Sweden and Norway Trip

My grandparents were all from Sweden and Norway, and I finally travelled there. It was a welcome respite from the extraordinary heat in Florence this June!

Stockholm, Gothenburg, Oslo and Bergen were the cities we visited. The food was fantastic and the shopping interesting. I was forced to do quite a bit of shopping since my luggage went missing!

Love this linen suit with a tee and tennis shoes.

We visited the Vasa Museum in Stockholm to see the only almost fully intact 17th-century ship that has ever been salvaged, the 64-gun warship Vasa that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628. It is 4 stories tall! We ate traditional Swedish cardamom buns and smorgas in the museum restaurant.

From Stockholm we took the train to Gothenburg, where my grandmother was born. We were blessed with sunny cool weather and took a boat tour around the city.

Chia in her stroller at the Stockholm train station.

From Gothenburg, we took a 3 hour train ride to Oslo, and after a few days there, a 7 hour train ride to Bergen. It was very picturesque with snowy mountains and fjords. We splurged on a compartment, which was really comfortable!

The highlight of the trip was a boat tour through the fjords in Bergen. Midway we pulled into a cove with sheer rock on both sides and waterfalls. As we went right up to one of the waterfalls, the loudspeaker played, “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” It was very dramatic!

Breakfast in Bergen was fabulous! Two rooms of food with everything imaginable, including three kinds of pickled herring, smoked salmon, eggs cooked three ways, sausage, fish cakes, bacon, pastries and more.

Chia and I will spend the summer in Seattle, where the weather is sunny and cool. Back to Florence at the end of August for the fall shopping season!

Vacation to Viareggio

With the temperatures in the mid and upper 90’s, I decided to take Chia to the beach at Viareggio. She attracts lots of attention in her new stroller!

Viareggio is only about an hour and 20 minute train ride from Florence. We stayed at a beautiful seaside hotel. The Palace Hotel overlooking the beach- highly recommended.

Back to Florence we went after three days at Viareggio. It is unusually hot this year. I take Chia out in the early morning before it gets too warm. We see so many dogs here!

I have had lots of requests for jeweley shopping, and the Fope bracelets are a huge hit. The price here is about 30-40% less than in the States. I have a couple and love them. They are stretchy, but contain no elastic. It is a secret method used to make the 18k gold stretch so it rolls onto the wrist. They have come out with a version for men now too.

I also love the Marco Bicego jewelry. These dainty bracelets are on my wish list to stack with my Fope!

Scenes from Saturday in Florence

Saturdays are always lively here in Florence. The Sant’Ambrogio Mercato especially since it is closed on Sundays, and the locals want to buy groceries for the weekend.

It has been in the mid 80″s here, but supposed to be mid 70’s next week. Chia and I took advantage of the beautiful day to have lunch on the rooftop of the Rinascente. What a view!

Symmetrical scooter sighting on our way back to the apartment.

Symmetrical scooter sighting.

Tomorrow, Chia and I will go to Viareggio for a little beach time. Only an hour and twenty minutes from Florence, this is a very easy trip by train. Later this week, more shopping tours!

What We are Shopping For This Week

Busy shopping season here in Florence with lots of tourists. I had a darling young couple from Dallas shopping for shoes, handbags and gold jewelry. I love the earrings that she picked out!

Chia turns 16 this month, and I have purchased a dog stroller for her. She didn’t like it at first, but has gotten used to it and loves getting out more.

While we were on our evening passeggiata, we found this artwork at the Mercato dei Pulci (flea market). I had to have it!

Shopping with four ladies from the States, I saw this gorgeous ostrich and antelope cross body bag in navy. It is very narrow, and has three inside compartments. It is currently on my wish list!

I have so much fun taking people shopping here, but am tempted at every turn with unique and beautiful pieces!

Mosaics in Ravenna

Just a short ride from Florence is the charming town of Ravenna. It is famous for the stunning 5th and 6th century early Christian mosaics built first by the Romans, followed by the Ostrogoths, and then the Byzantines.

A few years ago when I first went to Ravenna, I purchased a mosiac piece for my apartment. This time, I bought a box to match! These don’t compare to the mosiacs in San Vitale, but a nice reminder of the trips.

The weather in Florence is perfect these days. Four shopping tours next week under sunny skies with a cool breeze.

Saturday Stroll in Florence Center

Beautiful Saturday in Florence, so Chia and I took a long walk. There was a market in Santa Croce with lots of French food items.

There are more tourists here all the time, and the center was quite busy this weekend. It is so good to see that people are traveling again.

Couldn’t resist a quick peek at some shoes. Lots of flats this season, which is good news for those of us walking on cobblestones!

Coming back to the apartment on Via Ghibellina, we stopped off at an art exhibit across the street. My take on it is that we have too much clothing! I immediately began doing a major spring cleaning in my closets…

Your personal shopper in Florence, Italy