If you’re going on a city break this summer, here is something you should add to your itinerary.
If you’re going on a city break this summer, here is something you should add to your itinerary. The world is full of weird and wacky places, and these are the quirkiest, oddest and downright strangest shops in some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The best part? They’re free! So put away your euros/dollars/drachma and enjoy the weird the world has to offer.
1. Pope Street, Rome
A while ago, I got lost in the city of Rome. I found myself down a street I’d never been on before and as I wandered along, I saw some distinctly 80s looking mannequins in the window, complete with blue eye shadow, false eye lashes and bright red lips. Thinking that this was the street that time forgot, I had to stop. These mannequins were wearing wimples. It seemed that on my aimless wandering, I discovered the place where priests and nuns bought their vestments. The garish displays were filled with gold and purple and boasted long candlesticks, incense burners and the most beautiful silver goblets. It was the most bizarre row of shops I have ever seen and, I couldn’t help it, I got the giggles, which was quickly followed by a severe bout of Catholic guilt. The worst part was, I have never been able to find it since and nor has anyone else I have told about it. The only thing I do know is that my imagination isn’t creative enough to make up a street like this.
2. The Bone Shop, New York
A great metropolis like New York is bound to house some of the wackiest shops in the world, but this is definitely the strangest shop I have seen. The Bone Shop sells, err, bones, including skulls with the horns still attached. It also sells fossils and insects, and what’s more, if you’re not taking a trip to NYC anytime soon, bones and other assorted weird things are available for you to buy online. With prices reaching nearly $400, it seems that committed bone collectors are the prime audience of The Bone Shop, which has absolutely nothing to do with Angelina Jolie, sorry to disappoint.
3. Deyrolle, Paris
While London has many taxidermist shops to compliment the most stuffy of upper-class homes, Deyrolle in Paris plays host to the most bizarre display of stuffed animals in Europe. As if stuffed animals aren’t shivers-down-your-spine-scary enough, the animals that are large enough are wearing human clothes. What’s worse, most of the animals are stuffed in a pose, for example an elephant swinging his trunk, an eagle mid-flight, and even cute white rabbits poised to spring on their hind legs. Deyrolle is by far the most creepy shop in Paris, and is amazingly popular with stuffed animal collectors, yep they exist, and those wanting to bring an edge into their home. Deyrolle will certainly not appeal to everyone, and taxidermy is probably best left in the Bates Motel.
4. Trashy Lingerie, Los Angeles
This underwear shop in Los Angeles does what it says on the tin. A favourite haunt of glamour model Katie Price, Trashy Lingerie offers underwear for every occasion, using materials from PVC to pure silk. The thing that makes Trashy Lingerie more bizarre is that fact that it is absolutely exclusive. There is a yearly fee to join up and a celebrity following including Cameron Diaz and Winona Rider, making Trashy Lingerie one of the most glamorous places to go for some not-so-glamorous underwear. Well, whatever floats your boat.
5. The Old Curiosity Shop, London
This London based shoe shop is a far cry from your Office or Kurt Geiger. The Old Curiosity Shop specialises in the unique, the edgy and the downright weird with collections including shoes with cork-stoppers (Big Foot for Smelly Foot) and furry shoes with laces (Hog Toe Cat). It is not only the odd collection of shoes that makes The Old Curiosity Shop so wonderfully strange, it is also the shop itself. According to the shop’s website, the building is the original Old Curiosity Shop, as written about by Charles Dickens. The building survived both the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz in World War II, making it one of the most durable, as well as historic buildings in London. The new owner, shoe designer Daita Kimora, decided to keep the interior as it was, complete with winding staircases and an innate feeling of stepping back in time. Don’t let the bizarre nature of this shop fool you – Kimora’s shoes have graced many a Vogue magazine and are very popular amongst the fashion elite.