Summer in Seattle; Florence in the Fall

After a whirlwind of travel this spring, Chia and I are back home in blissfully cool Seattle. Chia has gotten her summer haircut, and looks like a puppy at age 15.

I have been receiving requests for shopping tours this fall, and for information about travel to Italy. Having been traveling there all spring, I have become quite knowledgable about the various procedures and requirements. I am happy to help out with your travel plans.

Three wineries, seven towns and one island later, I am ready to stay put for a few weeks and work on losing the five pounds I put on!

A special and authentic Tuscan country dinner with friends in the mountains of Castelvecchio was a real treat. We arrived at 8pm and were served seven courses with wine.
We began with antipasti. This was followed by two pasta dishes: porcini mushroom pasta and ravioli. Then came the Tuscan roast beef and white beans. and fried chicken, rabbit and potatoes. Cheese anyone? Another course of various Tuscan cheese and honey. Then dessert, sweet dessert wine and limoncello, plus grappa. I declined all of this as I couldn’t eat another bite!

We arrived back at my friend’s home around midnight, and fell asleep with cool mountain air wafting through the windows. Heavenly!

Escape to Elba Island

It has been getting hotter and hotter here in Florence. An early heatwave with the temperature at 99 today. Chia and I escaped to Elba Island last week where it was a lovely 75 degrees.

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled on Elba Island, and had several homes here.

This is the garden at one of Napoleon’s homes overlooking the sea.

Those of you who suffer in the sun and heat will appreciate my Sunbrella!

I haven’t been out shopping here in Florence, but am really enjoying my special lotion from Farmacia Munstermann. This farmacia was established in 1897, and they make so many lovely fragrances, lotions, etc. They don’t ship, so I will be bringing back lots of lotion! One of my clients ordered 24 bottles last month…Let me know if you want me to send you a sample.

Chia and I will be here in Florence for another couple of weeks before heading to Seattle for the rest of the summer. Getting lots of shopping tour requests for September and October already!

I think a pair of these shoes will be in my suitcase…

Great Time to Travel in Europe Now!

With very few tourists, now is a great time to travel in Europe! The planes and trains are nearly empty, and the hotel rates are very low. Chia and I have taken advantage of this and been touring. Verona, Lake Garda, Venice, Burano, Lucerne and Montreux with lovely sunny skies and easy train travel.

Love the brightly colored houses in Burano. We had a fabulous lunch at a ristorante that Stanley Tucci (CNN Searching for Italy) recommended.

My first shopping tour since the Covid pandemic will be next week. I am excited to get back to the shops here in Florence. Many are closed still, but I have a good relationship with the shop owners. Some are opening just for us!

Lucerne, Switzerland lived up to all the hype. Such a charming town!

A train trip up into the alps was gorgeous.

Shopping for Gold Jewelry

This week Chia and I walked to the Ponte Vecchio and then to the goldsmith’s workshop. The Ponte Vecchio shops are mostly closed, and very few tourists are there. What a surprise to see this:

On to the best place to buy gold jewelry! Up flights of stairs, but worth the effort. I was hoping to Zoom shop, but with clients all in different time zones, it became too confusing for me! So I made several short videos of the jewelry.

Tomorrow I am going to the Gucci outlet which is about 45 minutes outside of Florence. One of my clients has hired me for the trip. If you want to FaceTime with me 7am Pacific time, let me know!

Italy Travel Allowed for Americans as of May 16!

The wait is over to seek la dolce vita—leisure travelers from the United States can now travel to Italy. Starting on May 16, Delta Air Lines is making its quarantine-free flights to Rome and Milan available to all customers who submit to the COVID-19 testing requirements.

Hope to see you soon here in Florence!

Verona and Lovely Lake Garda

Chia and I went to Verona for an overnight trip. Only an hour and a half by train! It was rainy, but we went to Juliet’s home to see the balcony. This is the place that inspired Shakespeare to write Romeo and Juliet.

The bridges and castle in Verona are beautiful even in the rain.

I had no intention of traveling farther, but when I realized that Lake Garda is only 20 minutes from Verona, I had to go! Lake Garda is the largest Italian lake, and surrounded by charming little towns. We took a boat tour around the lake, and then drove around the lake the next day.

We stayed in Desenzano at a great hotel on the lake.

Lunch in Salo – wonderful fresh Branzino.

The shopping wasn’t great as most of the shops were closed, but window shopping was still good. I am seeing long pleated skirts, and blouses with ruffles on the shoulders. High waisted pants with wide legs, and shoes/sandals with chunky heels are everywhere. The stores are set to open tomorrow, so let the shopping begin!

Your personal shopper in Florence, Italy