Italia, simply put is spectacular.
With the awing inspiring ruins of Rome, fashion forward cities like Milan, picture-worthy Piazzas in every town, and the life inspiring vineyards of Tuscany, there is no shortage of amazement and beauty. And I didn’t even mention the Pizza! Perhaps the most inspiring and spectacular part of Italy, is the magnificent Amalfi Coast.
The Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometer stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region.
The first stop for most on the Amalfi is NAPLES, which many write off as a dirty, tattered and unruly city. But look past the grit and grime and you’ll uncover one of Italy’s most artistic cities, full of breathtaking frescoes, sculptures, and palaces. And the food! Naples serves up some of Italy’s best food, especially pizza, which in and of itself makes it a must for your Italian itinerary.
One of my favorite discoveries in Italy was the UASHMAMA product line.
We came upon it at the ever so charming Le Sorelle during an afternoon in the beautiful walled city of Lucca.
Le Sorelle or The Sisters is a small family run company based in Montecatini just outside the walls of Lucca. The paper bags, braces, and aprons are all sewn in a cottage in Montecatini, employing a large group of local men and women, allowing the small village to thrive – a true cottage industry.
On a recent trip to Paris, I had the delight of visiting Porte de Clignancourt, officially called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, but known to everyone as Les Puces (The Fleas). It is the most famous flea market in Paris and the largest in the world covering seven hectares, housing more than 3000 vendors and receiving between 120,000 to 180,000 visitors each weekend!
The history of the flea market dates back over two centuries, when ‘crocheteurs’ or pickers (rag and bone men) spent their evenings scouring through the garbage of Paris to find items they could sell. They initially set up their stalls within the walls of Paris, in what were known as sleazier neighborhoods. However they were quickly forced out by pickpockets and thieves to finally settle outside the city walls in Clignancourt, Montreuil, Vanves, etc. The largest of these flea markets is the one at Clignancourt but the other two continue to this day.