From the metropolitan markets of Tehran to the ancient Persian ruins of Shiraz, fashion inspiration abounds. BACO’s Fashion Editor Valentina Accardo shares her Iranian journey with us.
A WEEK IN IRAN:
Despite my worries and doubts, I never felt controlled or in danger in this beautiful and charming country. I landed in the middle of the night in Tehran, and I spent a couple of days in the capital before flying south to visit Shiraz, Yazd and Isfahan.
During my trip, I was fortunate to always be accompanied by friends and guides. They showed me around as I explored the architecture, ancient sites, tried the food, entered in the famous bazaars and bargained to buy a carpet. Here are my highlights:
The traffic is crazy in this city, and this will probably impact your visit because it makes you loose a lot of time in the capital.
A must see is the Golestan Palace which is a complex of ornate buildings around a courtyard garden, as is typical of the architecture in this area. The palace is also a good example of the Middle East’s ability of mixing glass, tiles and mirrors to create a multicolored effect which is extraordinary.
Not far from here you’ll find the famous Tehran bazaar: a huge traditional market place where you can find everything you want, from carpets to artisanal gold pieces. The traditional bargaining that goes on in these carpet shops is incredible and unlike anything I have ever seen.
This city is beautiful for its architecture and multiple places to visit such as the Hafez tomb. I you don’t have much time I would definitely recommend to spend it visiting the ancient sites, especially Persepolis. I am from Rome, so I am used to the “great beauty” of old ruins and the 2000 years old Colosseum, but when you arrive at this huge site, you are rendered speechless. The architecture, the structure of the old buildings, the low relief and the details of the design framed with a blue sky is really impressive. The tomb site is even more surprising. I was awestruck at how 1000 years ago, human beings were able to carve such a magnificent structure in the rock.
After travelling by car across the Iranian desert, you’ll arrive at the towers of silence. It is a really mystical place to visit, and an amazing way to understand the Zorastrian culture (fun fact: Freddie Mercury was a Parsi from the South Asian branch of Zoroastrianism) . Then you enter the city… and I just got lost in the small street of the old town with its colors. I eventually had tea in one of the hidden places of this city. Don’t miss the opportunity to walk on the rooftops. What you’ll remember is the color: a city made of red mud and crowned with a turquoise dome.
The most famous and charming city of the tour by far. The Imam square is so big that in the past they used it to play polo matches. At every corner you ‘ll see impressive mosques, fountains and a bazaar. It’s very touristic, but you can find very good pieces of local craftsmanship such as hand-printed tablecloths, miniatures and stones. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Jame Mosque, Royal mosque are all a must see. If you can stay longer in Esfahan you must go see the charming Khajou Bridge: a beautiful piece of architecture. And just stay and relax as a Persian does.