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Sourcing antiques in Italy

Quintessence and Stylish Shopping By Susanna Salk Take an Antiques Diva Tour

Dear Diva Readers,

As an antiques & design blogger myself I’m often asked what design blogs I read… and one of my favorite is Stacey Bewkes’ Quintessence Blog.  From art and architecture, interiors and design, fashion and jewelry to books and movies, food and wine, travel and more, Quintessence has become a trusted source for well-researched, original content in the online world.  I love that she takes us behind the scenes to some of the world’s most gorgeous properties and gives us a peek into some of the very best shops all over the globe.  We get to tag along as she attends exclusive events, meets design icons and tastemakers and connects the dots to bring you the story behind the style.  In addition to blogging, Stacey was revolutionary in the blogosphere when she teamed up with Susanna Salk to produce and edit one of the best design video series.

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Imagine my excitement when these two dynamic women confirmed that they wanted to take an Antiques Diva Tour of Mercanteinfiera with me! I couldn’t wait to get these ladies to Italy and show them the ropes of navigating Italy’s largest antiques fair which takes place twice a year in Parma. With over one thousand vendors and several buildings, it can be tricky to weave your way through the thousands of international shoppers – but don’t worry, we know the fair and its vendors like the back of our hand!

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Once we started shopping, I could see why these two women are known as international tastemakers. Their eyes are trained and I watched as they gravitated toward piece after gorgeous piece! Some of their favorite finds were a large mirror, a stately lion statue, a rustic armoire, architectural ornaments, and a pair of oversized urns. They also pointed out that attending fairs like Mercanteinfiera is a great way to get styling ideas as the exhibitors create interesting displays. I couldn’t agree more!

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

In a blog they wrote about their Antiques Diva experience, they write, “In our two days at the Parma antiques fair, we effortlessly wove through the multiple massive buildings, following Toma and Susan (our charming and knowledgeable Italian Diva) to meet special friends and dealers, from Toma’s favorite purveyor of Murano glass to the creative couple from Florence who fashion chic new treasures by blending antiques with modern artistry,to her dealer friend Maurizio from Sicily (now located in Florence).”

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Read the entire blog and watch the fun video they shot in the video series Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk.

Thanks ladies for coming over and living La Dolce Diva for a few days! We certainly had a blast giving you just a glimpse of what we do on a daily basis all across Europe. When you’re ready for round two, why don’t we hit Les Puces in Paris… or The Decorative Fair at Battersea in London… or hop in the car and let us introduce you to our secret sources in the Belgian countryside… So many options, so little time!

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Ciao,

The Antiques Diva® 

Sourcing in the Venetian Countryside

Dear Diva Readers,

Mamma Mia…..  Here at The Antiques Diva & Co we custom plan each client’s tour route, taking into account their travel time, budget and what type of antiques they are looking to source. This means that sometimes we take them to specialized shops in the cities and other times we schedule their tours around specific flea markets. And still other times we go off the beaten path to warehouses and private residences in the countryside to find the perfect pieces. This is pretty much the case for each of our 8 tour countries, but today I want to talk about Venice—or rather, Veneto!

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Yes, we lead fabulous tours in Venice proper, guiding clients through canals and hidden alleyways to shops which house museum quality pieces. But we also are excited to start offering tours in Veneto! Imagine the experience of our local Diva Guide picking you up from your hotel and whisking you to a small town in the north area of Vicenza where 15th century architecture dots the landscape. In fact, we can recommend a 15th century castle in the area where you can actually stay! Now that’s traveling fit for a Diva!

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

When it comes to sourcing antiques however, we drive you to a 17th century palazzo filled with furniture, objects and art—all for sale. You’re greeted by the owner, a kind man who lives in this historic palazzo and has aptly named it “The Palace of Old Things.” And old things he has! Meander though the grand country house itself, complete with its stone walls, wooden beams and private courtyard, shopping for not only architectural salvage but also antique furniture from Veneto, France and other European countries. If you happen to have something specific that you’re looking for, just tell Francesco and he can find it for you.

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

From 17th century pieces to vintage furniture from the 20th century, you can find restored or unrestored condition. As many of our sources offer two prices (restored or unrestored), the same goes in Veneto. This is a convenient option because it puts the decision in your hands whether you want to do the restoring yourself or have your purchases arrive ready for use.

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

If you’d like more information on taking an Antiques Diva & Co Buying Tour in Veneto or any of our 8 European tour countries— France, Belgium, Italy, England, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands or Denmark— email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

Ciao Ciao,

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®

Italy Diva Guide Susan’s Architectural & Garden Tour

Dear Diva Readers,

Due to the custom nature of my company, clients often email me with their visions and dreams and ask my feedback on where they should book their Antiques Diva Buying Tour based upon their interests.  When a client told me his partner was a landscape architect with a keen interest in re-purposed and antique garden items and showed me some pictures of past projects I immediately channeled Italy!  Next thing I knew we were taking this client on a buying tour.  Because our tours are a-la-carte, clients can book their buying tour by the day.  They can add our tours on to other travel plans – booking anything from 1 day to 1 week on tour then do their own additional travel added on to the trip.  Since this client was planning time near Rome I had to share my advice with him (and you) on places where he’d gain inspiration as well – telling him which castles and villas we thought he should see since architecture is their passion.

Part of the magic of my company is that I don’t do this alone. I have a team of 18 Diva’s who help lead antique buying tours.  I asked our Italian Diva Guide Susan Pennington her advice and she came back with a slew of Roman Architectural and Garden options.

As Susan explains, “The area just above Rome is Viterbo, which is the most populated with both gardens to tour and antique/architectural sources to buy. I happen to be passionate about gardens and villas, perhaps my English blood, and have visited many in my 20 years living in Tuscany.”  For those of you who don’t yet know our Italian Diva Guide Susan she’s British by birth, Italian by choice.

bomarzo, Italian Parks, Sourcing antiques in Italy, Antiques Diva, Architectural salvage

parco mostri, italian garden tours

Parco Bonmarzo is one of Susan’s favorite gardens to tour. Located in Lazio, it has Etruscan, Roman and Medieval influences, giving it a sense of history and a unique style of its own. Also known as “The Villa of Wonders,” one passes through the gardens only to come upon stone figures and life-like statues of animals. From elephants to three-headed beasts to Neptune, what’s known as The Park of the Monsters is a sixteenth century fantasy world.

Castello Ruspoli, Vignanello, Italy, Garden Tours of Italy, Sourcing antiques in Italy

For a true journey to the past, visit Castello Ruspoli which dates back to 847 AD where original traces of the structure can be found built into the cliff where it lies. Over the centuries it’s been used by Pope Leo IV as a convent for Benedictine monks and a private residence by several noble Italian families.

palazzo farnese, Italy Palazzo, sourcing antiques in Italy, Buying antiques in Europe, Italian Tours

For a taste of sixteenth century architecture, Palazzo Farnese is just the ticket. The Palace was built in the shape of a pentagon, and lends itself to the feel of a fortress more than a villa, surrounded by a deep moat which today we recognize the great bastions specially angled left as to demonstrate the great military power of the Farnese family.

parco mostri, italian architectural salvage tours, antiques diva

Italian Gardens, Italian Tours, Antiques Diva

Giardino dei Ninfa is an ideal place to tour if you love historic gardens as it is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. With an overall Anglo-Saxon style, the Garden of Ninfa contains paths that spread out  in a non-geometric fashion, all leading to informal plantings. Spontaneity is the name of the game and visitors are rarely aware of the human hand in the garden.

If you find yourself in Italy, you simply must visit some of the wonderful old villas and castles.  Hopefully this list can be a starting point for your adventures (or at least daydreams!). We’re always happy to recommend places to see for tourist adventures alongside your antiques buying tour.  Consider booking an Antiques Diva & Co Buying Tour in one of our 8 tour countries–France, England, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands or Germany- just email info@antiquesdiva.com for more information.

Ciao for now,

The Antiques Diva®

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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 

The Antiques Diva & Co is a LAPADA Approved Service Provider - Seal


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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