By Marti GaciochShoppers seeking antique Italian home furnishings need not journey to Europe to find high-quality pieces. Bellini’s Antique Italia in the Solana Beach Design District showcases elegant antique furniture and decorative accessories for all rooms of the home, including living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom.
Owner Jacopo Bellini shops the Tuscany, Umbria, Lombardy, Venice, Piedmont and Liguria regions of Italy for the merchandise he imports. His selections run the range of 17th- to 19th-century pieces through contemporary 20th- to mid-century modern lines.
Bellini’s also showcases many beautiful Italian decorative items handmade by skilled craftsmen. Selections include chandeliers, paintings, mirrors, pillows (constructed from old tapestry fragments), and frescoes by Italian artists. Customers can either select a fresco from the artist catalog or order a custom design.
Bellini’s also features colorful Deruta pieces from Umbria. Deruta is famous for its colorful majolica-type pieces and hand-painted garden tabletops constructed from volcanic stone.
The store stocks and imports Tuscan terracotta pottery from Impruneta, a hill behind Florence, which is world famous for producing clay containing iron that is fired in a wood oven. Used long ago by the Etruscans, Impruneta pottery provides great strength and longevity.
“I go to Italy two to three times a year, and for the most part, I buy from private homes to keep the costs down,” Bellini said. “I buy some things that I like and some things I know my clients will like.”
Bellini’s customers frequently make shopping requests before he leaves for Italy, where he hunts for furnishings and decorative pieces for two to three weeks.
“I keep my customers’ wish-lists and can pretty much find anything a customer wants, but many times I have to research it to find it,” Bellini said, adding he plans to visit Italy again before the summer.
A fifth-generation antique dealer, Bellini said he learned the business while working with his father in Milan and Florence, Italy, as a boy. He came to the United States in 2000 and opened his Cedros shop 12 years ago.
“I chose the Cedros location for its walkability two years ago,” Bellini said. Customers can request a monthly newsletter at belliniimports.com or facebook.com/antiqueitalia u
Bellini’s Antique Italia, 117 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach.
(858) 509-9399. belliniimports.com
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