The main man and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Italy, which was inspiring in so many ways.
We stayed in a wonderful attic apartment (with a terrace overlooking a horizon of red-tile roofs) in the Dorosduro, Venezia, visited Briol in the Dolomites and managed a quick stay at Maison Matilda in Treviso.
Though they are insufficient consolation for having to leave, these wonderful souvenirs now grace the abode:
I had planned to seek out Madera and found I didn’t need to go far. It was 10 doors down from our temporary apartment. They stock housewares created mostly by Venice-based architects and crafts people, and a handful of items by other European artists.
This ceramic bowl is fitted with its own wood top that serves as a built-in cutting board, lid or trivet. The color of the glaze — not rendered perfectly in this photo — is a radish red. It is oven-safe and I look forward to using it for a lifetime. It is made by a German husband and wife team.
Cliche, I know, but I bought Venetian stationary. Beautiful heavy paper cards embosed with a sweet tiny heart.
Architect Stefano Coluccio, owner of Canestrelli, creates convex mirrors in the style of 16C Northern Europe and frequently featured in the work of Jan Van Eyck. With its magical connotations, the convex mirror is considered a charm to ward off evil from the home and its inhabitants. The one I chose is framed in pinkish-lavender with gold leaf.
Also from Madera is this new kitchen staple: a cutting board with a surface to cut on and an area to slide the scraps. Made by a Venetian architect.
On our last evening, we had a mediocre pasta dish that was positively transformed by this olive oil. Sitting casually on each table — like soy sauce at a sushi place — you were invited to use this liquid gold unsparingly. It is a reserve oil olive from Puglia. The owner sold us a bottle. I will not. I will not. I will not drink it like a shot.
Also around the corner from our apartment was a sweet little ceramics shop called Danghyra. These tiny luster-ware cups — for tea and coffee — come in a gorgeous range of glazes.
Our last euros were spent at the edicola — their Hudson News — on an anniversary-issue Italian Architectural Digest and pastilles for Charlie.