A Roman boutique of unique and handmade delights
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
“This is not a store where you can easily make a quick stop,” says Elif Sallorenzo, the owner of a tucked-away gem of a boutique I recently discovered just off Rome’s Piazza del Popolo. “Artisanal Cornucopia is a slow shop of sorts, one where each piece has a story and, we hope, piques the visitor’s interest.” Visiting the city on my way to beachy Puglia, my interest was indeed thoroughly piqued by Sallorenzo’s edit, which includes not only casually elegant clothing and jewellery, but also Capri-worthy kaftans and sandals, perfumes and decorative objects.
One of my favourite finds was a line of leather handbags and pochettes by Istanbul designer Misela, from silver and grey leather bucket bags (€520) with matte aqua detailing, to totes (€535) and wallets (€135) – and a canvas clutch in a playful chevron pattern (€170) that I will use as a versatile purse. And if I’d had room in my luggage I also would have bought a woven leather backpack (€675) by local maker Benedetta Bruzzichesin a nude, almost shell-pink colour. Her jewellery selection is equally unique: sculptural gold cuffs (from €350) and turquoise-accented Lotus hoop earrings (€160) by Giulia Barela (from €350); rose-gold Angel Wings necklaces (€160) by Sallorenzo herself; and ultra-delicate bracelets and necklaces (from €55) by Milan-based Segni di Gi, of which I bought several as gifts.
Fragrances, meanwhile, included the Eau d’Italie line (€105) by the owners of Positano hotel Le Sirenuse, with names like Sienne L’Hiver and Un Bateau Pour Capri, evocative of the Amalfi Coast. And while I am not much for bathing suits, I might make an exception for the Turin-made Ninali bikini (€340). But what really made this tasteful shop shine was Sallorenzo’s energy and enthusiasm. The chic Turkish expat, whose background includes everything from practising law to fashion editorial work, was warm and welcoming, and delighted in sharing the stories of the artists and makers whose work she highlights. She even packed me off with three evil-eye charms – the glass amulets believed to ward off bad luck in her native Turkey.
Via dell’Oca 38A, 00186 Rome (+3934-2871 4597; artisanalcornucopia.com).