The Piazza area of Addis Ababa is the best place to spend a day if you want to get a glimpse of what Addis Ababa was like in the 1940's when the Italians occupied the country. The area is dotted with old hotels and the streets are lined with shops and cafes. Much of the Italian influence has stuck around decades after the Ethiopians regained rule of their country. We enjoy Piazza for the shopping and restaurants. We have a friend in town and it was the perfect location to take her for Ethiopian Orthodox Christian icons, souvenirs, an excellent espresso, silver jewelry and interesting old architecture.
My husband has been holding out on me with this little hole-in-the-wall antique shop. It's the first time he's taken me and the entire place felt like a hidden treasure trove of secret shelves and piles of paintings stacked so high you have to wonder what the painting on the very bottom looks like!
There were multiple rooms that the owner opened up and flipped on the lights once we arrived. I love that special visitor feel when the private reserves are revealed. We helped our friend choose a few artifacts and mentally made notes of what we wanted to return for. You know you've had a great shopping experience if your fingers are filthy after all the searching.