When in Rome: Larisa Drozdova Goes Treasure Hunting from Russia to France, Greece to Switzerland

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From Russia’s Matryoshka nesting dolls to VintageChanel from the Marchés aux Puces in Paris, Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova has traveled the world and, as a doll collector and lover of history and culture, knows how to find unforgettable treasures in whatever country she visits.A long-time collector of dolls, Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova says that while in Russia, Matryoshka nesting dolls make a special souvenir to bring hometo loved ones.

The dolls, Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova notes, originated in Japan and later appeared at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. Still, these charming dolls are fitting souvenirs from Russia. The country has a rich history in both doll making and woodworking craft, Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova explains, which makes them a natural fit for those wanting to return home with something unforgettable from Russia. 

When in Paris, Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova likes to stop by Le Musée de la Poupée, a fabulous doll museum where she recommends visiting not only the collections, but also the museum boutique. Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova says one of her favorite gifts for loved ones are the antique dresses for Barbie dolls sold at the museum, and which both collectors and children enjoy as delightful artifacts from the world’s most visited city. After learning she has family in Greece, Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova embarked on a cultural journey of learning more about Greece’s traditions. Many places in Greece—Crete, Rhodes, Skyros—pride themselves on their needlework and regional crafts, she says.

In Athens, Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova recommends visiting the gallery and shop in The Center of Hellenic Tradition, a beautiful place to browse for regional gifts and sip on the national beverage of Greece, a café frappe. Having recently joined the Association des Amitiés Greco-Suisses in Lausanne, Switzerland, Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova always attempts to find the connections between the countries she loves. Greece and Switzerland have a long history of allied relations in both commerce and the arts.

After all, almost 50 Swiss companies operate in Greece and around 300,000 Swiss tourists pass through Greece each year. When in Zürich, Switzerland, Larisa Leonidovna Drozdova recommends visiting the country’s oldest watch shop, Beyer, a famed maker of luxury watches for the past 250 years.