Tourists are returning to florence!

The beautiful fall weather continues here in Florence, and we are seeing more tourists, including Americans.

Chia and I spent a few days at our friend’s country home this week. What a gorgeous place in the hills with fantastic views and cool breezes. Chia especially loves the sofa and throw.

I am continuing to work on the Tesori Italiani gifts for the holidays, and will be visiting the small leather goods factory this week. I love these little zippered pouches, and plan to include more colors in the catalog. Love to hear your ideas!

working on a new catalog

Back here in Florence, the artisans and shops are still in bad shape. Many shops have closed, some open only a few hours by appointment, and all are struggling to make rent. With so few Americans traveling to Italy now, the future looks bleak.

I am currently working on a new catalog of Tesori Italiani (Italian treasures) for the upcoming holiday season. Tea towels, olive wood, soap, and small leather goods to mention a few. I will be taking preorders as soon as I can finish the catalog, up until November1. I am happy to take special requests any time now.

Tea towels have been designed for us and are currently in production at the factory. The patterns are delightfully Florentine!

Ciao from Chia with her summer haircut!

Florence in the fall

Chia and I are back in Florence and sufficiently recovered from jet lag, after a brief stopover in NYC.

Upon arrival at the Rome airport, we were greeted by Tessa from Belitaly Tours. She and her husband, Beki, have a car service that I have used many times. Instead of schlepping my suitcase, carry on and Chia all the way across the airport to the train station, taking the train with a transfer, and a taxi from the Florence train station to my apartment, I elected to hire them to drive me. Tessa met me curbside at baggage claim, carried my luggage to her car and dropped me off at my apartment a mere 3 hours later. Chia and I dozed the whole way!


So far this week, we have been shopping for vintage buttons for a client in Australia, who has a clothing line. The antique market is a treasure trove!

I am going to start looking for items for the holiday gifts, Tesori Italiani also. A local artist has designed tea towels for us, and may do a special holiday pattern too. Planning to have a catalog ready by mid October for anyone who is interested. If you have specific requests, please email me.

Blog change.

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Leaving for Florence in a few days, and looking forward to sharing all the latest shopping adventures!

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…

Your personal shopper in Florence, Italy