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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Antiques And Collectibles


I have nothing against snow globes. Or key chains. Or souvenir shops. Honest. I myself have a collection of souvenir pens that I'm extremely proud of. You know the kind I mean? Where the top part of the pen is filled with some sort of liquid, and something inside, indicative of the place you bought it, slides back and forth? I have over 50 pens, from all around the world, and every last one of them I myself bought at a typical souvenir shop. My point is, though, once you've exhausted your craving for a snow globe or a back scratcher, or whatever it is that you collect, then, stop shopping in those shops. Then, take some time and look, really look at the other stores in Stresa. The first time I did this, I made a conscious effort to not see the usual shops. And a conscious effort to really look at the more unique stores in town.

What did I see? Beautiful items. Unique. Carefully chosen and artfully displayed. Special items. Some expensive and many not. Many old and others new. Any of them would be a special momento indeed...

In the hopes of encouraging you to do the same, here are a few of the shops selling antiques and collectible items in centro Stresa.

Cartolibreria de Mauri, in Piazza Cadorna, specializes in handcrafted writing goods and collectibles from the middle of the twentieth century. The back wall of his window is covered in samples of his papers. Outside the shop, in the piazza, he has racks set up of prints both old and new, of the lake. Stationery from here would make a great gift for someone, wouldn't it? Or how about a metal tin to keep your restaurant cards, receipts, and brochures in?

Terra e Fuoco means Earth and Fire, which are the necessary elements to create what they specialize in, pottery and ceramics from many different regions in Italy. The selection always changes, based upon what they find, and you can buy just one piece, or an entire set. Terra e Fuoco is on Via P. Tomaso, 4, very close to the lake.


I really liked this collection of antique corkscrews at Epoque, on Via Pittore Luigi Bolongaro. These were reasonably priced, small, and I thought what a cool gift for a wine lover, or to display on your own wine rack. In his other window, Epoque's owner had a similarly impressive display of old coffee grinders. And on his front door, a sign that if you didn't see him, perhaps he was working in the laboratory. Or, it said, you could go and ask for him at Bar Bolongaro.


This is one of the windows at Antiques and More, on Via P. Tomaso. In addition to a constantly changing offering of estate and antique jewelry they also sell paintings, bronzes, and furniture.


All of these shops are located right in centro Stresa. And they represent only a few on the fun and fine vendors selling all sorts of things that aren't snow globes. A couple of other places we've already visited on the blog are Wunder Kammer on Isola Bella, and the Alessi Outlet in Omegna. Check out all the shopping posts here.


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