While I loved our previous Europe anniversary trips, this one probably wins in the epic grandeur category -- I've dreamed about seeing the Colosseum since I was eight, when I was first intrigued by a book that my parents had originally bought on their honeymoon trip there. I was fascinated at the time by the thought of secret pulley systems used to bring tigers up to the arena from the underground passages, so it was a little surreal to actually be at the Colosseum (which I also spelled wrong countless times while typing it because of the stupid Oakland Coliseum's influence). And of course, all the other piazzas, palazzos, and chiesas were gorgeous and ornate and so very ancient feeling! It's not a feeling one gets too often here in TCOCC, where it's a big deal when a building is from the Jazz Age.
|It was just as spectacular as I was hoping it would be. After all, it was spectacular enough to convince my very thrifty Asian dad to actually purchase a gift shop book!|
Almost as exciting as the Colosseum though (okay not really), was the prospect of going fabric shopping in Rome. I'd read the NYTimes article about Fratelli Bassetti Tessuti (how's that for a name that I'm never going to remember, except that I typed it into Google maps countless times) and marveled at the Selfish Seamstress' pictures. I thought I was mentally prepared, but there's nothing like actually wandering through the labyrinth of rooms stacked with fabric in person. I was too overwhelmed to do any actual shopping (or take any pictures), probably to Mr. Cation's relief, which is fine because the fabrics were Ex. Pen. Sive. Buon giorno, signorina, would you like to purchase some lace for $500/yd? No? Other fabric stores in the area weren't any better, even if they were a little easier to not get lost in.
|This was around the corner from FTB.|
|Fabrics so nice, they're still wrapped up in protective plastic. Also, what happens if you want to take a look at something that's ten feet up?|
|Not the same store, but equally scarily priced, this gorgeous silk is €95/meter, or about $125/meter! Incidentally, I learned the Italian word for silk while I was there: seta. It took me a little bit to figure that one out.|
|It's not just the silk that's scarily priced, either -- that dotted gingham-ish cotone-viscosa blend at the top is €196/meter, on sale from €327/meter! What could possibly make it that expensive???|
|See, at least bridal laces I can understand. These went for anywhere from €165-398 a meter. Yikes!|
In the end, I didn't bring home any Italian fabric, but I'm strangely un-sad about that. When it comes down to it, I'm a thrifty Asian at heart, my favorite yardage is thrifted sheets, and I'm generally too haphazard in my sewing to do justice to a fine piece of material. Instead, I got my sewing souvenirs at a lot more affordable place and price...
|Is that cans of pet food to the left? Yes, it is!|
That's right, a normal grocery store has a whole rack of sewing notions! A closer look reveals that besides the more normal measuring tape, hand-sewing needles, elastic, and velcro, they also carry Gutermann thread in quite a few colors,
|And not just in black, white, navy blue, and beige, either! They also had gold, neon orange, and invisible nylon thread, among other colors.|
|I do wonder at the selection of only standard and jeans needles, though...do people sew that much denim there? |
What about ballpoint needles for knit fabric, or Italians just secretly wear Canadian tuxedoes?
|Sorry about the blurriness, I was apparently too wriggly with excitement!|
Jeans buttons! In a regular grocery store at the Termini bus station! What kind of gloriousness is this?! Oh, what I wouldn't give to have this kind of thing at my local Trader Joe's. I ended up coming home with lots of jeans buttons (but no jeans needles, since I wasn't sure if they'd fit my machine), elastic in various sizes, sewing machine oil (now I have no excuse for not doing maintenance), and four different Italian sewing magazines. Because that's right, they've also got sewing magazines at normal newstands on the street corner. I'll show you those tomorrow, though, so that I can give them a properly thorough look. In the meantime, I'm trying to fight through the jetlag by sorting through our gazillion photos...
|Mr. Cation was all about the auto-stitch app.|
|The Fontana di Trevi was just as impressive as I remember from my parents' honeymoon pictures.|
|The Arno River at night...we totally fell in love with Florence!|