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Cagliari, Sardinia

Traditional, yet captivating retail experience in Sardinia

by Rupert Bentley-Smith


"A must for those who appreciate high-quality, handmade jewellery"

Viewed and spoken about as a ‘laboratory’, Loredana Mandas’ shop in Cagliari is somewhere for people to watch and experience the fascinating process of her creating hand-made jewellery typical of Sardinia’s history and the island’s deep craft traditions. One of the few filigree jewellery artisans in southern Sardinia, the shop window is totally overwhelmed by unique pieces of artwork from traditional jewellery to geometric motifs, pendants, earrings and rings embellished with precious and semi-precious stones.

Loredana Mandas’ shop is a must for those who appreciate high-quality, handmade jewellery and want to see genuine Sardinian craftsmanship. In an appealingly old fashioned way, Loredana lives above the shop and so ring the bell and wait for her to appear for a personal and bespoke service.

Although without the obvious majesty of our own Burlington Arcade, it’s somewhere that continues to operate in a way that is very familiar to how our London arcades started out life, with the leaseholders living above or below the shop (6 of whom where women), sharing the space with their stock, and illustrating their expertise in front of the customer. Loredana Mandas’ store succeeds in transporting people back to a time when people genuinely lived and breathed their crafts in an environment that has natural theatre with “soft sell” retailing reliant on the customer falling for the product and its provenance.

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