Bring a bit of Scotland home

Visiting Edinburgh Scotland for the first time, we had a wonderful time walking the cobblestone streets, admiring the architecture, having a pint in the pub and exploring its castles and cathedrals. Naturally, photography helps to preserve those memories. Shopping for a bit of the culture to bring home will too.

The Scots are known for the colorful plaids that traditionally represent different clans, woven into woolen kilts or warm scarves. Today a dizzying array of plaids sold on soft, cozy scarves and wraps make it very difficult to choose one — or two or three. What will match my winter coat? What will my daughter like? They are all so beautiful!

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A glimpse into this basket of wool scarves in an Edinburgh shop reveals the many choices in Scottish plaids.

Shop Edinburgh

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to shop abroad. So, it’s no surprise that my favorite street in Edinburgh, Scotland is a shopping street lined with boutiques.

#victoria, #victoriastreet, #edinburgh, #scotland, #cities, #shopping, #eating, #eatinganddrinking, #shopedinburgh, #travel
Victoria Street slopes downhill and to the left, revealing numerous brightly colored storefronts.

On this one street, which was the inspiration for “Diagon Alley” in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book, one can buy cards, tweeds, cheese, jewelry, a gourmet French dinner and yes, even a magic wand.



Shopping in Piazza Navona

You can only sightsee in Rome in the summer heat for so long. Then, you need to get off your feet, snack on a dish of cold gelato and do some shopping. Besides, no trip to Italy would be complete without shopping for some hand made Italian goods, right? I love to shop while traveling abroad, because I know how much I enjoy my souvenirs after I get home.

If you are planning a trip to Rome anytime soon, I have a great tip for you. Piazza Navona is a lively square,  both day and night, and it is well located walking distance from the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. You can find good gelato shops and cafes there, but you can also find one of the nicest leather shops in old Rome.

I visited the fragrant leather shop La Sella in 2005 when I spent two weeks in Rome with my daughter Erin and our friends who lived two blocks from Piazza Navona. It is small but packed with high quality hand made purses, briefcases, belts and wallets. I bought myself a brown leather purse, and my husband a brown leather briefcase that we still use frequently, ten years later.

Charlie shops La Sella in 2015, ten years later.
Charlie shops La Sella in 2015, ten years later.

So, in 2015 when I looked for the shop between Piazza Navona and the busy avenue Corso Vittorio Emmanuel, I was delighted to find it alive and well. So, my husband Charlie (shown in photo) and I¬†shopped again — for our sake and theirs!

We also got off our feet and enjoyed a dish of gelato as a late lunch at Tre Scalini while we admired Bernini’s grand Fountain of the Four Rivers. That grandiose and beautiful fountain features life-sized human figures on the north, south, east and west faces and is a real challenge to photographers. It’s a fantastic centerpiece to a vibrant square, that is also dotted with working street artists.

My husband ordered a mushroom crepe, but I ordered gelato for lunch.
My husband ordered a mushroom crepe, but I ordered gelato for lunch.

I shot these photos on my iPhone6, because it is so lightweight and easy for this kind of spontaneous documentation of happy moments while traveling. I thought you, my readers, would enjoy a few shopping and snacking tips from my travels for yours.