A visit to Gioielli Caruso at Borgo Orefici, Naples
In a world where big malls and no-tax areas are mainstream, long-established family businesses are hitting the spot, at least in Italy. Our country has plenty of boutiques handed down from one generation to another, and some of them have been around for more than a century holding a close historical connection with their suburb. In Southern Italy, there's a place whose historical relevance is paramount, and that area is the Borgo Orefici in Naples, among the most valuable historic settlements in Italy, dating back to the Middle Ages. In most cities, there are not many areas holding a legacy so long and historically valuable as the Borgo Orefici. It all began with French jewellers opening their shops downtown, soon replaced by local craftsmen who grew the business, making the Borgo Orefici a reference area in Europe across the centuries.
I met Vincenzo and Melania Caruso (and, lately, their father Cosimo) during a training session with the brand Mido a couple of years or so ago. Gioielli Caruso is located right amidst Piazzetta Orefici, a pedestrian area representing the goldsmith district whose shops are now gathered under the Borgo Orefici Consortium association. The historic jewellery shop now includes wristwatches from the following brands: Longines, Mido, Rado, and Oris.
Vincenzo Caruso has a soft spot for watches and is a digital media expert too. Here's why we find ourselves chatting for hours ever since I met him, and each time I move from Milan to Naples for the summer or winter holidays, while enjoying a coffee inside the area that faced strong business development under Frederick II of Swabia, who founded in Naples the first-ever university, once called the "Studium".
Gioielli Caruso stands out, in my opinion, for the following reasons: the Caruso family showcase great expertise in watchmaking and offer one of the most effective e-commerce platforms I have ever seen in Italy. Also, their shop looks and feels like a watchmaking boutique rather than an ordinary shop. Nonetheless, it seems niche and smaller than boutiques you usually find in big towns, which makes sense given the area's historical pedigree and narrow roads compared to Milan, for instance.
The brands' portfolio includes names whose price point is in the accessible luxury, with Mido being the most affordable, and three of them belonging to the Swatch Group. The latest addition is Oris. As a consumer, I'd love to see the shop showcase and sell a Saxon and a Japanese brand, too, thus offering unparalleled offerings among Swiss, Saxon, and Japanese brands.
Therefore, I'd love to compare all these options, like for like, before purchasing a new watch in steel, ceramic or bronze, but I understand it's hard to manage in either business sustainability and management; please consider each new brand means dedicated training sessions and ad campaigns to cite a few. If you're planning to spend some time in Naples anytime soon, and you're a watch lover at heart, please visit the Borgo Orefici and pay a visit to Gioielli Caruso. For further information also visit https://www.gioiellicaruso.it/.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Gioielleria Caruso)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®