Bulgari’s Lucia Silvestri’s tips for shopping Jewels in Jaipur

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The creative director of the Italian jewelry brand on India’s Pink City, where she goes to hunt down the brightest gems.

Repeat stay

“I always go to the Rambagh Palace hotel, which was once a maharaja’s residence. It’s green and peaceful despite being in the center of the city; a place where you can hear the murmur of fountains and people speaking in low voices.”

The flavor hit

“Lassiwala, around the corner from Jayanti Market, has the best lassi in India. I’ve tried many different versions, but this one is by far the best.”

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Lucia Silvestri, in front of Nahargarh Fort Lucie Gagnon

Daily rhythm

“There’s always something new to discover here, so each day is different. I wake up early, order breakfast—usually masala chai and almost-burnt toast—and then I set out to find new stones. I’ve always found the Jaipur jewelry tradition to be so vibrant. All throughout India there’s a knowledge of the craft that’s unlike anywhere else in the world: how the cutting of a stone can change its appearance, shade, even how the light catches.”

Shopping tips

“Bapu Bazar market is fun but frenzied. I like to visit the Gem Palace to buy gifts and chat with the owner. I know the family well through Bulgari, which has been working with them for years—especially the son of the owner, who is great at discovering jewels. The store is like a treasure trove. I often stop by Anokhi for clothing and textiles. The fabrics come in colors as brilliant as gemstones, plus they’re light enough to wear in the heat.”

Tables to book

“I often go to the Oberoi Rajvilas, which has two beautiful restaurants: Surya Mahal and Raj Mahal. It’s a marvelous hotel, set among scenic lanes to the east of the city. I typically order tandoori chicken served with rice and not-too-spicy vegetables.”

Showstopper

“In the evening I like to head over to the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds, overlooking one of the main streets in the Old City. Its façade is breathtaking: the architecture, the silhouette, the contrast of the terra-cotta pink against the bright blue sky. It’s in a busy area, but it wouldn’t be India without the crowds.”

This article appeared in the April 2020 issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Subscribe to the magazine here.

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