Every year I go to Bell’occhio, at 10 Brady Street (between Market Street and Stevenson Street) to plan my holiday shopping.


Their website summarizes what they sell perfectly: “Bell’occhio is a specialty shop offering antiques and curiosities as well as rarefied merchandise produced by historic ateliers.”

I love me some curiosities, so these Handy Salt and Pepper Mills are one of my favorite gifts to give:


But not only do they have cool gifts, they have stunningly beautiful wrapping supplies:


I put many of my presents in their gorgeous boxes (seriously, their boxes are so pretty I could get a turd in one and it would take a minute for me to feel offended). They come in a lot of sizes so you can use them for most anything. Some of my favorite boxes at Bell’occhio look like truffles and apples. Those I use to keep jewelry in, so giving a gift in one is like putting a gift inside a gift (mind blowing, I know)!

Also, their ribbon selection is not only beautiful but vast. I usually wrap my presents with a simple colored paper and then add different seasonal ribbons to make the presents pretty and different (and to allow me to remember what I’m giving to whom).


The owner, Claudia is a wonderful women. She puts so much care into everything she does. She’s quiet and maybe a little shy but an absolute treat to talk to. She used to make toys with her father when she was little, and I wonder if that’s where her attention to beauty and detail was born.

Bell’occhio is a treat all year long, but it’s an essential at the holidays.

the author

Babe Scanlon is a writer living and working in San Francisco. She's worked as an archaeologist, computer game designer, agent at Agent Provocateur and hypnotherapist. She is controlling your mind at this very moment.

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