La Dolce Diva: Mercanteinfiera Antiques Fair in Parma
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “It ain’t easy being a diva! The Antiques Diva® that is!!” My life as owner of Europe’s most popular antiques shopping tour company, The Antiques Diva & Co European Tours, is a non-stop roller coaster of antiquing in exotic locations and drinking copious quantities of champagne as I bring both tourists and the trade (antique dealers and interior designers) with me to the crème de la crème of the European antiques scene. and antiques fair.
For my most recent rendez-vous I bid adieu to France, England, Belgium and beyond and put on my Ferragamo’s for doing “la dolce diva” at Mercanteinfiera in Italy. Held twice a year in the Spring and Fall this Italian antiques fair in Parma puts the Mamma in Mia. Of course it stands to reason that a city famous for its art, music and gastronomy would know how to put on a darn good fair. If the Renaissance splendor of the honey-colored cobblestoned streets is any indication of the Parmesans good taste, then you just know the treasures sold at the region’s largest antiques fair have got to be belissimo!
Beauty abounds at the fair – though I must confess before getting serious about antiquing I had to set aside my stilettos and put on some serious shopping shoes made for walking. This fair is massive – hall after hall of antiques and vintage beckon, literally daring you to walk out empty handed. And judging by the loot the 50,000 attendees were carrying to their cars or having the on-site international shippers deliver to their homes around the world, no one made it out of the fair without making at least one purchase. I succumbed to some vintage Chanel at a good 30% off French prices (word to the wise: the best bargains can often be made when buying an object the region is not famous for), while the client I was with filled the better part of a container with Tuscan chest of drawers, armoires, sconces, Venetian chandeliers, avant-gard art and objects of curiosity. The 1000 dealers at the fair mean business. And negotiating is the name of the game.
Open to the public for 7 days twice a year, the real action starts before the fair has even sold its first entrance ticket on opening day. Trade Day is where it’s at – the market floor looks like the who’s who of the antiques world. Perhaps the biggest name in antiques stateside is Geoffrey Westergaard of Carl Moore Antiques in Houston. Both he and Park Avenue dealer Marion Harris were holding court this year alongside a slew of vendors from Miami including one of my favorite shop keepers, Olga Granda Scott of Alhambra Antiques in Coral Gables. You couldn’t turn around without bumping into someone you knew – or wanted to know. Seymour Stein, VP of Sony and the man who made Madonna (the singer – not the virgin) was in attendance in his role as Fair Ambassador. After several hardcore days of shopping, the fair coordinators invited Seymour and the rest of the VIP crew to dinner at Cordial Verdi, giving us the chance to sip Prosecco with the stars!
If these details have you drooling for more, mark your calendar to attend Mercanteinfiera Antiques Fair in Parma Italy 2-10 March, 2013 and 5-13 October, 2013. Visit the fair website or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details!