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Through rapid development and modernization, Albania has not lost its traditional flair! Quite the opposite, the traditional has merged with the modern to create a uniquely Albanian atmosphere that is worth experiencing firsthand. To the visitors’ great joy, Albania remains a wonderfully hospitable country with warm and enthusiastic hosts. Communication is a kind of sport among Albanians, as is abundantly clear from the countless, constantly buzzing cafes and restaurants in its major cities. Yet, these are not the only places one encounters fascinating people. It is actually in the many small shops and boutiques around the cities, the old historic streets, the old bazaars that sell fresh food, spices and artisanal objects, the outdoor parks and even in the organized street parties that the visitor can have a stab at really knowing Albania through its people.
After relocating from Torino to Tirana years ago, Anna Giulia Buonanno is an Italian who has by now settled in her new life in Albania, where she teaches Italian language and culture in some of the most important academic institutions in the country. I really like the area around arTurbina: there is ample space for [...]
The author of “Flight,” a collection of essays on the city, and Tirana native gives us her step-by-step perfect day around Albania’s capital while counting her favorite things. Cioccolatitaliani for the delicious coffee and drinks, people watching, and to cool off from the summer heat. Friend’s Book House to work and socialize, simultaneously. The Pyramid. [...]
Along the way at the Old Bazaar in Gjirokastra, you will inevitably run into Anastas Petridhi, a true master of woodwork. Each visitor who enters his shop finds him working! The maestro can transform a simple plate of beech or pine wood into a fine work of art in the blink of an eye. Anastas [...]
A man of deep wrinkles and intelligent eyes awaits you in the Gjirokastra Bazaar. His name is Muhedin Makri. He continues the trade of handmade stone carvings and small sculptures, passed on to him from previous generations. His grandfather and father taught him this handcraft involving nature’s hardest material and the symbol of Gjirokastra, the city [...]
Embroidery is a craft that Albanian women have cultivated and mastered throughout centuries! To this day, most Albanian homes are embellished by traditional pieces of elegant embroidery. In the historic neighborhood of Gjirokastër called Qafa e Pazarit, or the Old Bazaar, we meet one of the true masters of embroidery in town, Vjollca Mezini. It [...]