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Diamonds and pearls proliferate in fabulous pieces at Vicenza's Jewelry Museum.
Diamonds and pearls proliferate in fabulous pieces at Vicenza's Jewelry Museum. (Photo courtesy Vicenza Jewelry Museum)
Diamonds and pearls proliferate in fabulous pieces at Vicenza's Jewelry Museum.
Diamonds and pearls proliferate in fabulous pieces at Vicenza's Jewelry Museum. (Photo courtesy Vicenza Jewelry Museum)
Necklaces are exhibited in Vicenza's Jewelry Museum with precious and semi-precious stones.
Necklaces are exhibited in Vicenza's Jewelry Museum with precious and semi-precious stones. (Photo courtesy Vicenza Jewelry Museum)
Vicenza's Jewelry Museum exhibits beautiful pieces of jewelry from the most renowned designers and firms in the world, many of whom are Italian. Visitors are not allowed to take photos, and the exhibition is monitored by cameras and attendants.
Vicenza's Jewelry Museum exhibits beautiful pieces of jewelry from the most renowned designers and firms in the world, many of whom are Italian. Visitors are not allowed to take photos, and the exhibition is monitored by cameras and attendants. (Photo courtesy Vicenza Jewelry Museum)

There’s jewelry from Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Bulgari.

Pearls, sapphires, rubies and lots and lots of diamonds.

Chokers, pendants, bracelets, brooches made into flowers and dragonflies and earrings made of gold.

Vicenza’s Jewelry Museum lays out a feast for the eye, even for the most nonacquisitive, Puritan-hearted.

For jewelry lovers, looking at the museum’s many, many fabulous pieces can induce an almost meditative, happy state. As Elizabeth Taylor, who owned a legendary jewelry collection, once said, “You can’t cry on a diamond’s shoulder, and diamonds won’t keep you warm at night. But they’re sure fun when the sun shines.”

Beauty is only one theme explored in the museum, which opened in the Basilica Palladiana in 2014 and is billed as the only one in Italy devoted solely to jewelry.

In nine rooms, in scores of locked, alarmed vitrines, it presents jewelry as symbol, magic, icon, function, art, design, fashion and future.

In doing so it brings together pieces from Roman times; Tibetan necklaces of coral and turquoise; a golden, bejeweled crown from a local church; a necklace composed of shaving brushes; and a small 19th-century brooch with a miniature enamel replica of “The Last Supper” surrounded by diamonds, sapphires and pearls.

Jewelry symbolizes more than power, wealth and station — as the curation panels (in Italian and English) tell visitors. It can signify identity, sentiment, possession and memory.

The function room duly documents items of necessity — hair combs, buttons, cufflinks and pins.

But I liked the clip made in 2010 by the Paris-based, super-exclusive designer JAR, whose clientele is limited to movie goddesses and lords of the universe. Maybe 6 inches long, it was shaped as a freesia, yellow gold with a bronze stem and petals made of diamonds. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before: a glittering dream of creativity, craft and whimsy.

Address: Basilica Palladiana, Piazza dei Signori, 36100 Vicenza VI, Italy

Hours: 3-7 p.m. Tuesdays- Fridays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Italian holidays

Price: Admission is 6 euros for adults, 4 euros for children and students

Contact: (+39)(0444) 320799; email: info@museodelgioiello.it

Website:museodelgioiello.it

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