June 12, 2011

Rugadoro Handmade Carnival Masks

While exploring the streets of Venice two weeks ago, I came across the most fantastic of mask shops: Rugadoro. All the masks in this shop were handmade with a patchwork of colorful fabrics. When I visited, the artist was in working on a mask. She uses a craft past to adhere the scraps to a basic mask mold. The shapes range anywhere from traditional human faces to those of animals (rabbit and pig below).

I was completely captivated by the beauty and originality of these designs. I already regret not claiming one as my own, but with prices of 50-80+ euro perhaps it is best that I wait until I'm no longer working with a student budget! (Photo Credits: Image 3 below by Brian J. McMorrow.)

June 10, 2011


In Aix-en-Provence, France I came across a fabulous bakery. The identity design was clean and refined but still had the personality one desires in a French bakery. The interior was inviting and filled with charming things to eat. I ordered a pistachio macaron (pistachio being a flavor of the region) and the memory of it still lingers in my mind. Definitely try this shop out. Don't worry though! You won't have to dust off your passport for this bakery, Paul is established in Europe, the Middle East and Asia as well as the United States. Find one near you online.

June 9, 2011

Acqua Alta Bookshop

A friend and I recently traveled to Venice. This is the kind of town that you want to explore on foot (or ideally by gondola). While wandering through the streets we found the Acqua Alta Bookshop. There was a sign as you entered that claimed this was, "the most beautiful bookshop in the world" and the shop completely lived up to that claim. Gondolas and boats were filled with books and every other nook was stuffed with volumes on art, Venice and any other topic you can imagine. (Photo credit for image above.)

On the floor a path is marked. Following the yellow footprints leads you to the shop's view of a canal.

The next time you are in Venice you must check out this shop... but it might be best if you just happen upon it. Happy travels!