The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Troppo Gallery

Troppo Gallery: Antique Oasis in Citystars Mall

reviewed by
Salma Tantawi
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Troppo Gallery: Antique Oasis in Citystars Mall

Entering the Khan El
Khalili section in Citystars’ Phase 1 is a nice shift from the hustle and
bustle of the Cairo mall. While it lacks the atmosphere of the original Islamic
Cairo souk with its ever-crowded narrow aisles, this shopping area has a special
character of its own.

The
scent of incense mixed with the aroma from the nearby Arabian café’s shisha
greets shoppers as they walk on the street-like tiled floor to the wooden
medieval arches, numbered with street numbers and alley signs.
 
Among all the other
shops that sell Egyptian traditional costumes, colourful fabrics and silver,
one particular antique shop caught this reviewer’s eye. Troppo is a small-sized
shop that can barely fit two people inside. Yet, it is stacked with little
souvenirs; the floor is lined with little pyramids, the many shelves and tables
are packed with oriental ornaments, and long chandeliers hang from the ceiling.

One
of the many interesting shapes of wooden, ceramic or pottery statues is a package
of Om Kolthoum’s miniature band statues (200LE) with the iconic singer’s figure
dressed in her trademark clothing and black shades, and her famous band members
behind her.

Other
sculptures are Arabic, African or Pharaonic-themed. They vary in shapes and
sizes from small lucky stones to African masks and Arabesque wooden wall
decorations. Prices vary from just under 100LE to over 500LE.

Like
most touristic shops, bargaining is the norm as prices are vastly overrated for
the quality of the goods. Since there aren’t any fixed prices on the displayed
items, it may depend on the seller’s mood and his estimation of how much you can
pay. Luckily, Troppo offers some good bargain prices on items like handmade
bead braces (between 10LE to 20LE) they even have little Tutankhamen mask as magnets that costs
around 15LE each.        

Troppo can
be a great place to shop for souvenirs. If you’re not into antique shopping,
browsing the displayed artefacts and taking the time to get into the
traditional origins and symbolic meaning of each one can be a nice change from
the everyday routine. There’s also a great chance that you’ll walk out with a
token.

360 Tip

It’s better to view the displays from outside of the shop, as attempting to get inside may lead to you breaking something in the tight space!

Best Bit

A huge collection of Egyptian ornaments in a capturing but modernised Khan El Khalili.     

Worst Bit

The shop still lacks the old Cairo ambience that it was set out to give.

Map Data
Map data ©2016
Map DataMap data ©2016
Map data ©2016

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