A New Kind of Shopping Tour

Through the years I have had requests for a food and wine tour of the local mercato. Just did my first one, and it was lots of fun!

I met my client at her hotel, and took her on the little electric bus across town to the Mercato Sant’Ambrogio. This is similar to the Mercato Centrale, but smaller and with fewer tourists. We bought bufala mozarella cheese, prosciutto and tomatoes and had a coffee. A beautiful piece of foccacia bread and some biscotti were added to our goods, then off to the vino sfuso shop to fill an empty bottle with local wine. A fine bottle of sparkling white wine for 6 euro!

We walked back to my place, and had prosciutto and pecorino cheese with the wine and followed it with a nice Caprese salad. Vin santo with biscotti for dessert, and then we were off for a wine and olive oil tasting.
I just had to stop in to look at some shoes and handbags on the way home… I love pink!

Chianti Adventures

My best friend came to spend last week with me, so I planned lots of outings for us. We went to the Corsini Gardens Artigianato & Palazzo. A beautiful garden with shopping from local artisans.

Doesn’t get better than that!


The next day, we hired a car and driver to take us to Greve in Chianti. It has a very famous place Macelleria Falorni, where we made a fast purchase of prosciutto and cheese. Then we went to a darling linens shop and bought some tea towels to bring home as gifts, and a clothing shop with all white pieces.

There are hundreds of vineyards that do wine tastings in Tuscany and Chianti. We opted for one where we could have a five course lunch along with the wine.

Then we were off to tour a silversmith’s factory. Of course our favorite part was the showroom where we bought beautiful candle sticks, and jewelry. Fabulous prices too!

Because so many of the artisans have their workshops outside of Florence, I am thinking about having an artisan aperitivo here at my apartment. Would include the silversmith’s wares, ceramics and maybe handbags from Fabio. Sort of a Tupperware party meets Tuscan artisan work. Think it would be a really fun!

Crazy About Caprese

I have been obsessed with Caprese salad lately! The tomatoes from Sicily have arrived in Florence and are the best I have ever eaten.

The salad on the right is from a restaurant, but my homemade one was just as good.

Last week was a really fun time shopping for jewelry. Sapphire rings are so beautiful.

A big hit with my shopping clients is the Fope jewelry. Many of the pieces are stretchy and all are flexible. They are so comfortable to wear, and are perfect for every day. Some are with diamonds, some without, but all are gorgeous. Here in Florence the price is about 30% less than in the USA.

Scenes from Florence

What is more handsome than the Carabinieri? The Carabinieri on horseback! The carabinieri are a special branch of the army (numbering around 113,000), with similar functions to the police, particularly concerning criminal investigation. They deal with national and serious crime, including organised crime, and are Italy’s most efficient and professional police force (and the best-funded).

Scooters everywhere….

And here are my new favorite earrings:
These are mother of pearl and gold. They can also be made in all gold, or with diamonds. I love these because they are so simple I can combine them with lots of different necklaces.

Chia turned 13 last week and is still happily shopping all over Florence with me.

Fabulous florentine food

A new cooking school/catering business/event venue has opened a few doors from my apartment. I met the owners and had a little sample of their yummy aperitivo. They can take you on market tours followed by cooking classes designed for you in groups of two to forty in their beautiful kitchens. If you would rather not cook, meals can be prepared and served at the tables in front of the kitchen. This is a great location for business dinners, anniversary parties, or any type of gathering.

So many great restaurants here in Florence! Everything from modern cuisine to tradional, and pizza, of course. Chia and I are trying various pizza places to determine our favorite. Happily all the walking we do keeps the pizza pounds off!

Springtime in chianti

With sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 60’s, I decided to book a half day trip to Chianti with a driver I have been introduced to. My friend, Anita, and I took Chia with us and started our tour in Greve.

There is a famous macelleria (butcher’s shop) in Greve, where we bought some prosciutto and cheese. The stuffed wild boar in front scared Chia! We drove on to a very small village with beautiful vistas, and then to a winery for lunch and wine tasting. Back in Florence, we have been doing lots of jewelry shopping with clients. Friday Chia and I have been invited to a dinner at the cooking school nearby. Looking forward to their handmade ravioli!

Your personal shopper in Florence, Italy