As many of you know, we’ve recently returned from our trip to Europe, and one of the places we’ve been lucky to visit for the first time is the beautiful city of Florence, Italy. We’ve spent time getting lost in the narrow streets, exploring the historic city center with its famous dome, walking alongside the Arno River and visiting the unique Ponte Vecchio.
Not only did we enjoy the wonderful food, especially the gelato!!!, and this heart-capturing city, but we were able to stop by Oltrarno, the older part of the city, where an impressive palace lined with white marble stairs leads to the Italian company Palomar. Inside this chic office space, with high ceilings, beautifully refinished hardwood floors overlooking a gorgeous courtyard, we were able to meet Ylenia, Francesco and Luca, three members of the Palomar design and sales team.
Palomar began in 1956, when the Palchetti family imported the first reflex cameras from Japan to Italy. After some entrepreneurship and innovation, two of Europe’s most popular staples, the Palchetti family expanded their range and developed optical instruments like binoculars, microscopes, and high-quality telescopes. In 2001, Palomar Company was created, and has been branching off their unique products ever since. The company’s name is mainly a tribute to the Italian writer Calvino and his novel Mr. Palomar.
More urban accessories were added over the years with products that range from magnetic lights to radio speakers that can be used anywhere. A lot of the design of these products is inspired by European, modern lifestyles. In Italy and all over Europe, people are very active: riding scooters, biking, running, walking. This is why it’s important to have products that are durable, minimal, portable and easy to use. And of course, especially in Italy, they have to look cool as well! With this influence starting to trickle down into American society, especially in bigger cities, it’s important to find products that fit your needs, yet have a chic and out-of-the-way design for people who want great functionality but to keep it simple.
We already knew the Palomar’s products when we travelled to Florence but it was amazing to meet the designers and understand the inspiration behind their unique items. At Zeitgeist Gifts, we are constantly on the lookout for something new and different and immediately knew that these products were a great fit for our site.
Lucetta & Lucina, the magnetic bike and wearable lights that provide you with a safe, secure and stylish design to light up your way while you cycle, moped, run or walk. It’s a absolutely essential to protect yourself from traffic, especially at night! Lucetta is perfect for just this! With a basic, water-resistant design, this extremely powerful 15,000 MCD light lasts for up to 40 hours and comes with three lighting modes for whichever your prefer. Lucetta’s little sister, Lucina, is very similar as well, with 30+ hours of battery time and is small enough to place onto your shirt or jacket. Both are safety essentials into today’s crazy world! Picture all these runners who go out before sunrise or at night, commuters who bike to work in the dark or simply kids that want to be safe on their way to school.
The Nello, Palomar’s magnetic bike bell, is another cycling must-have in today's world! With a perfectly basic and out-of-the-way design, Nello is a small ball that fastens onto your bike and can be removed and returned whenever you wish! The Monkey radio speaker was a very interesting product as well, which has a snap-on antenna feature that allows you various ways to using this product: hanging on a bike handle, a chair’s arm rest, or simply sitting on a table. This waterproof product was really amazing, because it came in multiple colors (black, red, white/grey), could be used to play FM radio or as a wireless bluetooth mode, perfect for summer picnics, barbecues, bike rides, beach trips and more!
The final product that Palomar presented to us was their latest personal globe. For that travel bug within you, this personalized 3D globe is a beautifully designed way to show where you’ve been in the world! It comes in a 2-dimensional paper that quickly folds and secures into an actual 3D globe! We hope to add these products to our collection soon!!!
Overall, visiting the Palomar company in Italy was an amazing experience. We also met with their team at the NYNOW gift show in New York, and we think Americans are really going to love these products for their own travel needs! We believe that Palomar is an innovative and ethical company that truly want to create stylish and functional products that are perfect for today’s busy people. Cannot wait to see what is in store for us in the future!