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Antiques Diva Italy Tours

Antiques Diva Italian Travel Advice

Dear Diva Readers,

If you’re heading to Italy for a Roman Holiday this summer, read on.  The key to antiquing in Italy during the summer months is preparation – many markets close while vendors take their own holiday!  A reader and former client recently emailed asking me (and my locally-based Tuscan Guide) about the markets in Italy this summer and I knew that we had to share our advice with you here on the blog.

Diva Reader Kim writes:

Could you give me ideas for markets in Italy that would be good to hit when I travel to Italy late July/early August…Venice, Rome, Florence, Portofino….

I esp. love shoes, purses, linens, etc. Thanks! Hope you are well. Love keeping up with your biz! What a life you lead! Cheers!

Thanks in advance,

Kim

Buying antiques in Italy, Shopping in Tuscany, Antiques Diva Italy Tours, Flea Markets of Italy, Italian Travel Tips

Antiques Diva Guide Susan responds:

I have to confess market shopping in Italy during the summer months can be a tricky time as many of the monthly flea markets close. Those that don’t close most certainly slow down in the heat of the summer months, so the pickings are slimmer, but on a more positive note those that are open you will find have incredible deals as the competition is less fierce!

Antiques Diva Tours Italy

Another option are the ‘mercatini d’usato’ which are a great and growing resource;  not only are pieces on consignment from private clients but the stores also do estate clearances and really have fabulous things from Murano lighting fixtures to collections of paintings as well as furniture and decorative arts from all periods.

Buying antiques in Italy, Shopping in Tuscany, Antiques Diva Italy Tours, Flea Markets of Italy, Italian Travel Tips

If you’re going to Venice, Rome, and Florence, you will find these stores – we almost always include these in an itinerary on an Antiques Diva Tour. They’re sort of like the Italian equivalent of a British Charity Shop – but everything in them is Italian and vintage!  Of course it’s important to check who is open and when to co-ordinate with your travels. Generally the flea markets in Florence which happen on the 3rd and 4th weekend of the month close in August. In Rome, the biggest market is at Porta Portese which is every weekend, closes for the middle of August for two weekends. Ferragosto, which is August 15, is a the most important holiday on the calendar and in true Italian style, whole families shut up shop and go to the beach or up to the mountains for their annual family vacation – so there won’t be any shopping that day either!

Buying antiques in Italy, Shopping in Tuscany, Antiques Diva Italy Tours, Flea Markets of Italy, Italian Travel Tips

You mentioned that you love shoes, purses, and linens, and of course Italy being the queen of fashion is the king of vintage, having so many renowned designers.  For Italians the ‘bella figura’ weighs heavily,  that is, making a good impression, and it’s quality not quantity that matters. Designer labels are important but Italians are also thrifty so they look after their precious possessions and never throw anything away!

Linens too are wonderful; in the times of the share crop farmers each farm would have its own loom.  You can find bolts of linen for next to nothing, as well as sheets, crochet bordered bedcovers, and monogramed pillowcases in the consignment stores, many of which have been hidden for years in the wedding chest as part of the dowry—some not even opened!

Buying antiques in Italy, Shopping in Tuscany, Antiques Diva Italy Tours, Flea Markets of Italy, Italian Travel Tips

The key to antiquing during the summer months in Italy is preparation. Know where to go by finding out when each market it open and taking note of special holidays when everything will be shut up. If you’d like more information on taking an Antiques Diva tour of Italy any time of year, don’t hesitate to email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to take you through this enchanting country—Diva style!

Ciao Bella!

The Antiques Diva®   

Client Question- Sourcing Mid-century in Italy

Dear Diva Readers,

As owner of Europe’s largest Antiques Touring & Sourcing company, I get inquiries of all kinds. While our tours are available for tourists and individuals looking to purchase antiques for themselves, we also get quite a lot of trade professionals (antique dealers, store owners and interior designers) looking to buy enough pieces to fill a container (or two!). I recently received an email from a client who wants to stock her store with Italian and French mid-century modern pieces. She had a few questions before booking a tour that are quite common, so I wanted to share my answers with you today on the blog!

Our client asks:
I own a store in America that specializes in vintage modern furniture and décor. Most of our Italian pieces we purchase through auction and they have strong provenance. I would like a more cost effective way of acquiring these pieces. Would you recommend taking a tour and if so, where should my buying tour be?

Mid-Century Modern in Italy, Mid-Century Modern Milan, Sourcing antiques in Italy, Antiques Diva Italy Tours, Sourcing Mid-Century in Europe, Filling a container, How to organize international shipping

Answer:
We are delighted to help you source mid-century pieces abroad by custom planning a tour to get you exactly what you’re looking for! I would recommend a three day tour in Italy to source Italian mid-century pieces. We would be taking you to our sources in Milan and further south into Tuscany for the best prices. Here’s a sample itinerary to give you a feel of what you’d be doing:

Mid-Century Modern in Italy, Mid-Century Modern Milan, Sourcing antiques in Italy, Antiques Diva Italy Tours, Sourcing Mid-Century in Europe, Filling a container, How to organize international shipping

Day 1Milan is brilliant for mid-century.    You’ll visit a variety of vendors from big to small, criss-crossing the city.  To save time we actually suggest doing this tour on foot and using public transportation (or, when needed, taxis – to be paid direct at taxi) as it’s the most efficient way to cover the ground needed without dealing with parking, etc.

Mid-Century Modern in Italy, Mid-Century Modern Milan, Sourcing antiques in Italy, Antiques Diva Italy Tours, Sourcing Mid-Century in Europe, Filling a container, How to organize international shipping

Day 2 –  You really need to go further afield, delving deeper into the countryside. Florence is 1 hour 45 minutes on the train from Milan and do-able in a day trip if you’re up for a long day.  You’ll find good prices and a great variety of inventory.

Mid-Century Modern in Italy, Mid-Century Modern Milan, Sourcing antiques in Italy, Antiques Diva Italy Tours, Sourcing Mid-Century in Europe, Filling a container, How to organize international shipping

Day 3 –  If you have the time I’d encourage you to consider the area in/near Arezzo for a 3rd day tour as you’ll find a plethora of mid-C pieces.   Here, our Guide will take you to our sources, helping you find the right pieces for your store.

Mid-Century Modern in Italy, Mid-Century Modern Milan, Sourcing antiques in Italy, Antiques Diva Italy Tours, Sourcing Mid-Century in Europe, Filling a container, How to organize international shipping

Your guide would custom plan your route, she will translate, negotiate and liaise you with international shippers to relieve all the stress from you!

We look forward to helping you source Italian mid-century abroad!

The Antiques Diva®

Northern Italian Cassapanca

Northern Italian Cassapanca, Italian antiques, Parma antiques fair, buying antiques in Italy, shipping antiques, Antiques Diva, Tuscan Tours

My Obsession du Jour?  Northern Italian Cassapancas.  They’re my own personal Casanova making me weak in my knees and my heart all a twitter each time I see them on one of our Italian Antiques Diva Tours.  Almost always sold as a pair these carved benches from the Italian Renaissance typically flank the main public rooms in palazzo’s and are the precursor to the modern-day divan.  Often with heraldic emblems reflecting the families origin finding these pieces are rarely up for sale because Palazzo owners typically wouldn’t sell these pieces.  When it comes to Italian Palazzo Décor they’re considered the “immobile” – the unmovable – and typically would be left in a palace from generation to generation.  They definitely make my #MustHaveAntiques List!

The Antiques Diva®

Finding Focus at the Arezzo Flea Market

Diva Italy

Dear Diva Readers,

One of the things I most love about my job leading Antiques Shopping Tours in Europe and England is the opportunity to work with the trade in their various projects and securing items on their shopping list for their antique stores or decor projects. I’m currently in Italy on a “to the trade” antiques tour with my Diva Guide Susan and an interior designer who has been commissioned to decorate a 6000 square foot, 200 year old Tuscan farmhouse. When she came to me asking The Antiques Diva &Co to help with her project she gave me a list of the items she was interested in finding. At the top of her list was a focal point for the two floor, rather narrow, entry to the property.

Italy Toma Clark Haines

On Sunday in Arezzo at the monthly flea market we scoured high and low for a variety of pieces perfect for the project. We stumbled upon a 24 pronged wrought iron chandelier perfect for this room… But still were lacking something with bling to punctuate the space when Eureka… My Diva Guide Susan and I remembered a gorgeous 4 foot tall shield ideal for the space in a store just around the corner from this famous Italian flea market. Capturing my client’s attention I took her by the arm and walked her towards what I was hoping to be her ideal solution to her entry way – a giant four foot tall shield from the end of the 1800’s.

Italy Toma Clark Haines Tours

My client loved the piece and within minutes a heraldic theme for the Tuscan estate began emerging in my client’s mind. She and her assistant designer began brainstorming: “are flags going too far?” or “what about…”

Italy Toma Clark Haines Tours

When shopping abroad with designers I find these Eureka moments tend to happen in spades – being in a foreign country offers design inspiration merely by walking down the street. In the markets there are opportunities to score pieces with serious wow factor. And while this client was so fortunate to be shopping for a client’s home in Tuscany, had she been shopping for her own home or for a client’s home in America we could have easily shipped some statement pieces back to the USA. If you have one item shipped it can be expensive, however you have to take into consideration the fact that even with shipping your total cost for a purchase is still usually less that you’d find at home. And if you have 3 or more items shipped the cost becomes quite reasonable and more attainable for the average shopper. Shopping in Europe opens a world of sources to you – allowing you to create the wow factor – with statement pieces for you or your clients home!

Arrivederci,
The Antiques Diva®

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La Bella Italia

Dear Diva Readers,

One of my favorite Boutique and Luxury Hotel Booking Specialists – Mr & Mrs Smith has just published a new book on La Bella Italia for Signore and Signora Smiths everywhere. The Mr & Mrs Smith team has slept their  way across Italy, testing the most luxurious boutique hotels in the big boot from top to toe, South Tyrol to Sicily.  This book features 32 hand-picked of the country’s most stylish boutique hotels: from contemporary city slickers and baroque palazzi to shabby-chic farmhouses and coastal villa retreats.

Taste olive oil in Puglia, hunt truffles in Umbria, admire art in Venice:  they give the insider lowdown in what to get up to in each destination featured, and include up-to-date restaurant recommendations, advice on the best times to visit, where to go and what to pack, as well as insider tips on everything from gourmet delis to little-known festivals and vineyards.

Of course, while you’re sleeping in those best boutique hotels in Italy you’ll naturally want to book an Antiques Diva Italy Tour in Tuscany or Florence

Take a sneak peek into this divalicious book!

Sogni d’ oro – Sweet Dreams!
The Antiques Diva®

(Seen Hiding under a Sun Hat in an Olive Grove in the Cinque Terre below)

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1:1 custom antique buying tours in 8 European, 6 Asian countries and America, 7 days a week, 365 days a year

The Antiques Diva & Co offers custom planned Antiques Buying Tours for tourists and trade professionals. Whether you’re looking to buy one specific piece or wanting to fill an entire container, our personal shopping antique buying guides share their vast knowledge of secret sources to take you to all the right places.

The Antiques Diva & Co is a LAPADA Approved Service Provider 

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The Antiques Diva & Co is the Official Tour Guide of Paul Bert Serpette at The Paris Flea Market

The Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette




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