Bespoke spokes – Talarico Umbrellas

June 10, 2010 / Local Interest
Napoli, Campania

mariotalarico1In one of Naples’ dusky alleyways is a little umbrella factory that puts others in the shade. It was 150 years ago that Achille Talarico opened his workshop on Via Trinità degli Spagnoli. His workers crafted handles of ivory, silver and majolica, fastening them to canopies of pure silk for an aristocratic clientele. A regular supply of tortoiseshell fans wafted their way to the Royal Palace.

mariotalarico2Achille’s son Giovanni and his wife opened a new workshop in 1924 in the Vico Due Porte a Toledo, where the ancient workbench may still be seen. Their baby son Mario napped in a drawer near his mother’s sewing machine and would eventually preside over umbrella production. A further generation of nephews stands ready to continue the tradition.

mariotalarico3Do go to admire these handmade silk umbrellas with cherry, chestnut or sugar cane handles as well as the more workaday versions. You may meet some of Talarico’s somewhat elite clientele, like these splendid gentlemen encountered the day we visited, seen here with Mario Talarico himself.

Penny Ewles-Bergeron

by Penny Ewles-Bergeron

Author, artist… celebrating the many good things in Naples.

7 Responses to “Bespoke spokes – Talarico Umbrellas”

  1. Oh! I do so like this note! this kind of bright personal view is what makes italiannotebook such a joy and treasure!I will eventually make it to Naples as well as to some of the other places that italiannotebook is reminding me to not miss out on ! thank you Penny.

  2. Joseph D. Spano
    Joseph D. Spano

    Many of the old crafts and arts have past,especially here in America.
    I went to school with a Talarico, whose father trolled the streets of Philadelphia, selling and repairing umbrellas. All these wonderful gifts that men (and woman) had are now just computer chatter. A tear falls.

  3. Penny Ewles-Bergeron
    Penny Ewles-Bergeron

    Thanks all. What I didn’t mention, for lack of space, was that Talarico also repairs umbrellas – in that regard it’s interesting what you say, Joseph, about the Talarico in Philadelphia… I think this is the only place I’ve ever heard of that repairs them.

  4. Phyllis Brewer Lechiara

    I was born in Clarksburg. We moved away when I was 4. My parents always went back to Talarico’s market for wonder Italian made foods.
    They are still making and selling peppers in tomato sauce in quart jars. Yum Yum. Great on a loaf of sliced Italian bread.


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