Many of the houses in these tiny narrow streets have been renovated, and the logistics of working on a site where you can't back trucks up to dump a load of metal or pour a ton of concrete are very interesting. I watched one morning as a truck with a skip bin pulled into our alley. The skip was about half full of bags of metal, concrete and plaster, which the builders unloaded by hand. Presumably there has to be room inside the gutted building for these to be stored. Then, on the first-floor balcony of the appartamento next to the one they were working on, one of the builders appeared, and put together a contraption which looked like a load of bottomless buckets chained together reaching down to the skip. (I've seen these used in Sydney when blocks of flats are being gutted, but I hadn't seen them used like this) I have no idea how the builders got into the flat next door - it must be part of their building site and they must have bashed a hole through the wall to use it.
So then - this is the best bit - the spoil was carried, one trug at a time, to the balcony and tipped, one trug at a time, down the 'funnel' into the skip. No wheelbarrows, just trugs and muscled arms. And the noise...! At the rate of about one trug every thirty seconds this went on for about 90 mins, until the skip was completely full and the truck drove off. And, presumably, the builders had a little lie down. ANd I returned to my work in peace.