Summer Is Flying By!

Hard to believe that it is mid August already! I have been spending a quiet summer here in Seattle and will return to Florence at the end of the month. Looks like a busy shopping season this fall with nearly all of the available September shopping appointments filled. Can’t wait to see all the new fall boots and leather jackets.

Chia and I spent a wonderful five days in the Cinque Terre before coming to Seattle, and plan to return this fall just before everything closes for the winter. Maybe a trip to Paris and Versailles too to show off the new boots I see in my future.!

Special Ceramics

What makes delicious Italian food even better? Serving it on beautiful Italian ceramics. There are lots of ceramics shops in Florence, and my favorite one has Renaissance patterns on the pieces. The choice for my house in Seattle is this black and lavender pattern. I have a small oval plate next to my coffeemaker, and a large oval serving platter.

I took hors d’oeuvres to a friend’s for dinner, and he refused to return this piece!


The various patterns can be painted on many different pieces! Everything from complete services to little olive dishes. So much fun to have these special ceramics from Florence.

Summer Is Here!

Summer has arrived in Florence with sunny skies and warm temperatures, which has me thinking to go to Cinque Terre again. We stay in Monterosso al Mare in a family hotel that welcomes Chia.

Recently a lovely lady from Germany was given this gorgeous Marco Bicego necklace. It actually gave me chills it is so beautiful!
The prices here for this designer are 40% less than in the States.

Just a couple of random photos from our walk this week.

Florence Arts Fair- Part 2

The visit to the Corsini Gardens Arts Fair started out with difficulty, as I got lost after the bus dropped me off….but it was worth the hour of wandering around after I found it!

Couldn’t resist the green velvet Venetian slippers, and have been wearing them around the house all the time.
These are the real deal, not the Chinese made fakes. They also come in canvas and brocades.

Saw these leather bags, and was so tempted to buy one! The artisan workmanship is wonderful.

Was distracted from the bags by these, which fortunately for me, were too big and heavy to take on the bus home!

My other purchase was a kitchen towel made by autistic children to raise money for their foundation. Since I had already bought several in Taormina, I held back and got just one! The children were asked to design the towels using pictures and words that described the pictures: “Sour”, “Good Scent” and “Yellow” to go with the lemons on this towel. Of course now I wish I had purchased a dozen to take to the States as gifts!

Red Shoes!

I have been remiss in giving my men shoppers some attention! On my recent trip to Rome, I was doing some people watching during the evening passeggiata. I love seeing how the Italians dress! I noticed a dapper older man wearing navy chinos, a crisp navy button down shirt, and RED sneakers. These were beautiful leather sneakers, and they made his conservative outfit look fun.

At the Mercato Sant’Ambrogio this morning I saw a young man with a similar outfit. He had on black jeans, a black tee shirt and red leather sneakers.

Think I am onto something here! At the Corsini Garden arts and crafts fair, I found a man making shoes by hand. Love the red laces on the cream and black shoes.

These look super comfortable and not super expensive at under 180 euro.

So, men, think about some red shoes to wear with navy or black. It is all the rage here in Italy.

Shopping Sicily

Just back from a glorious 10 day trip to Rome and Sicily! Any of you considering a trip there must include Taormina, Castelmola and Noto.

Great linen shop in Taormina called Sugar and Spice where I bought beautiful linen kitchen towels, pink napkins and table runner.
This shop is on the main street in Taormina and a must for anyone who loves beautiful linens.

In Noto, I bought a typical Moorish ceramic head and a juicer. The art of Maiolica pottery was brought to Sicily by the Arabics who taught Sicilian how to create these wonderful objects, now real peieces of art. I chose a small head to use as a pencil holder, or maybe a planter.

Chia was greeted by her friends at Hotel Lancelot in Rome, where we have stayed often.
As much as we like the Lancelot, we found another hotel we loved- Teichnersuite! Only 3 rooms right on a small piazza where the Pomellato jewelry shop is. I checked out the new pieces and am considering a moonstone Nudo ring with diamonds. Of course I will have the goldsmith make it for me instead of paying the Pomellato price!

The Noto hotel we stayed in was fabulous: Embrace Sicily Guest House. 6 rooms and a bargain at 110 a night. Beautifully decorated with a rooftop deck and small pool. Highly recommend it!

Had such a great time that I may have to do tours to Sicily now!

Your personal shopper in Florence, Italy