Seeking gifts at the antiques market in Chiavari

Looking for a gift, especially for Christmas, isn’t it becoming a little bit stressful for you too? 

Bombarded by a commercial countdown that starts after Halloween, flooded with social and work commitments on the Christmas eve (which once was December 24, now if it goes well, it starts on the Immaculate day), I live the moment of the search for the gift as yet another “commission to be done” before the fateful 25th December.  I seem to lose, as on many other fronts, the sense of the gesture and the pleasure in doing so. Giving something to someone requires commitment, thought, time and care. Buy something online just to have the package ready under the tree, instead, leaves in your mouth a taste of cardboard, I don’t know if you can understand.

To do it differently, since a few years, now I try to take back the time to look for gifts and I try to do it well in advance and with maximum pleasure. It must be a fun, only in this way the surprises succeed really well. So, downtown under under Christmas days: bye bye!!


A very nice solution, this is the second year that I put it into practice, is to visit antique markets, wandering among beautiful things with no owner, trying to see to find another one. I like to imagine their stories, the houses they lived in, the memories they accompanied and think about how to couple them with the people I love. 

During Christmas, the antique markets are even more beautiful because the Christmas decorations come to the surface, first of all the coveted Christmas balls made of antique glass.


My favorite is the Antiques Market in Chiavari. As you may already know, I have a great affection for that part of Liguria that overlooks the Gulf of Tigullio, in particular for its hinterland, and Chiavari – a small medieval town, for centuries the nerve center of that portion of Liguria – can only be loved. I like its long arcades with stone columns and slate on the ground, the marble benches scattered here and there, the shops that have kept the mirror signs of the past, the traditional pastry shops, boutiques to buy clothing, the pastel colors of the facades, the serene mood of those ones who walk there.

The antiques market takes place there, for about 30 years now, every second Saturday and Sunday of each month (mark it!) There are sellers from all over Liguria, from the hinterland, sometimes from nearby Tuscany, France and Germany. The level of the exposed goods is medium-high, perfectly suited to the sorrounding environment. I would say you can find valuable items for all levels of budgets.

 The benches are arranged in the two main squares of the town and along the arcades.

You can find everything, from granny laces to manual cameras, from movie chairs to toy cars. And then of course ceramics, plates, glasses, cutlery, kitchen utensils, in short, everything that someone like me goes crazy for.


This fall I’ve been there twice and my Christmas “prey” has been liquor glasses. I love them! Small, colorful, imaginative, unpaired and a bit bizarre, as if at the end of a meal everything was allowed. Why? Because this year, maybe, I could think of (I keep vague I do not want to spoiler the gift so publicly, right?) give someone a set of glasses from the end of the meal in conjunction with … something greedy to drink inside!

The liquor ends, if it is good even soon, while the glasses remain to imperishable memory of this Christmas. Nice idea true?


Choosing what to give together with the vintage glasses from Chiavari is really easy for me.

Following the genius loci [architectural term that summarizes the set of characters (socio-cultural, architectural, communicative, behavioral) that distinguish a place, an environment, a city] the choice can only go on the products of my friends of the Nuovo Liquorificio Fabbrizii in Val d’Aveto, right in the hinterland of Chiavari.

Their products are the essence of the territory they represent, in particular Amaro Fabbrizii – created on the basis of an ancient family recipe – obtained from the infusion of only officinal herbs grown in the valley. 

In particular it can be a nice idea to give the entire collection of small flasks of Amaro Riserva invecchiato in barriques of various precious woods (chestnut, cherry, oak, robinia and ash), each of which gives the liqueur its own character.

And if you want you can also add a flask of Gin Rusagni, from the fresh scent of citrus.


If I gave you a good idea for your Christmas gifts, know that you can buy the artisanal products of the Liquorificio Fabbrizii in their beautiful shop/ distillery in Rezzoaglio (maybe if there is snow you can also organize a snowshoe hike in the area!) or directly on their website.

If you prefer, instead, to be welcomed by a warm smile and taste ☺ , you can find the guys of the Liquorificio:

  • Till 11th December at Artigiano in Fiera, Fiera Milano Rho (padillon 6, lane c, stand 137)
  • From the 10th till 21st December in Genoa in Piazza de Ferrari at Il Mercatale, the traditional Christmas fair where you can taste traditional Ligurian food and quality crafts

Instead, the next antiques market of Chiavari will be this weekend, 10-11 December, do not miss it if you too want to make vintage gifts this year!



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Ciao! I’m Enrica

a home cook, food researcher and experience curator bred and born in Liguria.
I study, tell, cook, share and teach Ligurian cuisine and the culture surrounding it.
Here we celebrate Liguria’s gastronomic diversity and richness through its recipes, producers, traditions and shops.

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