Tuesday, April 22, 2014

From Berlin to Rome - and back. Travelling as a vintage lover

Italy - this is a long lasting love affair and an especially interesting one for a vintage lover. I'm sure you know the Audrey-Hepburn-and-Gregory-Peck-movie 'Roman Holiday' or - as they say in Italy: 'Vacanze Romane'? If you don't - this is a must-see! It is so very typical for the 1950's - fashion and style and all. But there is something special for us Germans in it - Italy was 'our' favourite country for the summer holidays in the 1950's and 60's.
A very short view back in history: WWII was over, the years of hunger and cold were over, and the younger people were starving for input from other countries. No singer without an interesting foreign accent, no moviestar without scandinavian or southern European looks on the Radio or the upcoming TV. Everything and everyone coming from abroad seemed to be so very fascinating in Munich, Hamburg or Berlin! And the 'Wirtschaftswunder' began - means, people could afford to buy a motor scooter or even a little car - and the cars in those years were unbelievable small. I don't want to write an essay about Oldtimers here - but try and have a look on a Goggomobil or a Lloyd and you know what I mean - and it's worth it!
So young couples or families took their cars, a tent - and started travelling. Imagine: there were no Pizzerias in Berlin, no Spaghetti or Lasagne on the dinner table - all this was new and exciting - and Italy had it all. Of course, not everybody could afford to travel. In my own big, big family, I remember an aunt that travelled to Italy each and every summer for years and sent postcards to her unluckier relatives at home. My parents collected those Cards, and here are some - right from the mid century ;) :

So there is something special with Italy and the 50's - and it's still fascinating. If you are a vintage lover, forget Porta Portese (the junk market that is mentioned in each and every guidebook about Rome) and discover vintage Rome on your own - it's still there!

shop front :)
the 'cinquecento' was built from 1957 till 1975 - and he's still going (if he's not parking)
the 'Vespa' was born in 1946 - an all-time-beauty

an antique shop. this one is closed for the night, but at daytime the doors are open, and usually there is a little repair shop beside it, where you can watch how all these antique beauties are restored.

the brass plate beside the door at the ground floor says that there is a tailor on first floor. So look at the window above. Time stood still, didn't it?. And have a look at the pic below: around the Spanish Steps you can find every famous designer you've ever heard of - but this one has a shop front that was absoutely 60's  - right up to the shoes, which you probably can't see clearly enough on the pic:

Yes, I paid a visit to Porta Portese. There was a lot of junk - hundreds of stalls with cheap clothing and other things that have nothing to do with vintage or antiques. But I found one with books. And magazines. And I bought as much as I could carry - vintage craft magazines from the 60's, you know. A lucky hit. But if you are not in the mood to pass by some kilometers of trash - maybe you want to skip it.
There still is enough to see. This is - Rome ....


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