I am back here in Florence and working on my Tesori Italini (Italian Treasures) project. I will be curating gift boxes of my favorite things to bring back to the States and sell. The artisans and shop owners are really struggling to stay in business during this difficult time, and they are very excited to be part of this project. I am working with a silversmith, several ceramics artists, and a leather artisan who are making items for us now. I am planning to do pre-orders of the merchandise soon. Here is a sneak peek at some of the items:
Long trip, but Chia and I are back in Florence. I have completed 9 of the 14 days required quarantine already. Lots to keep me busy cleaning and organizing the apartment which has been empty for 9 months. The courtyard is wonderful for us!
I am eager to be out and about, of course, and I have been in touch with several artisans here. I am working on my Tesori Italiani gift boxes full of beautiful items from Italy. These will be curated boxes with my favorite and unique pieces from the local artisans. Hope to stimulate the economy a little, as the people here are really hurting.
A friend of Fabio’s is making some very interesting backpack/handbags.
The olives are right on track, even if the rest of the world is in chaos. Stay well, and let me know if I can shop for you here in Florence starting next week!
Chia and I leave for Florence on Monday, August 24. Two days in Atlanta resting up for the super long trip Atlanta to JFK, to Rome, to Florence. I will need to quarantine for two weeks in Florence, but I am sure it will be fine. We have the big courtyard outside the apartment, Esselunga grocery delivery and several meal delivery services. I will go over my Italian language books, since I will return to school mid-September. It was torture ten years ago, and my memory has certainly not improved since then!
I am so happy to announce that Chia and I will be returning to Florence at the end of August! Americans are still banned from the EU, but I have Italian residency and am enrolled in school. This will allow me to return.
I have been brainstorming about how to help out the artisans in Florence. They have had such a difficult time during the pandemic, No tourists, no work, no money coming in, but still rent and bills to pay. Hardworking people walk the center of town asking friends and shop owners for a euro to buy food for their children. Things are very bleak there.
I am going to undertake a new venture: Tesori Italiani (Italian Treasures). These will be gift boxes of my favorite artisan pieces. Curated small items from Florence, San Gimignano, Capri , Tavernelle in Val di Pesa and Greve in Chianti will be included. Ceramics, silver, olive wood, linens and silk scarves for sure, and who knows what other special things I will find. Once I am back in Italy, I will have more detailed information about the items, prices, etc.
I am hoping that these beautiful Tesori Italiani will be on gift lists for the holidays! Small boxes, medium boxes, “I want it all” boxes and choose your own items boxes. I will ship from the States to you in time for holiday giving.
If there is anything specific you would like from Florence, like gold jewelry, handbags, scarves, etc. please let me know and I will personally shop and ship to you with tracking and insurance. No tourists to take shopping, but I will do my best to stimulate the Italian economy anyway! Let the shopping begin!
Florence is starting to come back to life after a long and difficult spring.
My friend, Anastazija, the ceramics artist, has put together a new website showing the various patterns she is making. You can view and learn how to order pieces from her at limboceramics.com. Her work is unique!
I am very excited to have been introduced to another Florentine artisan, who makes gorgeous leather bags. Fabio even said that the bags are excellent quality. This is high praise indeed!
This small woven bag has a wrist strap, and a longer shoulder strap to wear cross body. It is calfskin and measures 33cm x 21cm x 8 cm, or about 13″ x 8 1/4″ x 3″. Quite a few colors, too.
Love the clean lines of the backpack/handbag. This is big enough for a laptop, but not fat and bulky. It measures 28cm x 33cm x 11cm, or about 11″ x 13″ x 4 1/4″. The blue/gray color is great, but I think I must have it in pink!
Pink is such a wonderful color for summer, but I can see it with a black winter outfit also. Plus, it would look good with my new scarf from Ricardo’s shop!
Hoping that all of you are staying safe and healthy during this trying time. I have reservations to go back to Florence in late August and can’t wait to see all the new fall fashion!
Chia and I are still here in Seattle, gardening, walking, and planning ahead for our trip back to Florence. I have been brainstorming ways to help my artisan friends in Italy. Life is a huge struggle for them now, having been on lockdown for months, and no tourists to support their businesses.
Since travel to Florence by tourists will be minimal in the foreseeable future, I am working on a project to bring my favorite Italian treasures to the States. I am calling it Tesori Italiani – curated gift boxes comprised of various items. I’m currently working with Caterina, a silversmith, Anastazija, a ceramics artist and a leather factory that makes beautiful little Florentine boxes. Lots of others ahead!
I am hoping to have the boxes in several different sizes available for purchase for the holidays. I will have more information about them in November.
Here in Seattle I have found treasures as well. Happy Hands Lotion Bar in “Summer Flower” is a new favorite. The lotion is in a bar form inside a tin which can be refilled. No plastic! It is available from Seattle Sundries www.seattlesundries.com $7.50 plus shipping.
Cards of Distinction by Bruce Wells, pictured below. He uses lots of Florentine papers among others to create personalized cards. He also does lovely invitations to your specifications. Box of 8 $50, including US shipping. BRWSEA@comcast.net
Wishing you all a safe and healthy spring from my deck!