Excavating for the riches of Rome to bring Opulence to the
City of Angels, one treasure at a time
Raised amongst the beauty, richness and architectural wealth that Rome has to
offer, Matteo De Paolis curates the essence of his upbringing in Rome and introduces
authentic Italianate imports into the Southern California landscape.
The eldest son of a prominent Italian family, the charm and Elegance of Matteo not
only speaks for who he is as a person, it also carries out into his posh Italian
Antiques that he has collected and so magnificently displayed in his store, Navona
Antiques on the famed Design quarter of Los Angeles, known as La Cienega Blvd.
At a young age, Matteo enlisted in the Italian military, where he became the
lieutenant of the polo team. His passion for the masterful sport stemmed from an
early age once he was exposed to his grandfather’s beautiful breed of horses,
utilized in the popular epic film Ben Hur, and many other films Internationally.
After his stint in the Military, Matteo helped run his family business, a successful
franchise of Volkswagen dealerships that they ran for over 40 years. Matteo was in
oversee of VW’s affiliate Audi, however he took the opportunity to venture out on
his own and was responsible for bringing the prestigious Luxury car line, Bentley to
Despite the fact that he was reaching notable levels of success, Matteo wanted to
explore the opportunities that lay for him overseas. Even though his traditional
Italian family was not thrilled to see their son stray away, Matteo wanted to explore
his individuality and determine who he was as a sole entity. This surge of self discovery
led him to pack his bags, life savings, and his container filled with rare
antiquities, and embarks upon what Los Angeles has to offer.
Arriving in sunny California in 2001, and not knowing exactly where he fit in, Matteo
decided to utilize what growing up in Rome educated him with. With that
knowledge and charm, he gained momentum as a dealer of fine antiquities, getting
his start by going from one shop to the next, and showcasing what he had in his
container, along with photographs of fine pieces he could obtain back in Rome. It
was through that persistence in which Matteo’s not only met his mentor John
Nelson, but grew quite a prestigious client base, which led him to establish his very
own Store, Navona Antiques.
Dressed in what he calls his “ripped up jeans,” Matteo frequents the Navona District,
which is considered to be the antiques quarter in Rome, and goes on a scavenger
hunt to bring back rare and classic treasures to his store on La Cienega.
The innocent young rebel has certainly transformed into a distinguished man with
his success and through his own self –discovery that was his goal, and continues the
pursuit of uncovering the relics that are still waiting to be discovered.