A beautiful sunny Sunday here in Florence, so I decided to take a day trip to San Gimignano with Chia. I am obsessed with the salt and pepper shakers I bought there on a recent trip with my daughter. I thought that these would be great Christmas gifts!
It is a bit complicated to take the train and then the bus, but I had done this several times, and felt confident I could go it alone. All was fine except I had neglected to note the Sunday bus schedule…..I made it to the Poggibonsi train station, and then luckily flagged down a taxi that was dropping people off. A short cab ride, and we arrived at the gates to San Gimignano. I bought several of the salt and pepper shakers, and was chatting with the store owner about how to get a cab back to the station. He informed me that it was impossible on Sunday!
Left with no other possibility, I found a hotel for the night, but had no food for Chia! The ceramics shop owner told me that there might be a shop open on Sunday, and they might have dog food. Chia has a very sensitive stomach, and cannot tolerate many foods… The shop was open, and it had one can of dog food, but obviously not food for a little dog with a sensitive stomach!
Again with the help of the ceramics shop owner, I was directed to a charming, out of the way restaurant. This restaurant has over 70 kinds of bruschetta!
Next morning it was foggy, so I couldn’t see the vista from my hotel room. Here is Chia posed in front of the cistern in the center of San Gimignano. Luckily the dog food agreed with her!
Back home in Florence, we are preparing for a tour tomorrow. A Canadian couple on a cruise will be here for only one day. We will visit the mercato, have lunch in my courtyard, do a wine/olive oil/balsamic tasting and then shop for coin jewelry, leather and linens. My coin necklace is the first piece of jewelry I bought here in Florence and still my favorite!
Fope is an Italian jewelry designer that makes the most incredible stretchy gold bracelets without using any elastic! It is a secret how they do this, but the result is nothing short of incredible. I have been lusting after one of these bracelets, and I just bought one. Being soft and stretchy, these bracelets are very comfortable to wear when working on the computer, and they don’t catch on anything.
I had a lovely lady shopping with me this weekend who bought the Fope necklace for a pendant she had. She also bought two bracelets, one in white gold and one in rose gold.
The weather here is crisp and sunny in the mornings, and warm in the afternoons. My daughter, her friend and I went to San Gimignano and then to a beautiful wine tasting lunch nearby.
I have people ask me frequently where to stay in Florence, and I recommend my apartment complex, Palazzo Virginio. They have only 22 units, which can accommodate a single person up to groups of 8. They are rented by the day, the week, or the month. If you stay here, we can have aperitivo in the courtyard in front of my apartment. Palazzo Virginio is located about 7 minutes walking from Piazza Santa Croce. The units are very quiet since they are off the street and very reasonably priced. Check out www.palazzovirginio.com Hope to see you here soon!
The weather here in Florence is perfect with cool breezes and sunny skies. I love fall and am all excited about the new boots! My daughter, Brynn, is visiting and her first day here, she bought gorgeous short boots and blue suede mocs. Like mother, like daughter- we love to shop!
Aperitivo rooftop at the Rinascente with a beautiful view of the Duomo at sunset. Panna cotta for dessert after a great dinner.
Brynn fell in love with these Balextra bags, but I told her to wait and see what our handbag artisan has made recently at much more reasonable prices!
The shopping will continue tomorrow with handbags and gold jewelry. So many temptations here in Florence!
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!
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!