If you haven't heard, we just got back from the capital of the Catholic Church! Admittedly, we made a few mistakes that we don't want you to make.
Especially right outside the Vatican, there are so many shops to wander into, with religious icons and items strewn about the shelves. Our main concerns are the quality of the products, where and how they're made, and the stories of those selling them.
The first thing we've learned is that most of the shops are tourist traps; the products are marked up and the quality is poor. Usually you can trust your gut when you hold and feel the items.
We also learned that some shops are run by a multi-generational family that's had their shop for over 50 years, and others are temporary workers focusing on their profits. Maybe there's nothing wrong with that, but we'd prefer to support those who help their community in the long-term.
It took our last day to find a hidden gem, a Catholic mission organization where 100% of the proceeds go to help needy Catholic families in Lebanon and Mexico.
We spoke with the woman there, who told us about her time doing mission work, and how it changed her life. We love what they do, so we plan to donate a portion of our business proceeds to their cause.
If you plan to go to Rome anytime soon, please pay them a visit. Their address is Via del Mascherino 43, Roma, just a few blocks from the Vatican. Say hello for us! 👋🏻