Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fashion, artisans and historic cafes

Fashionable Roberta De Vito and Fulvio, Piazza dei Priori, Viterbo

Those of us who live in the provinces  still see women wearing  fur coats  for the fashion statement of  small town Italy is very conservative. 
historic palazzo on the Corso, Viterbo
A  stroll  along the Corso in any  provincial town in central Italy includes  meetings with old friends,  admiring vintage cars  and, if its a Sunday, a plethora of people with  packets of pastries to enrich the Sunday lunch. 
vintage FIAT 600 
APE flower seller 

If the town is Viterbo the pastries  will probably come from the newest chic pastry shop Le Cose Buone  or  the newly reopened   Café  Schenardi in an historic palazzo along the Corso.

mini pastries 

Since 1492, the historic building has been operating in different guises: a bank in the 1500s, an inn where Queen Victoria stayed and even  a McDonald’s . UPDATE:  the bar has recently been closed down. (July  2017) 
the historic Schenardi cafe,Viterbo

 The  bar is looking good but  if they want my  custom, they will need to lower the volume of the piped music.

Rosina's bags 

Handmade fashion "artiginato" is very much alive in the province of Viterbo. 
Sala Anselmi, Viterbo 

  This week to celebrate  International Womens’ Day, a group of artisans have set up an exhibit and sale of  their handmade wares in the  Sala Anselmi, in the center of town.
Lina's beautiful  dolls 

I noted  some lovely hand-made dolls and  aprons while the gaudy trinkets and flashy necklaces left me cold. 
 Rosina Presutti  has some good looking bags in waterproof cotton,  velvet, leather and other materials. The pricing is also unique – a  cute ladybug  cotton print tote put me back only 5 euro and her attractive bags are going for 60 euro.

We are fortunate to have many valid artisans working in our area. 
Thanks go to second-generation local blacksmith Angelo Pieracci  who creates, from your design or his, unique balustrades,  bed heads, curtain  rods, door handles, etc. 
This week one of the massive  wrought iron  armchairs, originally made in Florence in the 1970s,  was  brought back to life  by Angelo with a new wrought iron  seat  to replace  the ruined leather.  
wrought iron with a cushion instead of leather seat

 vintage armchair  awaits restoration  

Now the search is on for the  upholsterer who can transform this  1930s  Frau armchair  which has survived three generations of use.   Here is the “before” photo. In a few months  I will publish the
 ”after”  photo  when the ruined leather has been  stripped away and  a new  (velvet ?)  upholstery has been  added making it useful for the next  three  generations. Suggestions for type and color  of covering and upholsterer are welcome.   UPDATE : Paola Mattiacci upholster in  Vetralla has given a new lease on life to the armchair.  

Who can spot the photo that was NOT taken in Viterbo, but in Rome ??


  1. Although I have yet to try the new Schenardi's pastries I think Polozzi or Lombardelli still have the best pastries in town!

  2. Thanks Christina for your precious input. Where are these two pastry shops? I dont think Ive ever heard of them, but with your recommendation they must be good.

  3. Suggestions for your armchair? Definitely a fabric and not leather (too chilly on cold winter nights, no?). I love tone-on-tone subdued colors. Can't wait to see what you choose!

  4. Replies
    1. Yes Sari, you are correct. This is one way to see who reads my blog!. I owe you a drink or lunch on the terrace !

  5. Lovely pics! Reminds me of my time in Napoli. Took a food tour with Such a great time!