A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about shopping

Venice: Shopping

Italian shopping at its best

Although it's not known as a shopping mecca, Venice is still part of Italy. Shopping anywhere in Italy is an experience not to be missed or overlooked. Okay, much of my shopping consists of window shopping ("licking the window" is an apt phrase although French, not Italian it still applies). The window displays are sometimes enough to statisfy me. For example, these stunning glasses: DSC02393.jpg If I owned them, I'd be terrified of breaking one. So I am completely content to ogle them in the window.

DSC02394.jpg I am also elated to gaze at the windows at any of the Venezia Stadium stores. Look at these colors! Look at these fabrics! One pillow can cost 75 euros! I'd be terrified to own anything that came from these stores. Even if I could afford them. DSC02390.jpg

Of course, shopping makes me hungry so I have to stop and have some bruschetta and vino while being serenaded on San Marco Piazza.

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But my all time favorite non-purchase were the tiny figures that are as big as my thumbnail. I stood transfixed forever watching these "Tiny Dancers."

Posted by teethetrav 12:27 Archived in Italy Tagged food venice shopping Comments (0)

EATALY! MARIO BATALI NYC ITALIAN SHOPPING AND EATING

MARIO! MARIO! MARIO!

Mario! Mario! Mario! To say that I am a groupie is putting it mildly. I’ve been a fan from his Molto Mario days. I stood in line to get his cookbook signed at a Barnes & Noble in Freehold, NJ. I had a dozen things I wanted to say to him. Like how the soup at ESCA, one of his New York venues, was THE best soup I’ve EVER tasted. When it was my turn to meet him, I stuttered and stumbled like a teenager. Ridiculous. I admit it. I’m obsessed. I’ve watch the entire Spain! series more times than I care to admit and I mimicked his trip to Mallorca and Barcelona. Minus Gwyneth, Bittman and Claudia, sadly. So when Mario teamed with his partner Joe Bastianich and Joe’s mom, the revered Lidia Bastianich and they opened a huge emporium/restaurant…well, I was there. And again; Mario is simply the best. Unstoppable!
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EATALY, as this huge space is called, is unique in New York. Located at 200 5th Avenue, there is a café, gelateria, pizza place, beer garden, fish restaurant and more places to eat than there are days of the week. Entering EATALY is to enter Mario heaven. Laughably, the first person I spotted wore his signature orange crocs, although they are not de rigueur by any means; just an homage to the master genius known as Batali.
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When I entered EATALY I had two simultaneous thoughts. First, I was on sensory overload. Where to go first? Should I head towards the fresh fish or towards the lovely bakery that was seducing me with the smell of carbohydrates? My second thought was, is there really a recession? Because this overpriced emporium was packed in its second week of existence. My next thought was, “Wow! How many people does EATALY employ?” A lot. And so Mario is certainly doing his bit toward helping the US economy recover. What a risk he took, along with his famous partners Lidia and her son Joe Bastianich.
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This space is nearly 50,000 square feet of prime New York City real estate. How did Mario find the confidence, the cohunes, to boldly open this Mecca devoted entirely to Italy, Italian food, and Italian products. Wherever his nerve came from, I’m glad he did it. EATALY will be my Italian home away from Italy. Whenever I need an Italy fix and can’t get there, I’m coming here. Here, I can have my choice of fine olive oil, balsamic vinegars, prosciutto, fresh produce, fish, parmesan reggiano, tapenades, sauces, pastas, gelato as close to the real thing as I’ve had in the states, espresso, brick oven pizza, and wine. DSC02867.jpg I can bring home whatever I can’t find room to eat here. And I ate a lot. Pizza, salamis, gelato, bread with olive oil; everything was delicious.
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The prices are absurd. Of course they are. Everything is imported. There is a flat screen tv showing Italian news. In Italian. But considering the price of an airline ticket to Italy and a hotel in Milan where I could go to PECK to purchase similar items, it’s a bargain. I will be there again. Soon. And often. And Mario…like a fine piece of Italian cheese; you get better and better with age.

Posted by teethetrav 15:26 Archived in USA Tagged food shopping italy nyc italian pizza joe avenue pork products mario batali eataly bastianich lidia fifth Comments (0)

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