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Trip to Italy

Mcox47

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Location
Carrollton, Texas
The wife and I will be taking a trip to Italy in mid-March. Cities will be Rome, Florence and Venice. Any tips from our Italian or European members on how/where I might look for vintage hats? I'll stop in local hats stores of course but not likely to indulge in a modern hat, but who knows.

Names of your favorite hat stores are welcomed as well.

Thanks in advance for the help.
 

Daniele Tanto

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,115
Location
Verona - Italia
The wife and I will be taking a trip to Italy in mid-March. Cities will be Rome, Florence and Venice. Any tips from our Italian or European members on how/where I might look for vintage hats? I'll stop in local hats stores of course but not likely to indulge in a modern hat, but who knows.

Names of your favorite hat stores are welcomed as well.

Thanks in advance for the help.
Have a good trip to Italy, first of all.
The three cities you have chosen are the most visited and touristy in Italy, therefore you will find goods, restaurants and much of the offer aimed at tourists.
I'm sorry to disappoint your expectations of finding used hat shops, but there are very few in Italy, or rather, to my knowledge, none. Every small or large city has used clothing shops and every now and then you can find vintage or even recent hats. These shops are rarely in historic centres, they are in the suburbs and difficult to find. I have visited several in my city, Verona, and I have never found anything interesting in the hat sector.
Rome is probably the most stocked with second-hand shops, but I think finding the shops is difficult. I attach today's hat shops in the center of Rome so of the others cities
- Antica Cappelleria Troncarelli since 1857
Via della Cuccagna, 15 · 06 687 9320
- Ancient Cappelleria dell'Urbe Lombardi
Via Merulana, 12 · 06 446 5820
- Antica Manufacture Cappelli
Via degli Scipioni, 46 · 06 3972 5679
- Borsalino Boutique
Piazza del Popolo, 20 · 06 323 3353
- Borsalino
Via di Campo Marzio, 72/A · 06 678 3362
- Borsalino Boutique
Via Sistina, 58/A · 06 678 8821
Florence
Cappelleria Pelletteria Brunetto di Innocenti Claudia
Via Pisana 163 red for navigator, number 185 · 055 717227
- Grevi Cappelli since 1875
Via dei Fossi, 7 · 055 936 0618
- Atelier Gatto
Piazza de' Pitti, 5 · 331 397 0474
- Borsalino
Via Porta Rossa 40 055 493 2967
Venezia
- Lost in Venice, Cappelleria Venezia
Calle de la Mandola, 3653 · 041 528 5025
- Ortolani hat shop
Via Negroponte, 2 Venice Lido
- Cappelleria Barbiero Luca & C. sas
Via Alessandro Poerio, 15 · 041 986730
- Borsalino Boutique
Via del Lovo 4822 - Permanently closed :-(
Have a nice trip
 

milandro

A-List Customer
Messages
395
Location
The Netherlands
I second the opinion given above.

Italy is not big on vintage clothes already and even less so for hats.

In the days of my far youth second hand clothes were frowned upon our parents and we had to go for the VERY few street markets where you could find secondhand clothes which were all imported ( in Prato for the most part and then distributed around the few markets in the country) from the States and Germany (this is in the '70) So the Markets of Ercolano-Resina ( around Naples) , Roma Porta Portese and Livorno -Mercatino Americano, were the very few places where you could find something but hats..... VERY seldom!

this documentary was in 1963..... (I was there in the '70 and later)


you can understand why our parents frowned upon these things, back then (before the hippies discovered the secondhand clothes) vintage clothing wasn't something you boasted much about.


Which is why , probably, the country never developed a clothing and hats second hand culture . Italy never had Salvation Army thrift shops.






 
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Mcox47

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Location
Carrollton, Texas
Many thanks to both Daniele and milandro. The information is very useful, if somewhat disappointing. Yes we are hitting the most "touristy" cities as part of a travel package.

I will try at least some of the extensive list given (very much appreciate the effort Daniele) and report back if I have any luck.
 

Daniele Tanto

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,115
Location
Verona - Italia
Many thanks to both Daniele and milandro. The information is very useful, if somewhat disappointing. Yes we are hitting the most "touristy" cities as part of a travel package.

I will try at least some of the extensive list given (very much appreciate the effort Daniele) and report back if I have any luck.
The list of shops in the cities you will visit is indicative for finding hats.
Keep in mind that you will find average hats and many below average because in Italy the hat as a fashion accessory has disappeared for at least forty years.
If you're lucky, you might find some interesting inventory leftovers, but it's difficult.
Better to spend time visiting cities than chasing chimeras :)
 

The Lost Cowboy

One Too Many
Messages
1,078
Location
Northern Alabama
When I lived in Italy in the 90s, street markets were the scene. But you had to know when and where they were. In more recent years on a visit to Sicily, I had one of the best street market experiences of my life in Catania.

This was all before I got into brimmed hats, but I did purchase a number of caps from those markets over the years. Maybe street markets are still a scene where maybe you can still find some old school cap vendors? (A recent trip to Sardinia was extremely disappointing in this regard, however, but I wish you better luck!).

My memories of Florence are also from the 90s but they had some very fashionable clothing stores in the old town. Nothing second hand, as was already said, and they were pricey but it made for very fun window shopping. As was already said, I would not expect to find any vintage hats in those stores, but who knows - for me, searching is the adventure!

Buon viaggio!!
 

milandro

A-List Customer
Messages
395
Location
The Netherlands
flat caps have always been " the headgear" in Sicily and it is not strange that you found some at a street market , but they would have been new.

sure, adventure and discovery are a good thing even if applied to hats, on the other hand, with limited amount of time to spend and an incredible small chance to find them, given the choice, wouldn't you rather spend the time you have looking around one, undoubtedly, of the best ancient urban cultures in the world?


I have to say in the last few years the continuous ring of the amount of tourists has treated the quality of the experience (not only in Italy) just too many people around the same spots (while few miles away there is no crowd).


I would make a point of avoiding all the hot spots pumped up the social media to enhance the experience
 

Mcox47

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Location
Carrollton, Texas
"I would make a point of avoiding all the hot spots"

I will have some free time away from the tourist tours. I plan to explore neighborhoods with that time, hence the original question.

All of the advice so far has convinced me to concentrate on enjoying the culture and experience, If I stumble on some hat adventure then that's a bonus, not the purpose of the trip. I'll save the hat searches for eBay (and the occasional FL listing).
 

The Lost Cowboy

One Too Many
Messages
1,078
Location
Northern Alabama
flat caps have always been " the headgear" in Sicily and it is not strange that you found some at a street market , but they would have been new.

sure, adventure and discovery are a good thing even if applied to hats, on the other hand, with limited amount of time to spend and an incredible small chance to find them, given the choice, wouldn't you rather spend the time you have looking around one, undoubtedly, of the best ancient urban cultures in the world?


I have to say in the last few years the continuous ring of the amount of tourists has treated the quality of the experience (not only in Italy) just too many people around the same spots (while few miles away there is no crowd).


I would make a point of avoiding all the hot spots pumped up the social media to enhance the experience
I remember seeing caps in the 90s in all the street markets in Italy - not just in Sicily. Where I lived in Sardinia, they were sold by the same vendor every week at the Wednesday morning market in the La Maddalena town square. Same when I was a boy living in Gaeta (way back in the early 80s - but that was a completely different Italy from today).

If I had only a few days in a city as a tourist, my first morning would be spent on a guided walking tour of the city and my first afternoon would be spent taking in one or two of the main attractions. For example, if I were in Rome, my first morning would be spent on a guided walking tour and then that afternoon I would go to the Sistine Chapel.

Then I would choose the area of that city that I most wanted to explore and concentrate the rest of my time in that one area. So for example (again in Rome), I would spend the rest of my time in the cafes and restaurants around the Spanish Steps, wandering those streets and getting lost in those neighborhoods.

I don't often travel that way. Generally I spend at least two weeks in one town (last year I spent five weeks in Amsterdam). But I traveled this way in Barcelona back in 2016 and it was a great trip.
 
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The Lost Cowboy

One Too Many
Messages
1,078
Location
Northern Alabama
"I would make a point of avoiding all the hot spots"

I will have some free time away from the tourist tours. I plan to explore neighborhoods with that time, hence the original question.

All of the advice so far has convinced me to concentrate on enjoying the culture and experience, If I stumble on some hat adventure then that's a bonus, not the purpose of the trip. I'll save the hat searches for eBay (and the occasional FL listing).
Sorry, one last word from me: re visiting a hat shop.

I have visited hat shops on trips to Chicago, Sydney Australia, Melbourne Australia and Amsterdam. I did my online searches and chose the hat shop that looked the most interesting. Then I figured out the best way to get to the hat shop.

Those were always experiences that were worthwhile because they forced me to learn a bit about the local infrastructure and sent me to neighborhoods that weren't overly touristic. Plus, I had a mission, which gave me a sense of accomplishment, and that made the experience memorable. On top of all that, I met a local at the hat shop who was interested in talking to me (except in Sydney, where the guy was not very welcoming). AND there is a possibility that there will be more interesting shops in the area where the hat shop is (you can use Google Maps to locate a hat shop in an area that has a lot to offer).

In short, I can recommend this activity for a half-day adventure, though I personally would only do it if I had at least three full days to spend in one town.
 
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Mcox47

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Location
Carrollton, Texas
If I had only a few days in a city as a tourist, my first morning would be spent on a guided walking tour of the city and my first afternoon would be spent taking in one or two of the main attractions. For example, if I were in Rome, my first morning would be spent on a guided walking tour and then that afternoon I would go to the Sistine Chapel.

Then I would choose the area of that city that I most wanted to explore and concentrate the rest of my time in that one area. So for example (again in Rome), I would spend the rest of my time in the cafes and restaurants around the Spanish Steps, wandering those streets and getting lost in those neighborhoods.

Good advice. I will have 3 1/2 days in Rome so that means some time to eat outside of the tourist areas and do some neighborhood exploring.
 

The Lost Cowboy

One Too Many
Messages
1,078
Location
Northern Alabama
Good advice. I will have 3 1/2 days in Rome so that means some time to eat outside of the tourist areas and do some neighborhood exploring.
I can heartily recommend the Spanish Steps area to you in Rome for a day’s adventure. Not to assume that your interests would be similar to mine, but here are some reason I like that area so much.

The steps themselves are terrific (early morning is best), the Roman forum is close by and the Trevi Fountain is even closer. There is a museum to writers Percy Shelley and his wife Mary (of Frankenstein fame) and their friend, the poet John Keats. There is also a pretty good English-language bookstore close by called “Anglo American Book” (visiting an English language bookstore in non-English countries is a treat to me - they often carry obscure and special interest collections not easily accessible in most bookstores in the US).

The Spanish Steps area is upmarket and fashionable but for that the architecture is terrific and the cafes are great.

No idea if this is still a thing, but back in the 90s McDonalds used to have the best map of Rome on offer for free. It showed all the major landmarks as well as (of course) all the McDonalds locations. Its strength was that it was so easy to use.

I’m starting to feel envious - I hope you have a great time!
 
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The Lost Cowboy

One Too Many
Messages
1,078
Location
Northern Alabama
Sorry, last comment on the Spanish Steps: there is modern hat store that looks worth while a bit more than a mile away. It would probably be pricey but it could be fun to do some window shopping and who knows, you might find a gem! Would almost definitely be worth the walk.

IMG_0686.png
 

Daniele Tanto

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,115
Location
Verona - Italia
Good advice. I will have 3 1/2 days in Rome so that means some time to eat outside of the tourist areas and do some neighborhood exploring.
Three and a half days in Rome and in other cities of art, Firenze and Venezia, is equivalent to the fluttering of eyelashes.
I think it is appropriate for you to dedicate yourself to the topics that interest you most in the time between one tourist visit and another. The center of Rome is not very large, I mean the historic center with its neighborhoods and with a few pleasant walks you can visit/see/experience something that particularly interests you.
You can do the same in Firenze and Venezia without trying to rush to chase places that remain only surface.
In these cities it is much more worth sitting down for a coffee and looking at the world around you than trying to beat the goals that the tourist guides propose. Find a couple of shared topics with your wife and live them without worry, is the best way to visit Italy
 

Mcox47

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Location
Carrollton, Texas
Three and a half days in Rome and in other cities of art, Firenze and Venezia, is equivalent to the fluttering of eyelashes.
I think it is appropriate for you to dedicate yourself to the topics that interest you most in the time between one tourist visit and another. The center of Rome is not very large, I mean the historic center with its neighborhoods and with a few pleasant walks you can visit/see/experience something that particularly interests you.
You can do the same in Firenze and Venezia without trying to rush to chase places that remain only surface.
In these cities it is much more worth sitting down for a coffee and looking at the world around you than trying to beat the goals that the tourist guides propose. Find a couple of shared topics with your wife and live them without worry, is the best way to visit Italy
I agree I need more time. The wife got a great price for the trip with a travel agency, but I want to go back at some point and do an extended stay, possibly exploring some smaller areas. Italian language lessons first as I can't imagine English will be common outside the larger cities.
 

The Lost Cowboy

One Too Many
Messages
1,078
Location
Northern Alabama
I agree I need more time. The wife got a great price for the trip with a travel agency, but I want to go back at some point and do an extended stay, possibly exploring some smaller areas. Italian language lessons first as I can't imagine English will be common outside the larger cities.
Well I personally hope you enjoy the heck out of the trip. Being a tourist can absolutely be fun and 3.5 days in Rome for the first time sure beats the pants off no days in Rome ever.

I hope you’ll update us after the trip!
 

Altiori

One of the Regulars
Messages
105
Location
Savannah, GA
The wife and I will be taking a trip to Italy in mid-March. Cities will be Rome, Florence and Venice. Any tips from our Italian or European members on how/where I might look for vintage hats? I'll stop in local hats stores of course but not likely to indulge in a modern hat, but who knows.

Names of your favorite hat stores are welcomed as well.

Thanks in advance for the help.
I may be late to the game, but should you not yet have arrived in Rome or are in your way, a very worthwhile visit is to the Borsalino shop on Via Sistina near the Spanish Steps. Not vintage but an excellent selection of very fine Borsalino felts and straws. And your wife might enjoy the Borsalino scarves as well.

I purchased a very nice Panama hat and my wife bought a scarf.

If you go, please tell “Patrizia “ one of the salespeople a big “Hello” from Joe (that’s me aka Altiori). She’s knowledgeable, patient, and attentive.
 

Mcox47

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Location
Carrollton, Texas
Well just got back home today from our Italy trip.
The good news is I loved Italy! Great people, great food and lots of things to do and see.

The bad news is I was unable to make it to any hat shops due to the itinerary pacing. We did visit the Spanish steps while in Rome, but did not find the hat shops suggested (to be fair I was pressed for time).

The worse news is that I left my everyday early '60s Stetson Royal in the hotel in Florence, It was hanging behind the door and by the time I realized I was bare headed, we were already on the shuttle headed to the train station. Called twice from the next city but no one found it. Not my best hat but it was one of my goto's for daily use. It will be missed.

Thanks for all the suggestions and comments. They were appreciated.
 

Daniele Tanto

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,115
Location
Verona - Italia
Well just got back home today from our Italy trip.
The good news is I loved Italy! Great people, great food and lots of things to do and see.

The bad news is I was unable to make it to any hat shops due to the itinerary pacing. We did visit the Spanish steps while in Rome, but did not find the hat shops suggested (to be fair I was pressed for time).

The worse news is that I left my everyday early '60s Stetson Royal in the hotel in Florence, It was hanging behind the door and by the time I realized I was bare headed, we were already on the shuttle headed to the train station. Called twice from the next city but no one found it. Not my best hat but it was one of my goto's for daily use. It will be missed.

Thanks for all the suggestions and comments. They were appreciated.
This is a gift for you for your Italy trip
You never see Venezia like this
The 25 of March it was its 1603 birthday
Venezia dall'alto.jpg
 

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