10 Things About The Hidden Countship

Posted on 28 October 2015

A wonderful insight into our shop by @maggiemac123. A great thanks to @chsinside 

10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About
The Hidden Countship

One of Charleston’s most elegant shops, The Hidden Countship houses some of the most beautiful, authentic Italian artifacts that you will ever come across, anywhere….ever!  Maybe you’ve already heard this?  But…unless you’ve been in to explore the rooms and rooms of endless treasures, and to chat with Italian-born owners  Giulio and Donatella della Porta,  there’s 10 things you probably don’t know about The Hidden Countship…


1.For starters, did you know that the rather alluring pretty pink building which currently houses this amazing shop at 21 Burns Lane (just off of King St.) was…back in the 1830s (gasp!) an African American bordello?  This surely accounts for the unique layout of the building as well as for why every room has its own exit door to the street…(hmmm, can you say fast getaway?) …And FYI, back then Charlestonians referred to the narrow alley leading to the building not as Burns Lane, but rather “Black Birds Lane”…


2. It’s a first!…Although the lane and building have had several different incarnations since those more surreptitious bordello days, from a tennis clubhouse to more recently, an office space, The Hidden Countship is the first-ever retail shop in this historic building…and oh what a shop it is…

3. So what’s in it?…Everything in the shop is 100% Italian and 100% hand made…Everything! …And we’re talkingextraordinary artisanal Italian-designed goods that cannot be found anywhere else in the United States…In other words, it’s all one-of-a-kind treasures made by individual artisans back in Italy…and not in big factories either, but rather in small individual workshops.


4. The store owners are really cool, interesting people…Seriously…Did you know that owner Giulio Della Porta is a historic preservationist by profession? What’s more, he’s not only done some impressive historic restorations back in Italy, but alsoright here in Charleston. And his super sweet wife & business partner Donatella?…This smart and savvy woman worked for years as crime reporter & editor for a major newspaper in Perugia. So…when you enter their store on Burns Lane for the first time and see for yourselves that virtually everything in it is a thing of artistic beauty, you’ll know that it’s all been curated by two people who definitely have an eye for detail…

(Did we mention that Donatella and Giulio are also really friendly?)

5. The store’s logo? (Shown here on the side of the building.) It’s not just pretty artwork… it also happens to be the real-deal coat-of-arms of the della Porta family; a coat of arms that dates all the way back to 1513. How cool is that?

6. Speaking of painted walls…Did you know they sell frescoes?…Yup… they do… and  guess what? Those gorgeous frescoes in the shop are painted with the same pigments and techniques used by Italian masters 2000 years ago….Please! Go see these frescoes in person…we just know you’ll be as impressed as we are…

7. Did someone say “ah-mazing” jewelry? We know we did!…   If you love beautiful jewelry (and who doesn’t), especiallyearrings…The Hidden Countship has hands down, the best selection we have ever seen… From a line made exclusively for Charleston using reproduction ancient roman coins,  to another that has the sweetest little hand carved carnelian cameos … there is most definitely something to suit the most discerning and the most fashion forward tastes…

(This is just one of the many many lines of amazing Italian-gold earrings at The Hidden Countship…trust us, they have soooo much more!)

8. The Hidden Countship is also a part-time movie star hang out…  So, if you love Italian movies, every October you have the opportunity to bump into a famous Italian director or a gorgeous Italian film star in the shop because Donatella & Giulio are huge supporters of the annual Nuovo Cinema Italiano Festival…and each October they have meet and greets with the movers and shakers of Italian cinema right there in the shop!

9. And famous country singers too?  Well sort of…. Back in August, the lovely Miranda Lambert visited the shop and we hear her presence caused quite a stir amongst the customers who were there at the time…(bet she bought some nice things…how could she not? The shop is full of  irresistible goods.)

10. What else?…oh yes, you’ll love this one…Did you know that this spring, The Hidden Countship will be adding an authentic Italian bistro to their beautiful ‘hidden’ courtyard?  It’s already in the works! We can’t wait to see this ‘garden of delight’ and to try their specialty foods like truffles and cheeses from Umbria, Tuscan charcuterie, coffees & treats and more… An authentic Italian bistro nestled in a historic Charleston lane with garden seating? molto bene!…It’ll be a welcome addition to the sweet life here in Charleston…in every sense…

We know where we’ll be doing some of our holiday shopping….

ps:  by the way….The Hidden Countship also carries cashmere…and seriously, not just any cashmere, but real, luxurious Italian cashmere….hit that trunk show!

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