When you spend time in Italy, you quickly learn the value of a Tabacchi. It is a place to buy bus and train tickets, stamps, postcards, gum, candy, lozenges, etc.
You can recharge a phone card, buy a lottery ticket, often send a fax, and at most tabacchis, sort through various dollar store types of souvenirs. And yes, the word Tabacchi means tobacco, so, that too.
But when is a tabacchi much more than a tabacchi? When you find this large “T” sign and awning on Via Nazionale in Cortona. Then it’s a destination.
No matter how often I visit, there is always something new and creative to see. And the best news? Most items are actually Made in Italy, many from local and nearby artisans. Here are some examples.
These purses, ornaments and wallets are made from old sheet music, newsprint and/or comic pages, formed into shapes, laminated, and then woven together.
There are numerous prints of familiar Tuscan scenes, towns, buildings and monuments, available in many shapes and sizes,
as well as whimsical pieces of art.
As for me, I can never have enough kitchen towels, especially when they depict places I’ve visited or recipes I want to remember.
Planning to attend Carnevale in Venice or a Mardi Gras party? They’ve got you covered.
There is beautiful pastel stationery, as well as bound journals, all hand-made with 100% cotton paper, and each journal is individually embossed.
Traditional Florentine notecards and ornamental angels come in a rainbow of colors.
Need a birthday or anniversary card? There’s an abundance to choose from.
Italians love beautifully fragranced soaps, especially Campostrini soaps that have been produced in Firenze since 1894.
Like so many businesses in Cortona, Il Pozzo Artisan’s Gallery and Tabacchi is family owned and operated, and generally open daily. If you’ve been to Cortona, you probably recognize these faces.
Ivan speaks English well and is an incredible resource for most questions, whether about an artist, a painting, the Etruscans, or local antiquities. It’s no wonder many of us consider him Cortona’s ambassador.
If you are heading to Cortona, be sure to add this wonderful place to your list. You’ll be so happy you did!
And one last note: At the back of the tabacchi, take the winding staircase down one flight to visit the beautiful Il Pozzo Galleria. In addition to seeing many more interesting and beautiful works of art, you will also see an ancient well, or pozzo, hence the name Il Pozzo. Ivan actually uncovered the well during excavation, but I’ll leave that story to him.
For more info and photos on Il Pozzo Galleria, please click below: