL VALUES are neglected and the result is SOCIAL and ECONOMIC POVERTY."
This had all the hallmarks of being a classic Barber shop experience. What transpired was... educational, to say the least.
I turned up at 2 and was warmly welcomed into his delightful "living museum". Then I sat there for 40 minutes while he lectured / humiliated me about social responsibility, integrity and my being "an opportunist".
I was made to read aloud, to the assembled audience, a newspaper article in which he expounded his philosophy and vision - all very sensible and noble. You can read all about it for yourselves on his website.
Having ascertained what I did for a living and how much I earned, he wanted to charge me a cool €200! A little steep, in my estimation. I ended up leaving, unshorn.
As I opened the door to leave, and he addressed himself to one of his regulars, I caught sight of his face. What a transformation! The kindly-yet-playfully-antagonistic old codger had vanished - in his place, a sneering, judgmental old git of a man, happier to domineer and sermonize than to provide friendly service to his customers.
I won't be going back.