ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM STORE, 100 Queen?s Park, 416-586-8000, www.rom.on.ca Rating: NNNNN
The showpiece of the Royal Ontario Museum's new Italian Arts And Design exhibit is Alessandro Mendini's oversized, painted-mosaic-pattern chair that sits proudly among vintage Vespas and spacey mid-century furniture. Down one level, the show's catalogues, printed with the chair's curlicued silhouette, guard the entrance to the ROM's new Museum Store.
The shop is a temporary outpost for exhibit souvenirs, reproduction furniture and ROM paraphernalia, including polo shirts, magnets and coffee mugs printed with the museum's primary-colour crystalline logo. Italian-themed goodies include Murano glass jewellery, Illy espresso cups featuring designs by New York artist Julian Schnabel and designer home accessories by Alessi, Guzzini and Artemide.
Canadian clay jeweller Kari Lynn Bianchi's Italo last name earns her chunky porcelain and bead bangles a spot in the boutique and hints that when the permanent ROM store opens in the lobby of Daniel Libeskind's crystal addition, its merch will be a smart international/local mix.
ROM shop picks: Murano glass cross pendants mix lime green, vibrant blue and red hues, $29.95; serve espresso for two with Guzzini's cup, saucer and spoon set, $38.99; Peg Perego's battery-operated kids Vespa comes with training wheels, $399.
Look for: the shop's merchandise to flip to Peruvian goodies when the Ancient Peru Unearthed: Golden Treasures Of A Lost Civilization show opens March 10, 2007.
Hours: Monday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 6 pm, Friday 10 am to 9:30 pm.