It takes some careful searching to find it, but it's still there. A white "Sampietrino" slab embelled in the pavement of Piazza Apollarola, marking the site once assigned to the wooden stands on which all sorts of merchandise were displayed, a few steps away from Campo de Fiori. Alberto Fornari started his business in 1896, and soon earned a tongue-in-cheek and yet significant nickname "Massive" reminiscent of the solid silver objects he was selling.
Thus, the history of Rome's earlier silversmiths began. In 1905 Alberto Fornari opened his first store at 49 via della Scrofa. A large sign over the main entrance bore the proprietor's name and wording "we buy and sell furniture, beds, apparel and copper", while the windows were full of flatware, trays and silver objects. Business boomed, and the store, by now famous, was moved to 29 via del Gambero corner via Frattina. During that time Romans referred to the Fornari family as "the Silversmiths", and it wasn't uncommon for somebody to invite a group of friends to meet "in front of the Silversmiths".
Then in 1938 everything screeched to a sudden stop with the passing in Italy of anti-Semitic laws and the beginning of WW II. The Fornari family was forced to flee to the United States dreaming to return someday to resume their activities. In 1950 that dream came through. The Fornaris returned to Italy and re-opened on via Frattina, also thanks to the help of their old suppliers, who made available to them unlimited credit simply on the basis of their confidence in the family's professionalism and in the prestige enjoyed by their name in the silver trade. In a few years the Fornari were able to commission the production of over 65,000 Lbs. of silver and transformed the store into a sleek and modern boutique specializing in gift items and decorative objects for the home and for the kitchen.
In 1994 a part of the family chose to quit the business and in October of that year Alberto Fornari and his son Ralph decided to keep alive the tradition which for three generations had linked their name to the silver and gift item trade: thus, they started a new by moving the store to one of the most prestigious addresses in Rome, via Frattina 133.
By breaking through the limitations common to all wedding registries, www.fornari1905.com represents the last outpost of the company: customers in London, Tokyo or New York can browse through the thousands of items displayed in the elegant store on via Frattina and select the gifts they want to give. Today, they offer their customers the possibility to reach new worlds, new visions, and new objects by a simple computer click...
With the constant improvement of technology shopping online becomes almost real. Obviously, the thrill of shopping in person and touching any single article on display will never be replaced by the home-delivery of a package: however, the possibility to choose or to receive in the privacy of your home a gift which, until recently, we would not be able to give or to own is definitely a big step forward.
An alluring collection of crystal, silver and porcelain objects is assembled in a mini-portal which offers newlyweds and their friends the opportunity to select and purchase precious objects and ideas for the home. Endorsed and photographed in GOURMET, the American "magazine of good living", the Fornari store - a few steps away from Piazza di Spagna - remains a "must stop" even online, for all those who better respond to the temptation of beautiful and attractive articles for the home.
Having been converted to the world of e-commerce, Alberto and Ralph Fornari, and the wake of a timeless tradition, have overcome distance and boundaries.
|Fornari 1905 s.r.l. - Via Frattina, 133 - 00187 Roma RM (Italy) - Tel: +39 06 6780105 - Fax: +39 06 6797464 - Skype: fornar-fornarii|