Hidden Treasures

This weekend I decided to take myself on a relaxed photo walk around Norton Street, also affectionately known as “Little Italy” which is located in Leichhardt, and since I really enjoyed my day out there, I thought I’d share my experience with all you guys in cyber land.

Once populated primarily by working-class Italian migrants, the area provides a mixture or old historical architecture along with restaurants & café’s that very much still retain an Italian flavor throughout. This Sydney suburb holds a truly rich history culturally dating back well beyond it’s early European settlement.

The Italian Forum, which is Norton Street’s leading attraction, was where I happened to stumble onto a small charming store called The Merchant of Venice which specialises in selling imported Hand Crafted Masques and Jewellery from Venice in Italy.

Masque Photo by Ruth Valasini

Masque (Photo by Ruth Valasini)

Masque Photo by Ruth Valasini

Masque (Photo by Ruth Valasini)

The name of the store itself, evoked in my mind mystery and wonderful images of unique exotic gems and various trinkets that one would not expect to find elsewhere.

I was not disappointed. Once inside an older Italian lady who was warm and friendly greeted me. She introduced herself as Theresa and gladly proceeded to show me around her small store, proudly introducing each of her gorgeous treasures.

I was like a “Little Kid in a Lolly Shop” – So much to see – So much to Choose From.   My excitement intensified listening to her talk with passion about the craftsmanship that went into creating these original Masques.

Red Mask Photo by Ruth Valasini

Red Mask (Photo by Ruth Valasini)

I have to say, I absolutely love Masquerade Ball’s and parties because to me,  nothing else offers this kind of an opportunity to dress up and do something different socially. I had no idea that for the last 13 years this little treasure of a store existed here on our doorstep in Australia.

Blue Mask & Gold Mask (Photo by Ruth Valasini)

Blue Mask & Gold Mask ( Photo by Ruth Valasini )

So if you have a bit of soft spot for “Masquerade Ball’s” and “Dressing Up” , then take a day out to explore The Merchant of Venice at the Italian Forum and perhaps even enjoy a nice Italian style coffee or an authentic woodfired pizza for lunch afterwards. You won’t be disappointed.

Don’t forget to say hello to Theresa 🙂


The Merchant of Venice Store (Photo by Ruth Valasini)

For more information and opening hours visit The Merchant of Venice website: www.themerchantofvenice.com.au


3 responses to “Hidden Treasures

  1. Stunning work. I love the colour, texture and composition of your shots. Your sense of adventure and excitement is evident and allows me to explore new and wonderful worlds through your eyes. It also encourages me to grab my own camera, get out there and capture hidden treasures awaiting discovery (not to mention Theresa’s quaint little shop). Hugs. x

  2. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to give me your feedback…and may I dare say how much I truly value your input in my journey of self discovery.

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