The Parma Fiera is HUGE! Really, really huge – it takes up five buildings the size of Montreal’s Palais de Congres or New York’s Javits Center…. Thousands of exhibitors of the very best kind, selling everything from vintage church ornaments to Persian (maybe!?) carpets, from enormous buffet tables and armoires to fine ephemera from centuries ago.
Last year when I was there for the first time I was a little overwhelmed by the enormity of it, but this time I came with a plan. (And a budget! Kristina has taught me well!!) Giulian and I planned to go through Pavilion 5, where I remembered having met and bought from a few dealers who had nice things, and after a very early wake-up and a hair-raising drive on the A1 (at 140 in complete and blinding fog), we arrived a little ahead of schedule and ready to rock and roll.
I found the little old man who has great stuff hidden in an over-filled booth and who – between telling Giulian about his favourite soccer team and me about all the intricacies of his finer pieces – managed to pull out some fab Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces. I found the couple that has magnificent etchings and hard-to-find pieces, beautifully matted and ready to frame. I found Art Deco pochoirs and turn- of-the-century chromolithographs… in short, in 4 hours, I found everything I wanted to and more. And when the purse was empty, Giulian and I headed home, happy, fulfilled and just a little tired.
Tomorrow we’ll go to Milan for more (is there ever enough), and I promise to keep you posted!