Loving Lucca

Kiki and I are just back from a really nice trip to Lucca. It is only about an hour by train from Florence and such a beautiful town.

Of course I went shopping, and found a really nice shoe shop where I bought a pair of sandals to wear with my new white dress.

A beautiful lunch of roast pork on a bed of spinach with mashed potatoes at Buca di Sant’Antonio only 4 minutes walking from my hotel. Kiki and I stayed at San Luca Palace, which was very nice with a large room and good breakfast.

I told myself that I would skip dinner after that big lunch, but pizza called to me!

Since Kiki and I did well over 10,000 steps that day, I felt justified.

I wanted to see this garden and museum, but no dogs allowed!

Such a charming and quiet town, I may have to start Lucca Shop 4 It!

Sterling Silver Jewelry

Although Florence is known best for the beautiful 18k gold jewelry that is made here, sterling silver is gaining in popularity. It is often plated with 18k gold also.

Tucked between gold jewelry shops in Santa Croce is a new silver store, MVM, made in Italy.

Kiki and I visited the shop and I was impressed with it! They have a really good selection of chains, earrings, bracelets and charms.

After we left MVM, we went to one of my favorite places, the Angel Rooftop Bar in the Hotel Calimala. They have fabulous aperitivo, and each guest is greeted with a glass of Prosecco. The view is phenomenal!

A jewelry purchase for my anniversary, birthday and Mother’s Day……..

It is 18k yellow gold in the “paperclip” design. This is 34 inches, but it comes in shorter lengths too. Happy Birthday to me!

What’s New in Florence

New jewelry shop, new handbags…

A new jewelry shop, DelBrenna, has opened here in Florence. It is a company based in Cortona where the jewelry is made by hand in a family run business. It has many unique designs utilizing sterling silver plated with 18k gold. They greet customers with a glass of Prosecco that includes edible silver flakes.

I look forward to seeing their workshop and showroom in Cortona, where they offer tours and explain the methods they use to create their pieces. You can view the collections on their website: https://delbrenna.it/

From classy and clean to soft and slouchy, there are lots of new handbags to choose from in so many colors!

Kiki continues to make new friends everywhere here in Florence. Everyone agrees that she is such a beautiful puppy!

And she is just as naughty as she is pretty!

Easter in Florence

Being a predominantly Catholic country, Easter is a much celebrated holiday here. Most of the shop windows are decorated beautifully for Easter.

I couldn’t resist buying this pretty ceramic egg box at the flea market.

The shop window at Vestri is full of large chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies and chickens.

I am celebrating by wearing my “Easter” earrings from the goldsmith’s workshop.

The Sant’Ambrogio Mercato was a really busy place the day before Easter. It finally stopped raining, and everyone was out buying flowers and food for the Easter meals. Easter Monday is celebrated here, too, and most of the stores and markets are closed.

Kiki has been having lots of fun visiting her friends! She has a special friend at the Gold Market in Santa Croce.

It is pouring rain here on Easter Monday (Pasquetta) so Kiki will have to wear her raincoat during her morning walk. It has been a rainy, windy spring, but next week it is supposed to be up to 80 degrees.

Back in Florence for the Spring

After an arduous 20 hours of travel, Kiki and I are back in Florence for the spring. Picture the trip with an overactive 2 year old….It has taken me a week to get over the jet lag, but now, I am ready to let the shopping begin!

I actually did a little shopping already at the Mercato dei Pulci (flea market). I found a lovely pink box in perfect shape that was made here in Florence. I still haven’t figured out what to put in it, but it was just too pretty to pass up.

Kiki and I have been taking long walks in the beautiful weather. She loves all the attention she gets!

We had our first shopping tour of the season with a really lovely lady from NYC who was referred by a darling, former client.

Of course we visited Falconeri and our friend, Alisa, as well as Ricardo at Massimo Ravinale scarf shop.

The shops are full of Easter decorations, and I will post some photos next week.

Let the Packing Begin!

Many of my shopping clients and friends ask my advice about packing for a European trip. I have a few tried and true tips. With only three weeks to go before our trip back to Florence, I am in my usual quandary. It is always a dilemma about what to pack. Which suitcase, and carry on bag? Or just a carry on bag? But the carry on bag alone is so heavy I can’t lift it into the overhead bin….And so it goes.

I have a rolling expandable carry on that I highly recommend. It is made by Eagle Creek with several compartments. The front zippered section is perfect for my travel wallet which contains my passport, some cash, plane tickets and various cards.

I keep a Tile in it also, just in case!

Kiki travels in a rolling carrier, which coverts to a backpack if I need more hands free. It is called The Snoozer Roll Around and it has held up for years of travel. Chia didn’t mind it, but Kiki doesn’t like it very much. Little by little she’s getting used to it!

I learned from my friend, Abbey, to keep two wallets when traveling. One contains cash USD and the other cash euro. My friend, Marty, who is a retired pilot, says to always bring chocolates for the flight crew. They really seem to appreciate the gesture!

Your personal shopper in Florence, Italy