This is the season to be jolly! In Florence the twinkling lights have taken to the streets and the city is taking on that winter-wonderland vibe it’s so well-known for this time of year (minus the inconvenient, if idyllic, snowfalls of colder climes).
It’s hard to think about this while I am enjoying 82F in Palm Beach...OK do not shoot the messenger...I am barely reminding you that Palm Beach Atelier is open!! Come by and say hi (we might even find an excuse to cin cin with some mulled wine or hot chocolate, even in the Sunshine State).
No more Florida weather...personally, while in Florence, I’m looking forward to this coming weekend, which is packed with plenty of holiday charity marketplaces, opportunities to give back as well as to cross some shopping off your list.
For the first time, the lovely ladies of the American International League of Florence onlus (AILO) are hosting their beloved Christmas bazaar in the stunning Tepidarium del Roster of the Giardino dell’Orticoltura. This Art Nouveau-style greenhouse is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, with the booths of baked goods, accessories and charity raffles set up inside it’s sure to feel like a gingerbread (green)house!
Besides AILO, the holiday angels of FILE, a palliative care organization, are hosting their elegant marketplace in Palazzo Corsini on the lungarno – a wonderful chance to explore a historic venue and contribute to a great cause.
Not to mention the picturesque piazza Santa Croce has once again opened the German-style Weihnachtsmarkt, which serves up sausages, sauerkraut, stroopwafels and seasonal cheer until just before Babbo Natale arrives (it stays open until December 20).
What’s your favorite light display this time of year?
I, for one, never get tired of the dizzyingly decked-out via Tornabuoni, which this year has golden orbs and stars hanging down in droves. It’s magical! But also worth a stroll is via Romana (our neighboring street, for what it’s worth)—this year, through words strung across the street, the lengthy road has brought out an inspired message of hope and togetherness at Christmas, in a time when the world can feel so divided.
Yet my beloved Piazza Pitti, so charming and inspiring at dawn...enjoying a glass of wine from the JT Caffe veranda and enjoying the silence...well tourists are gone and now is time to live Florence at is best.
Another surefire sign of the season: the "Panettone", a staple around the Yuletide time of year. A Milanese specialty dating back to the 15th century, this beloved Christmas cake bedecked with dried fruits is now enjoyed up and down the Boot. As soon as Christmas is around the corner, you’ll spot it everywhere from upscale bakeries to bargain-bins at the supermarkets, and certainly at every party. Don’t tell, but sometimes I like to sneak a bit with a coffee at breakfast—I hardly think I’m alone in this, though.
If you missed all the first-weekend-of-December festivities and haven’t had any panettone yet, don’t fret: surely there will be plenty of both at the Four Seasons’ annual Open Day in the magnificent Gherardesca Gardens, not far off on December 16.
One of my absolute favorite December days out, it brings together some of the city’s top chefs, traditional seasonal favorites like roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, and Santa Clauses and kid-friendly activities, all in a luxe setting for a great cause: the Istituto degli Innocenti.
You can enter with just a 1 euro donation but hey, it’s Christmas… generosity goes a long way!
What else to say?...well I do love all of you and I cannot thank you enough for supporting my passion allowing me to keep...designing and crafting for all of you!!