Silvia Dionisi, Bookshop Owner – Maker Profile
Wouldn’t you know that on my last day in Rome, hours before the mad craze of packing the massive amount of goods from Italy, I found someone I wanted to interview for our Maker Profile series! Silvia Dionisi, the super-sweet gal who owns the independent bookshop where we scored notebooks for the STMT X Italy Kit!
The funny thing is that I actually met Silvia a week earlier when I placed an order with her. Only on my return to her shop did it all click. I asked her a ton of questions and she asked about me. I learned about a book fair she hosts annually in Rome. I learned about her workshops and events at her bookstore for people to discuss art, photography, therapy, music, and more.
Silvia’s background is in Italian history and literature during the Middle Ages. She explained that this period is really important in Italy’s history of art, philosophy, and religion. The foundation was planted during this time for many Italian cities – the churches, the landscape, the relationship between man and nature.
Silvia worked in the Vatican archives translating really old documents – and fell in love with the written word. It was easy for her to understand the importance of creativity and writing – how the written word preserves history and tells a story. One thing led to another and Silvia realized that she wanted to open a bookstore. Her independent shop is a place where she wants people to discover… to discover people’s stories, another city, someone’s journey.
I suggested a collab where we design a notebook with lo-fi paper that’s typically used for restaurant dinner mats. It totally makes sense that we create a notebook/journal since these paper goods record someone’s history – it stamps time. Plus, I love her shop’s branding! It’s totally on point with the RAH vibe.
1 - First, the basics: pencil or pen, ruled sheets or grid?
I prefer pencils for slow writing. For my daily job I usually use black pen, better fluid and thin. I really love blank sheets. If I have to choose between ruled or grid maybe grid. I feel more free.
2 - What’s your favorite Italian food to grub on? Italian drink to sip?
I love fried zucchini flowers, homemade. I suggest my mother’s ones. Also I prefer lasagna (vegetarian or red with tomatoes and small meatballs). I like water, sparkly water most of all. I like to drink red wines but slowly. When I’m thirsty, at summer sunset, the best drink is a glass of iced Prosecco. I guzzle fresh orange juice. Homemade.
3 - Describe the Italian art scene in 3 words. And the Italian Literature scene, please!
Art: brilliant, smart and precious. Literature: trendy, self-referential, complex. I mean, there are many good writers but they’re not bestsellers because newspapers and media speak only about the main editors which often don’t publish the best things.
4 - What’s the one thing everyone should experience in Rome?
Going around the city without thinking, without a watch. Alone, or with the person you love or with your best friends. Look at the main monuments and ruins, go inside the churches silently, look for outdoor dining, taste ice creams, take unusual pictures, sit on a bench. Especially on Sunday, without daily rush. Discover the suburbs with their unknown artists.
5 - You have a jet all fueled up and ready for your own personal World Tour. Where you headed?
Now I wonder to go to Japan, to India. And then Chile and Peru, Cuba, Jamaica. And also North Cape. I’d like to live for a while in the U.S.A, in a big city. Also in Paris, or Stockholm. Just to feel myself part of a larger world. I gave up the hope to visit Syria and the old Mesopotamic area. Memories and people have been cancelled. This is an awful time. Mad world!