Dazzling Store Displays in Florence and Venice

| October 3, 2009

Honestly, I don’t know where to start. I took 1118 pictures during our two-week trip to northern Italy. The trip was absolutely fantastic and our experience will serve as the inspiration for many blog posts to come. I plan to post a hotel review, our itinerary, and the major highlights of the trip. While I work up my plan of attack for documenting the many facets of the trip, I thought I would post a few cool storefronts that caught my eye while in Florence and Venice. Just click the photo for high resolution versions!

florence italy gelato

Gelato presentation in Florence, Italy

Even though there are more tourists in Florence and Venice than Italy knows what to do with, the competition among store vendors is ferocious. There are stores tucked in every nook and cranny in both cities and it was interesting to see what they do to lure wallets into the stores.

I confess that Donna and I indulged in a daily gelato at every destination during our trip. Some gelato was better than others but none was disappointing. The gelato stand pictured above caught my eye as we walked near the Piazza della Signoria in Florence. As I noticed the colorful display of calorie-laden gelato adorned with fresh fruit, a cheerful englishman exclaimed to his friend that he needed to take a look at the presentation in the window. Equipped with a circular polarizer on my lens, I turned and snapped the shot. You have to admit that it looks pretty inviting!

florence italy limoncello

Limoncello in Florence, Italy

In the next photo, the limoncello looked absolutely brilliant in the window at night, making the vividly lit bottles hard to resist. The other tourists passing me must have thought I was nuts taking multiple pictures of these when the Duomo was just down the street! Did I mention I have the best wife in the world? She was extremely patient as I took pictures of just about everything I saw. Limoncello is usually served chilled as an after dinner digestivo. We were served a complimentary glass after our first dinner in Florence. Donna did not enjoy it so much but I found it quite tasty and refreshing.

florence italy puppets

Puppets for sale in Venice, Italy

Puppets and costume masks were everywhere in Venice. Italy is considered by many to be the early home of the marionette due to the influence of Roman puppetry. In this photo, I saw these puppets as lifeless forms waiting to be brought to life by a willing tourist. The quality of the work was impressive and the stores themselves were a feast for the eyes. In one instance, we could see the store owners making elaborate costume masks by hand. Some of the masks were quite expensive at as much as $700 a piece. I am not sure how much these puppets were but they were fun to look at and made for an interesting picture.

florence italy light vendor

Dazzling light display in Venice, Italy

While walking back to our hotel in Venice, we turned the corner and saw this colorful light display. For 10 Euro, you can buy a stack of easily transportable die cut mylar sheets that cleverly assemble into a nifty lamp. I thought these would be great for parties or a kids room. I am always amazed at what creative things people come up with.

Well that’s it for now. I promise to post some pictures of the Italian countryside soon. I am pretty excited about a few of them and have a few ideas for a series of paintings that will be based on one in particular.

Have a great weekend!

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Category: Italy, Photography, Travel

Comments (3)

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  1. Nicole says:

    Have I mentioned how envious I am of you? Marvellous photos, thanks so much for sharing them. I’m looking forward to the next set, and eagerly await your paintings!

  2. B. Rudolph says:

    Your photos are fantastic, I can’t wait to see some more of them. I have not been there in 25 years but it really brought back memories. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Lee says:

    Hi Nicole. Thanks for stopping by and the comment. It was a blast taking pictures in Italy since there is so much to shoot! I also thought of how easy it would be to paint there. In San Gimignano you could literally stand in one spot and rotate your easel to get a weeks worth of paintings. We are thinking of doing a villa type arrangement in France for a week next time and I would take my painting gear. Take care and talk to you soon!

    Hi Barbara! Thanks for visiting. Italy is a great place for sure. It would be interesting to know how much it has changed in 25 years. Venice has been a tourist destination for 400 years so I imagine it is pretty much the same but more visitors. I noticed the nice Tuscan landscape paintings on your site. I saw a few done by local artists in the Cinque Terre that were nice to look at as well. I have a few nice landscape shots that I will post soon for inspiration!