Thursday, September 25, 2008

Window Shopping in Rome

A whole lotta window shopping went on. Here are some creative handbags - I almost can't believe the porcupine bag - it's awesome. It looks like it had a metallic snout and leather quills. The muted color of it is beautiful. Almost more sculptural than functional I think. What would one wear with this one?

This pink beaded and sequin purse is sweet.

A wedding dress and bag to match. Lovely.

Leather bags abound.

John took this shot - a Ferrari bike - boy heaven! (I like it too)!

Venetian glass and chandeliers


This store was closed, and these shoes are arranged perfectly in the entrance way.

Ultra modern interior and old Rome exterior. An exquisite combination.

The clergy gets to window shop, and shop too, of course. This store was filled with Sunday best.

A few good ceilings

Being in these churches is to be surrounded 360 degrees by something beautiful to look at.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fabric Paradise - Bassetti Tessuti in Rome

Bassetti Tessuti from Lonely Planet
Address Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 73, Centro Storico
Phone tel: 06 689 23 26 (info)
Keyword art/craft

Hidden away in a run-of-the-mill palazzo (palace), Bassetti Tessuti is a sprawling, technicolour temple to textiles. From fine Italian wools and silks, to cheetah-print faux fur, a jaw-dropping 200,000 fabrics line its endless sea of soaring, cracked rooms. Brothers Emidio and Lorenzo Bassetti set up shop in 1954, serving everyone from couture royalty to needle-savvy homemakers.

It's a fabulously atmospheric place, caught in a retro time warp of linoleum floors and wizened old men pushing cart after cart of rare and luscious threads.

I found the listing above on the Lonely Planet Web site before we left for the trip. We were in the neighborhood one day so we searched for the store and found it. This place was fabric paradise - it was a maze of rooms with different types of fabrics. We were there just before 1 pm when they close for lunch so we didn't have a lot of time to browse. The people were gracious, pointing us to the room where we'd find fabric for dresses (even though we didn't ask - they just guessed we might be looking for dress fabric). After we went to the end of the store and started back to the front the staff quietly put out the lights of the rooms behind us without making us feel like we'd been imposing on their lunch time. We did, however, get the hint that it was closing time!

John snapped these photos for me as I was too busy being a tourist in the store. You can click on the photos to enlarge them - Enjoy.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ditta S. Poggi Art Supplies near the Pantheon in Rome

My one 'souvenir' from Rome was purchased at Ditta S. Poggi Art Supplies.
I fell in love with the restoration pigments they sell under the Poggi name. The names of the colors alone are enough to start a gals creative wheels spinning...Blu Ercolano, Giallo Margherita, Rosso Laccato, Blu Cobaltato, Verde Vagone. I also got one of the big sacks of Rosso Ercolano. It appears to be that red orange that I adore. We had been to Herculaneum (Ercolano) and had seen some of the frescos so it was exciting to find the names Ercolano in the pigments.

Fresco at Hercolaneum (Ercolano)

We stumbled on the shop accidentally on our way to the Pantheon. You can click on the photos to see them larger - the color is gorgeous.

Stacks of color - I wanted to move in to the shop.

The window was only a mild hint as to what was inside.

Frommer's Review of the store:

The best art supply store in Rome has been selling to artists since 1825. That makes it too young to have come to the aid of da Vinci or Michelangelo, but many of the most famous artists of the 19th and 20th centuries shopped here for materials to aid them in their art. There are a lot of one-of-a-kind items of interest to artists. The staff also organizes painting courses taught by skilled Roman artists.

Rome Review for the store:
Ditta Poggi (Pantheon):
February 4, 2007 12:25 by CharlieQ
Materials Worthy of the Masters

So you're a painter coming to Rome? Know this: Ditta Poggi is your Mecca for materials, as it was for such artists like Morandi, De Chirico, Guttuso, and, for me, the most notable, il grande Balthus! In fact, one of the "personaggi" (notable personalities) that work at Ditta Poggi is Memmo, the man who once personally prepared canvas with a special surface just for Balthus! Ask Memmo to tell you about it?he'll be happy to do so with a sparkle in his eye. In fact, look for a picture that might be hanging on the wall or sitting on an easel that shows Memmo at dinner with Balthus. Ditta Poggi has been around since 1825... and you can feel it. There is an energy to this place. Ragazzi, mi raccomando, while you are there getting supplies, take some time to absorb some of this "metaphysical mojo". It might pay off more than the materials.

Finding out the history of the shop fit in very well to the Rome experience. The new and the old layered on top of each other - a rich history with so much depth it is delicious. I wonder if Memmo was there that day? I'll never know, I'm just glad we found the shop.

The colors of Rome

We spent two beautiful weeks in Rome. I have many photos to share, but there are so many it's hard to choose what to put up. I have some of the standard photos of churches and monuments. But for now, here are photos that show COLOR which is my best memory of the trip.

The gelato stand

That incredible orange and yellow - two of my favorites!

The graffiti!

Some metal doors with more of that beautiful reddish orange.

This is a color I can't quite identify - made of pink red orange and magic I think.

The green, yellow and soft blue on the train were great together.

Archeological red. Soft and worn over time.

This blue red and yellow combo was exciting.

I want to paint my own house this color. If only I had the Mediterranean light to go with it.

Love this pink and red together.

The softest pink yellow and blue combo.

Glorious blue-purple morning glories in an old water aquaduct.