Little Shop is the first hygge shop in Bologna. No, of course it’s not. But it’s the first shop that made me think of this word, that was added to my lexicon quite recently. In case you haven’t noticed, the word hygge is quite a thing lately. If you’re not familiar with it, you can read something here and here, or get a book like this one or this other.
But what is hygge and what can be called hyggelig? Basically, this Danish word and cultural landmark means a sense of warm and loving intimacy, that can be created with your loved ones, your friends, you pet, yourself, a candle, a fireplace, a hot chocolate… you get the idea. It’s coziness at its maximum, most gratifying expression.
As a journalist who also covers lifestyle I wrote a couple of pieces on it lately, received a copy of one of the three books (this one, really nice I must say) recently launched by different publishers and of course couldn’t help noticing how many other outlets wrote about “hyggelig lifestyle” (remember: few things excite magazines and websites more than a new word. Never forget what happened with “selfie” some three years ago).
Anyway, this afternoon I was doing my regular flaneur exploration and happened into this lovely shop, Little Shop is its name, and immediately screamed (within myself): «Hygge»! And as I entered and looked around continued to silently repete «hygge», «hygge», «So hygge!».
In the meantime I was looking at little wooden photo frames, lovely mugs of yellow and orange ceramic, colorful paper lanterns, wallpaper rolls with floral decorations, cute thin bracelets, purse and flowers with other floral decorations, hommages to birds in the shape of little pictures and real-size reproductions and everything else you put in your home for the sole reason to make it a sweeter, welcoming place. Also, on sale very few but very carefully selected magazines, such as the Australian Frankie and the German Flow, a paper magazine for paper lovers (I’m one of them, you can also guess from here), filled with colorful stylish little things to take away and collect.
Funny thing, in the meantime the owner, an architect, was talking quite frankly with a foreign guy about a personal thing (how hygge in that!), then explained to him where he could leave the keys before leaving, so I gathered that Clara the architect and owner of The Little Shop is also owner of Little Cottage, a B&B where the guy apparently had a great time, judging from the relaxed and cosy atmosphere in which they said their goodbyes (hygge!).
Hyggely enough, Clara was clearly up for some extra chatter when he left and I remained the only customer, but I had to go. Still the impression left by this cute place is of something made with care and love, of course with a lot of taste, where prices aren’t too high and where you feel surrounded by lovely, adorably useless items, but not overwhelmed by them. And this subtle difference is what makes a shop of this kind attractive to me. Oh, perdon me, I meant hygge.
I know hygge is in fashion right now, but I still prefer its less hyped Dutch equivalent gezellig. Harder to pronunce and not translated into a multimillion brand yet
I Know Hygge is in fashion now in Italy, while for example in the Uk, where the books were translated earlier, it’s already “revision time”. According to the Guardian, for example, we should look out for the “Hygge conspiracy” 🙂