Saturday, May 31, 2014

Memories of Italy in miniature

I have just returned from Italy and I confess that I forgot to take Daphne along. She was very upset with me until she saw what I brought back for her. 
She is tickled pink with her new Vespa and immediately stuck the souvenir gladiator helmet on her head, picked up the Roman forum cat and went for a ride. I can't get her off it
Italy is a beautiful country with so many different things to see. At one point in my travels I found myself on the Via San Gregorio Armeno, Street of Nativity Workshops in Naples, Italy.

It is a narrow pedestrian street crammed with artisan workshops selling nativity scenes (presepi in Italian), accessories, and terra cotta figures. It is a miniaturists dream.

It was frustrating to have only 10 minutes to shop and also to calculate the size of my suitcase and estimate what would fit in it for my return home. I could have spent hours there choosing handmade meats and other food for the kitchen of my antique dollhouses. I have never seen anything like it. 

In the end I selected the few items in the picture here for my FAO Mystery House kitchen. I could have rebelled and stayed longer, but I was following a tour leader and I was worried that if I lost him I would have to live in the street of the presepi forever. Actually that might have been okay, now that I think if it. Daphne has zoomed into the picture on her Vespa to show the scale of the items

Here is a close up of one of the meat baskets

And here is the other.

In Rome I found these wonderful magnets. I realize some of them are slightly out of scale for a dollhouse, but I couldn't resist. It's going to take the dollhouse family a long time to eat all that cheese. Daphne watch out for those cans!!

Down in Amalfi I found these wonderful hand-painted pictures and the sliver nativity scene in the velvet box. It is just the right size for a dollhouse. Amalfi has been a paper making town since Roman times and I found the two handmade miniature books at the paper mill museum. The venetian masks are lapel pins, and the two little jars contain gold and sliver, although I am not sure why they are tourist items. They are a good size for dollhouses though.

Here is  a closer look at the paintings

The little brass pieces are from museum gift shops and represent items from Ancient Rome. The black cat I bought on top of mount Vesuvius and is supposed to be carved of lava, although I have a feeling it is plaster. 

Sorrento is know for its ceramics and I found these lovely little bowls there. Now my dollhouse people have family sized spaghetti bowls. Daphne, watch out! These are breakable. 

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Oh no! There she goes again. I hope she realizes that her helmet isn't approved for the road. Well, at least she's not mad at me any more.


  1. Oh My Oh My!!! The Avenue of the Nativities must have been a little piece of Heaven!!! I will have to try to go there some day! Your treasures are all Fantastic! I LOVE the Vespa and I can see why Daphne is no longer mad.... better keep an eye on her! LOL!

  2. I cant believe you found these at regular shops! They outdo any miniature store I have seen. Your goodies are enough to make a miniaturist visit Italy!

  3. You have found some wonderful treasures on your travels and zdaphne seems very happy on her Vespa. The paintings are lovely and I love the bowls from Sorrento.

  4. Looks like a wonderful place to visit. I'm glad you had a lovely time. I'm still giggling at Daphne in her gladiator helmet. I must get one of look like the fashion for the summer =0P

  5. Hello Shale,
    I am so happy you had a good trip. I cannot choose a favourite item. Everything is so beautiful and well made. It all looks terrific.
    Big hug,

  6. You found many little tresures.

  7. Hello from Spain: thanks for your visit to my blog dedicated to Barbies. Miniatures and dollhouses are another my passions. I really like your miniatures. Great findings in Italy. Keep in touch

  8. Hi Shale, sound like you had a wonderful trip and enjoyed bringing home some lovely treasures. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris