The worlds greatest barbershop

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
fisherc
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The worlds greatest barbershop

Post by fisherc »

Gents:

I know that many here are profound pundits of the traditional English barbershops including Trumper, Truefitt and Hill, etc but truth be told it was the Italians (and more specifically the Romans) who perfected men's grooming (including the traditional wetshave) and the English were merely imitators of this art form.

During the third century, BC, the Macedonians under Alexander the Great began their conquest of Asia and lost several battles to the Persians who grabbed the Macedonians by their beards, pulled them to the ground and speared them. This resulted in a order by Alexander that all soldiers be clean-shaven. The civilians followed the example of the soldiers and beards lost their vogue. Barbers were unknown in Rome until 296 BC, when Ticinius Mena came to Rome from Sicily and introduced shaving.

Shaving soon became the fashion and the barber shop became the gathering place for Roman dandies. Romans often devoted several hours each day to shaving, hair cutting, hairdressing, massaging, manicuring and the application of rare ointments and cosmetics of unknown formulas. The great ladies of Rome always had a hairdresser among their slaves and the rich nobles had private 'tonsors', as they were then called. Barbers were so highly prized that a statue was erected to the memory of the first barber of Rome.

Today there are many traditional "barbiere" in Italy but the best of the best is located in Milano and has been in continuous operation for more than a century. The shop is known as Antica Barbiera Colla and it is owned by a man named Franco Bompieri.

I have had shaves and haircuts on multiple occasions in this establishment (as well as the traditional English barbers) and I can tell you it is unlike any other traditional barber in the world. They make Trumpers feel like a Supercuts comparatively speaking. :-)

As many of us know once upon a time the likes of Trumper and others actually compounded their own shaving creams, after shaves, etc where now these "brands" simply "OEM" from larger volume commercial labs.

The tradition of formulating and compounding on premises is still performed at Colla. And many of the formulae have remain unchanged for more than a century. They make nearly every product they use in their services including their pre shave cream, bitter almond shave soap, and after shave. They also make various shampoos and a post shampoo product laced with menthol and capsicum that makes for a great "friction" treatment after the hair is washed and prior to a haircut.

This establishment has just launched a website to offer a glimpse of the establishment, it's staff, history, products, etc. I thought all of you would enjoy so click below for a glimpse in to what I consider to be the Mecca of traditional mens grooming:
http://www.anticabarbieriacolla.it

Chris
Last edited by fisherc on Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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drmoss_ca
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Post by drmoss_ca »

Looks very nice, although I'd rather the gallery showed the establishment rather than examples of clientele!

Chris
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Post by EverSharp »

Looks like a great ld world experience. A price list would be interesting. How much is a shave?
gsgo
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Post by gsgo »

Chris, thanks for the link and the great story!
Good shaving,

Gary
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Post by Thalay Sagar »

Thanks, Chris. It must be q wonderful experience. Now only to get to Milan!
Best,
Chris

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Sam
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Post by Sam »

I have a case going and it involves manufacture of furniture in Milan. I just may have to go to the site there to view and depose people, so who knows???????
gsgo
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Post by gsgo »

Sam wrote:I have a case going and it involves manufacture of furniture in Milan. I just may have to go to the site there to view and depose people, so who knows???????
Need help? :)
Good shaving,

Gary
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Sam
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Post by Sam »

Well, Gary, for the lawyers in the room, I have a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction over my client. If granted, the case moves to his state where local counsel would handle any new suit there. If not, then an interlocutory appeal would have to lie and be granted, or else we litigate here on the merits and raise the want of personal jurisdiction in the appellate court. Long arm statute is what is being used, and it will turn on what "transacting business" means. Anyway, I am having to argue International Shoe and Worldwide Volkswagon and the Tennessee cases that construe that. Not a lot of appellate cases on all fours, and now with the Internet, what exactly is transacting business within a state mean? Phone calls, faxes and snail mail and email? Or maybe something more, like shipping of goods? Some cases seem to say if you made a payment then that could be a deciding factor.
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Post by Thalay Sagar »

Good luck with the motion, Sam. I guess your argument will be that your client didn't contract for the provision of goods or services in Tennessee, thereby avoiding specific jurisdiction? If it's just communications, my guts say there isn't sufficient contact (See Shelby County Healthcare Corp. v. Allstate Ins. Co.), but if goods were shipped or money changed hands, well....
Best,
Chris

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Sam
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Post by Sam »

Chris, sent you a PM, but yes, money changed hands. Payment from Tn to the other state, but no goods sent back. But that would mean if I call some store in NYC and ask them to ship something to you in one state and I pay by check here, then you consent to be sued in TN? Ill have to read the Burger King case that is the latest word from the Supremes from what I can see.
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Post by brothers »

It would kill a business whether brick and mortar, internet, or mail order, if they could be sued and have to bear the burden of defending litigation in any jurisdiction where their product was delivered or used. It seems oversimplified, but my argument would be that it would depend on which party initiated or solicited the transaction. I hope they grant your motion.
Gary

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Post by brothers »

Chris I apologize for participating in the hijacking of your thread. On point, there seem to be similarities between the existence of this barbershop and the product we know and love, by the name of Cella. Both being over a hundred years old, Cella being a bitter almond product, Italian, etc. Intriguing. I wish I could experience a personal visit. You are indeed a fortunate man to be able to travel to these wonderful locations. Thanks a million for sharing these experiences with us.
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic / boar / badger brushes, Colonial General razor, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
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Post by Thalay Sagar »

First, Chris I too apologize for the hijack, but....

Sam, I got it and replied. And I agree that would be the policy implication that would arise. I would definitely argue that no goods were ever contemplated being shipped to TN, so no goods were delivered or services were rendered in state. I've never run across your exact issue in Va. However, in internet slander cases, Virginia law is that personal jurisdiction is established for the purpose of tort liability when the party making allegedly slanderous statement uses a physical artifice in Virginia to propagate the statement. So for example, if you use AOL as your e-mail service and say "Chris is a no good for nothing Fitjar lover", as a Virginian I can bring suit against you in the Virginia because AOL has its router located here and you thus touched the Commonwealth. Crazy. There has to be some other jurisdiction that has ruled on this. Probably California.

Gary, it is insane but the laws were written before the interweb and legislatures being what they are, they ain't on the cutting edge of reform, so they are leaving the issue to the litigants and courts to sort out. On second thought, that may be for the best.
Best,
Chris

“Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
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diggity
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Post by diggity »

Chris,

That's a great story. Thanks for the read. And thanks for the link. Looks like a fantastic place!
Nathan
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Post by rsp1202 »

I can vouch for the shampoo with egg and rum. I use them separately, however.
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Post by Squire »

Thanks for the reference Chris, interesting site. Have you used the almond shave soap?
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Squire
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desertbadger
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Post by desertbadger »

Great read and story, Chris. Thank you!

Regards,
David
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fisherc
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Post by fisherc »

Thanks everyone for the kind words. I am glad you all enjoyed a look at Antica Barbieria Colla.

Cost for a shave here is about 30 Euros though I haven't been in a little over a year.

The shave soap they use is made at the shop so it's not the generally available Cella or P.160 Italian made bitter almond soap to the best of my knowledge though it is very similar based on my experience.

The other interesting treatment they do is after the haircut they singe the tips of the hair with a burning candle.

regards,
Chris
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Post by F.W. Fitch »

Appreciate you sharing a window into the latins Chris. On another note...do they have a Bail Bondsman on premises or a tele. in corner with Court TV on? If so, theres a shop in Philly like this.....

Best,
Fitch
fisherc
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Post by fisherc »

Sorry Fitch. You won't find anything "American Italian" in or anywhere near this place nor in any part of Milano for that matter. :-) Colla is pure old world Italian class.

Chris
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