Last week while in Florence, Italy I attended the 83rd Florence International Artisan Fair. The event takes place at the Fortezza da Basso, a fort inside the walls of fourteenth century Florence. The fair consists of various pavilions including art, decor, furnishings, clothing, accessories, food and wine. The event also includes a courtyard set up of Italian street food and food trucks.
Outside the walls of Fortezza da Basso.
Innovative furnishings inside the first pavilion we toured.
A sculptural marble piece.
Details of a wood table.
A woven, roped like chair.
Love these marble vases.
The next exhibit we toured was inside this adorable landscaped cottage within the fortress walls.
It was called, “The Seven Wonders of Tuscany” exhibit.
Another favorite was this alabaster art piece.
I loved the vibrant color and color combination of these ceramic vases.
I actually tested out these marble loungers - and they are both comfortable and cool (cold) feeling, but in a way that felt relaxing from running around the show and feeling warm.
Green glass dishware.
A bronze sculpture.
The exhibit featured many live demonstrations, like this man painting.
A ceramic vase.
A marble lamp.
One of the other exhibits featured a mix of jewelry and handbags.
There was also artsy clothing, like this Pantone color chip skirt.
Italian street food vendors were in the outdoor pebbled courtyard.
Classic Cacio e Pepe was available at one of the food trucks.
And beers on tap!
I love how this food truck was selling “old Sicily & new food”!
As part of my recent trip to Italy to attend the 83rd Florence International Artisan fair, our Meet The Artisans group participated in a cultural excursion to the Museo della Ceramica in the town of Montelupo.
The town is a quintessential Tuscan countryside of a local community, about twenty five minutes from the city center of Florence.
The center of town mainly consists of about three streets of local shops, restaurants, and flats.
Public art is prevalent even in this small town.
The Italians are quite the artisans.
The locals are very friendly too. This beautiful dog took a liking to my friend and fellow group participant, interior designer Kim Lewis from Austin, Texas.
So much prettiness everywhere you look!
The man in the window above that door watching us, the tourists, taking photos of his front door.
Around the corner, sheds insight to daily life.
Exterior facades are colorful.
Decorative too: Ceramic tiles for address numbers and colorful potted plants.
After a brief walk through town we made our way to the ceramics museum to begin our tour. This is the front of the museum entrance.
The museum features a collection of ceramic dishes and bowls that were found in local wells from centuries past. Found were fragments and broken pieces that were discarded due to being unsalable.
The dishware depicts the Tuscan colors.
Motifs are a reflection of the various eras. The simpler ones are at a less prosperous time.
Others reflect life in the time they were made.
The museum consists of multiple displaying ceramics from various periods.
Thank you to PromoFirenze and The Florence Chamber of Commerce for coordinating this excursion for us. #MeetTheArtisans
There is a little town just outside of Florence, in the Tuscany region of Italy, called Vinci. It happens to be the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, or in other words, “Leonardo from Vinci”. On my recent trip as part of the Meet the Artisans group, we had the privledge of touring this small town as one of our neighborhood excursions.
It is a charming hillside town with very green Tuscan countryside views. Surprisingly, it’s reached after a drive through an industrial area. Once there, the town consists of a steep hill of shops and restaurants with a church and museum at the top overlooking the town.
Typical buildings with colorful facades and shutters.
A car in front of one of the many museums in this quaint town.
Archways and cobblestone streets adorn the town.
Looking up toward the church where Leonardo da Vinci was baptized.
The town includes a Leonardo da Vinci museum.
The sidewalk outside of the museum.
The Tuscan countryside.
Ode to Leonardo da Vinci.
Vinci is so charming and picturesque.
More views from the top.
Definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the region.
Thank you to PromoFirenze and the Florence Chamber of Commerce for including us on this neighborhood excursion. #MeetTheArtisans
I’ve just returned from a trip to Florence, Italy and although I’ve been to Italy many times, it was my first visit to the Tuscany region. I was there to attend the 83rd International Artisan Fair, a curated fair featuring local artisans and makers of art, decor, furnishings, clothing and accessories, & food and wine.
I arrived a day early and had some time to explore the city before our first night’s welcome dinner event. Our group stayed at the AC Marriot Firenze hotel, just on the outskirts of the city center in a more residential neighborhood. This was the view from my room.
The first day was a bit rainy but I managed to still get a lot of city walking in as the rain tapered off later in the day. As I was rushing to meet a friend of mine for lunch that lives in Florence, I turned a corner and came upon this carousel with a peek of the top of the bell tower from the Duomo behind.
As it turns out the Duomo was right next to where we had lunch and just as we were saying goodbye, I turned around and saw the very striking cathedral and bell tower.
At the Duomo.
The cathedral details.
Walking around the perimeter of the Duomo.
An exterior facade on the Piazzo del Duomo.
Cute cafes and restaurants around the Piazza del Duomo.
And beautifully engraved doors.
From the Duomo, I ventured out for more city walking and stumbled upon the Basilica of Santa Maria Novello.
Some of the buildings next to the Basilica include hotels and restaurants.
As I continued walking I came upon an open market area selling leather goods just before finding the Mercato Centrale, an indoor food market with restaurants. I’ve never seen so many varieties of pasta!
Street art on the streets of Firenze.
As I was making my way back to the hotel towards the end of the day, I came upon this 14th century fortress, the Fortezza da Basso, where the artisan fair I would be attending the next day is located.
Inside the fortress is this charming little building where one of the exhibitors we visited at the fair was.
On the second day, we had some free time after attending the fair in the morning, so I set out for more city sight seeing, strolling through narrow streets on a warm sunny afternoon.
Stopping to see cute local hotels.
And colorful buildings.
Bicycles lined up outside the Savoy Hotel in Firenze.
Suddenly and unexpectedly I came upon the Piazza della Signoria as I was making my way to the Ponte Vicchio.
Grand statues like this one overlook the Piazza.
Beyond the Piazza della Signoria is the Uffizi Gallery.
A “live” statue stands outside the Uffizi Gallery.
Looking up at the details.
Art and architecture is everywhere you look.
Just beyond the steps from the Uffizi Gallery is the river and Ponte Vecchio.
A view of the Ponte Vecchio and the Fiume Arno.
The annual Pasadena Showcase House opened its doors recently and I had the opportunity to attend a media preview. This year’s house is stunning! Located at the Descano Gardens in La Canada, CA. Here’s a highlight of some of the gorgeous rooms the designers involved created!
Creative hallway art.
The living room.
The breakfast room.
Cork tiles for the colorful flooring.
Major gorgeous complete kitchen renovation.
Much more to see if you have the chance to visit the house!
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Cosentino, the quartz surfaces company from Spain, has opened its first flagship in Los Angeles with the new Cosentino City showroom located on Beverly Boulevard in the heart of the West Hollywood Design District. This past week I attended the opening night party with colleagues and friends.
Cosentino’s Brand Ambassador, supermodel Cindy Crawford, hosted the opening night party. I also had the opportunity to attend her brand collaboration event with Cosentino two years ago at Milk Studios in Hollywood.
Celebratory drinks in the house!
Cheese, meat, and fruit spread with samples of Cosentino products in the presentation.
Cindy Crawford makes her way through the gallery after signing one of the slabs.
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