Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mollykid Recommends: Shopping in Nove, Italy

I know, I know... I keep sharing details about our fantastic trip to Italy, but for good reason!  You all should know about the awesome places we were so lucky to visit, should you get the opportunity to visit there yourselves.  I happen to think first hand recommendations are great for planning on our own trips, so I like to pass on good info, too.  A good friend of mine tried to convince me that we should visit Nove, Italy together while on vacation.  Who knew what a great time we would have shopping amongst so much beautiful pottery and glassware.  When I first told my husband I didn't really have to visit the many ceramic shops that Nove is so well-known for, he gave me the know, the one that screams "are you kidding me?"  He had been before on a tour years ago and thought it was right up my alley.  If I forget to thank you here later, thanks Babe for making sure we made it to Nove!!

Since we stayed in nearby Vicenza the night before, it was less than an hour drive to Nove.  We pulled into town (a small, cute town I might add!) on a very rainy day and I couldn't help but notice all of the ceramics shops up and down the main road running through town.  It was like my trip to Poland a few months ago, where it is obvious what supports the local economy.  As we waited at the stoplight, this statue seemed to represent all the artists of the town.  The next stop was our rendezvous point to meet up with friends for some shopping.
La Ceramica VBC stands out among the shops because of all the flags out front, including the American one.  Since we had the kids, I gave the speech again as we walked inside, you know the one about not touching anything because if we break it, we buy it.  I mean if I am paying money for something, I want it to not be broken, after all.  The entrance takes you through the actual warehouse area where products are visible in all stages of completion and pallets of boxes are ready for shipment.  From the first sights, I could tell I was happy I came! 
At first glance, the color was spectacular.  Bright and completely what I think of when I think of Italy: mosaics, sunflowers, olives and views of areas like Venice, Tuscany and Cinque Terra.  It was as I walked further back though that I really fell in love though.  La Ceramica VBC produces Italian dinnerware and accents for a company called Vietri, which has really beautiful pieces that are so unique and different from every day dishes.  They have so many different ones, in fact, it is hard to choose what to actually purchase.  We loved how they had a large table setting arranged so you can see how pieces look together.  
We found that this factory store offers spectacular prices for items that are quite popular throughout the United States.  They make products for Williams-Sonoma, Lenox, and Banana Republic, to name just a few.  Their products have even been featured in magazines like Oprah Winfrey's "O", Martha Stewart Weddings and Traditional Home.   
If you are able to make a trip to this store, I don't think you will be disappointed.  The gentleman helping us was extremely pleasant and helpful.  The store takes credit cards, but if you pay in cash you get a discount.  We were happy about this so a quick trip to the local ATM saved us some euro!  I hope if you are in the area that you check them out and let them know Mollykid Studios sent you.  

Happy shopping, friends!  xo~Mollykid

You can find La Ceramica VBC at:
CERAMICS VBC, Via Molini 45-36055, Nove (Vicenza) Italy  (Don't worry if your GPS doesn't get you there...just stay on the main street and look for a group of tall flags out front of a u-shaped building - Good Luck!)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Big Roadtrip: Northern Italy Part II

After a long day of walking on hard pavement and taking in the tourist sights of Pisa and Lucca, Italy, we decided the northwestern Italian coast line was a must see.  I am so glad we made our way to Viareggio for a look out to the Ligurian Sea in the late afternoon, when the sun was hovering out above us and reflecting so beautifully on the water.  The kids (in classic fashion) rolled up their pant legs and ditched their shoes immediately, and I did, too!  There is nothing like the feel of warm sand under your feet and moving through your toes.  I suppose I have loved that feeling since I was a kid...
One of our funny family travel traditions is to make sure that we witness the seas and oceans nearby to cities we visit.  I will say that this day, with its blue sky and white, billowing clouds reminded me of one of our first trips here in Europe to Finland, where we looked out over the Baltic Sea.  
There is always something I find amazing about the view from the waters edge.  How the tides change and the sand moves and reshapes the coastline with every breath.  To know that there is a whole other living world lying under that water is simply amazing.  One thing I know is skylines like these are the stuff that peaceful dreams are made of.  What kind of landscapes make up your most serene dreams??  xo~Mollykid     

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Big Roadtrip: Northern Italy Part I

Now that Spring break has come to an end and we are back to reality with work, school and life, it's time for Mollykid to have a seat and share a bit of what's been going on around here.  First, I have to say I have missed you all; I just love sharing projects and pictures here for you.  You haven't been far from my mind though, in fact, I have a bunch of great ideas for upcoming blog posts here so I hope you will tune in for a good time over the next few weeks.  To give you a hint, we took a once-in-a-lifetime road trip to Italy and from that one week, I have some f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s stories and information to share! 
With destinations like Tuscany, Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Cinque Terra, Modena, Verona and Nove...we were in love with the food and the sights.  Oh and of course, a little bit of shopping to wrap up a long road trip is always nice, too!  Though I initially questioned the length of such a trip by car (2000 road miles all together), I must admit, there wasn't a moment we were bored or without something to see, do or taste.  We kept moving from sun up to way past sun down, which made for some very sound sleep.  To top it off, we traveled with some awesome friends so our trip was full of fun and great memories.
Since this is likely one of our last big trips while living here in Europe, I made sure to take plenty of pictures (as usual) and we made ample stops for Italian gelato along the way.  Despite some days and moments of intense rain, we still forged on, huddled under umbrellas and ducked into train stations, restaurants and museums for some time to dry out.  I think one of our favorite days (despite the crazy rain that day!) was spent exploring the Cinque Terra.  Five small ocean side fishing villages tucked tightly into the steep landscape along the Italian Riviera.  Talk about picturesque!  And to think they grow and harvest grapes for wine along these steep cliffs is simply amazing.
Well, that is just a taste of what's to come!  I hope you are enjoying a peaceful weekend wherever you are in the world.  Check back this week for more about some fantastic treasures in Italy.  Better yet, sign up to the right on our page for email updates...  Ciao! xo~Mollykid