Ladies casual cloths
I was attracted by this nice looking window shop in Borgo Cavallerizza, right opposite to the Palazzo della Pilotta. I found it like interesting idea, placing old-timer Vespa in the window shop, together with new spring collection. It offers good looking collection of spring cloths for young girls mainly. Italian stylists really know well how to attract the potential customers.
Max Mara: Clothes
Max Mara is a famous name, with over 1200 shops in 90 countries. However, here in Parma we had Max Mara shops much earlier than in other places. That's because the company is based in Reggio Emilia, just a few kilometres away, and Max Mara gained its popularity locally first, and then conquered the world.
What to buy: Max Mara clothes are a good combination of contemporary style and all-time classic. Most important of all, they are designed with the intention of making women look good. Many fashion designers who have later become famous on their own started their careers at Max Mara, and I expect it to happen again. So maybe the coat you buy now has been designed by someone who will become a star in a few years.
Abbazia di San Giovanni: The monk's shop
If a visit to the ancient pharmacy of San Giovanni makes you long for the herbal remedies that centuries ago were a speciality of monks, you can find them nearby. In fact the Benedictine monks of San Giovanni have another abbey in Torrechiara, a few kilometres out of town, where they grow herbs and keep bees, and make the products that are sold here. By the way, also the shop assistant is a monk.
What to buy: In the dark wood shelves you will find bags with mixtures of herbs for various purposes (diuretics, laxative etc.), jars of honey, pollen, and also beauty products for the skin and hair.
What to pay: Most items have prices between 6 and 10 euros.
Calzoleria della Steccata: More Parma style
The picture I have posted may look a bit weird. It's because I have captured the church of Santa Maria della Steccata mirrored in a shop-window. The shop is Calzoleria della Steccata, and it's been there as long as I remeber, although we locals are used to call it "Alexander". The reason is that for many years it used to sell only shoes of that particular brand. Nowadays it still sells Alexander shoes, but also other brands, and accessories such as bags and neckties. All of them very classy.
What to buy: The reason for chosing this shop among many others is that Alexander and Nicolette (respectively shoes for men and for women) are a product made in Parma. The company exists since 1910, and theire shoes are manufactured in the best Italian tradition. You can get an idea by visiting the website.
- Luxury Travel
- Business Travel
Coccinelle: Parma style
Coccinelle is a brand of bags and shoes that has become famous in many countries, but not many people know that it was born in the province of Parma, in a village called Sala Baganza, and the company is still there. Of course there had to be a Coccinelle shop in town! It is very centrally located, at the beginning of Via Garibaldi.
I like very much the style of Coccinelle bags, but I would not be able to describe it with just one word. Pictures would give you a better idea, so I recommend you to visit the website and see the latest models. However, even pictures cannot do them full justice, because they cannot reproduce the quality of the materials. Much better to go into the shop!
What to buy: Although several accessories now can be found with the Coccinelle brand, for me this name always means BAGS.
- Business Travel
- Luxury Travel
- Women's Travel
Profumeria Color Viola: Everything's coming up...violets?
The lobby of the Hotel Verdi had a lovely display of cleverly packaged Parma souvenirs -- if what you planned to take home involved violets. There were little tins of pastilles, pretty soaps, boxes of elaborate chocolates, candles, silk flowers -- and I immediately resolved to find the shop where these were sold and buy some assortment for gift-giving back home.
What makes Parma violets so special? They have an exceptionally intense fragrance, for starters. This made them a favorite of many during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when they often featured in bridal bouquets or nosegays carried by travelers. Also, they cover a spectrum from deep lavender through white, and many are double-petalled, looking more like tiny roses than the typical violet.
So after a morning of duomo-and-museum gazing, my companion and I dropped into the tiny shop, which was crammed with the items we'd seen at the hotel, plus many others -- items of clothing, baby gifts, and really stunning chocolates. We were able to taste the three different varieties of Parma violet candies (personally, I liked the candied violets the best, but the pastilles and lozenges were pretty and delicious as well). The packaging adds significantly to the cost of these items -- soap without a fancy box was, I think, 5 euros; with the box, it was about 7 euros -- but it also makes them so much more special that you'll likely decide to spend the extra money.
I'm so sorry that I didn't get a photograph. I was too busy making up my mind about what to buy!
What to buy: We decided against the chocolates because it was so incredibly hot during our Parma visit. I brought back quite an assortment of other items, and look forward to the enthusiastic response at Christmas!
What to pay: Most items ran between 5 euros and 30 euros. Assortments of chocolates and some clothing items were more expensive.
- Historical Travel
- Women's Travel
Violettes et Chocolat: Parma Violets-1
When you see this shop it is not so easy to understand exactly what it sells. The only thing that is immediately clear is that everything in it seems to be themed on violets. You can see pretty little boxes, chocolates and candies, but also chinaware, hats and artificial flowers (violets, of course). Then you discover that the petals of the nosegays are candies, and that each little, heart-shaped, satin box contains a single chocolate, so it can be correctly said that this shop sells sweets in a fancy dress.
What to buy: Violet-candies, or violet-jam. Or if you want something that lasts, a mug with a beautiful design of violets.
What to pay: A pretty tin box of violet candies costs 5 euros and it's the cheapest item. The most expensive is probably a complete porcelain tea-set.
- Women's Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Food and Dining
Outside the stadium: Souvenirs
As always in Italy, there are the possibilities outside the stadium to buy some souvenirs. And as always, they are so unofficial that you can¡¦t find anything else more fake¡K ƒº But the scarves and shirts looks good anyway.
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