Rome, Venice and Milan. Two weeks and so much to see and do and eat …
The Bassetti Tessuti shop in Rome was all I expected and more – such a myriad of lovely fabrics, really a sewist’s candy shop. But I didn’t buy anything from them – there were simply too many fabrics for me to just pick one or two without a planned project for them. Definitely a shop I’d like to return to with a specific project in mind!
In Venice we went to the island of Murano, home to some of the world’s most beautiful glass objects. I’ve never come across anyone to match the people of Murano’s knowledge and creativity when it comes to the art of producing glass. During our stay in Venice I also learned that the island of Burano is home to some of the most beautiful lace, and of course there were Venetian carnival masks to be bought everywhere in the city of Venice. A lovely place to stay for anyone interested in hand crafted items and their history.
Close to where we stayed, in the Cannaregio region of Venice, is a lovely fabric shop, G. Benevento Tessuti. They’re currently celebrating 130 years of business, and the shop consists of two departments, one on either side of the street. Their clothing fabric department featured some lovely woolens, silks and fashion fabrics and their furniture fabric department had notions, ribbons, velvets, damasks. All the fabrics and ribbons were made in Italy (I asked), and the prices were affordable compared to what you got.
I ended up buying three different ribbons and a velvet purse embroidered with silk ribbons, in addition to a couple of metres of Venetian Damask. I plan to turn this wonderful fabric, which or me is a little piece of Italian history, into a coat and possibly a short jacket – I think it will be wonderful to work with!
In Milan I ended up walking around the Quadrilatero d’Oro, the fashion district, just to get a look at these clothes in real life (can’t visit Milan and not think clothes and fashion – right?). We don’t see them in Norway.
Of the three cities we visited, I think Venice was my favourite – no cars, a breeze from the sea and all the wonderful things that historically were produced and exported and whose production still exist. And while the fabric selection in Rome surpassed what I saw in Venice, I honestly liked the Venetian one better – it wasn’t as stressful, and what fabrics they had were simply amazing. I can’t wait to come back for more, and next time I will visit the lace museum on Burano as well, and a mask maker.