Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Venetian Gem

If there’s one shop NOT TO MISS among the bazillion stores in Venice, it’s gotta be Gloria Astolfo.  This swanky costume jewelry emporium offers a fabulous array of baubles that would satisfy any Doge’s wife, Contessa or Principessa.   Opened in 2005, this jewel box caught my eye in 2007.  It’s been my first stop in Venice ever since.

Although tiny, every inch is filled with beautifully displayed jewels, all shown in color groupings.  In 2010, when I was in the city for a week, I made a bee-line to the turquoise section and purchased a pair of large dangly earrings ($225).  They were too big for my small frame, so the store took them apart and made two separate earrings for me---one a simple small piece…the other a perfectly proportioned dangle for my 5 foot size.   It took them 2-3 days, but there was no extra charge.

This recent visit I took my friend.  There was a glorious new collection of coral pieces (their coral comes from Italy’s Amalfi Coast.)   Prior to entering my friend insisted, “I’m not spending a Euro more on this trip.”  She walked out with 3 killer pair of earrings.  I behaved, and only allowed myself an indulgence of one item…another pair of show-stopping earrings (I have worn them twice in the last week that I’ve been home----and both times people have approached me about them).

No photographs are allowed in the store for fear of their unique designs being ripped off, however, once outside the window displays are fair game.  All pieces are made at their nearby artisan workshop from semi-precious stones or Swarowski crystals.  The store is open daily from 10-8, accepts credit cards, and offers Tax Back breaks for purchases over $200.

Gloria Astolfo is located a minute’s walk from the back of St Mark’s square on the main routing to La Fenice Opera @ San Marco 1581.

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