A Walk Through History

When I walk through Florence it is easy to imagine how life must have once flourished here back during the Renaissance. So much richness in all facets, from arts to literature to trades to politics to banking; you name it, they killed it. Traces of cultural wealth are still everywhere. It truly is a walk through history when you visit this city.

But as I mentioned in the last post, today we’ll take a break from sightseeing and shop instead for the eyes and the belly.

Many years ago, before the creation of the Euro, my sister and I would come through Italy during sale seasons. The US dollar used to mean something and we would come back with all kinds of treats from Prada, Missoni, etc. These days, I mainly window shop when I’m in Europe,

not just because the dollar is so weak but also because I have different needs and habits. Going through the de-tax and customs process upon re-entering the US is also a chore I try to avoid, especially if the items I see abroad are more or less the same things I can find back home. The sentimental thrill of finding something during a trip to so and so is no longer strong enough to warrant lugging a suitcase full of stuff home anymore. These days, my one luxury is to travel light.

Having said that, however, I still get excited by the beautiful shops, especially in historical locations…

where I can find a few things from friends’ wish lists, like this Hermès mini Evelyne in malachite…

and KDT bracelet in etoupe Tadelakt…

As for me, on this trip through Florence it is about satiating my thirst for Italian art, food and sweets:

This was my favorite sweet from Florence, a slice of heavenly panforte, a spicy (there are varying degrees of spiciness) fruit/nut cake of sorts, which you buy by weight:

I could easily eat my own weight in this panforte but had to stop myself…gravity is not kind after the age of 30 :D. But when in Firenze, one of the favorite local dishes to try is the beef tripe, which you can find in tomato sauce and stuffed in a sandwich (panino con trippa)…

or served up in a bowl as a kind of ragu…

as found at the popular (thanks, Tripadvisor!) lunch spot, Da Nerbone…

at the Mercato Centrale (Central Market):

Well, looks like we did get in some sightseeing today after all! We’ll head out to the water in the next entry.


  1. larkie

    hi Jackie! happy 2014! i’ve spent the last couple of years fine tuning my chanel collection. all that i have left are classic or 2.55 flaps and a few special bags to cover all occasions. i also got rid of repeat colors. i do not adhere to the theory of buying chanel because H is unaffordable. if H were my true love, i would rather give up everything else to save up for one or two H bags that i would use forever. i think i stopped buying chanel bags because my collection is finally complete and i finally know what size works for me; i just stick to the timeless bags that are practical for me. another reason is that H is a very expensive habit so i can’t afford to keep buying both. i think it makes sense to make a list of chanel and h bags and really mull them over–i am forever making and revising lists with pros and cons so that i don’t make impulsive purchases anymore (esp at these prices!). also, the reality is that it’s not so easy to buy an H bag (unless you have a good reseller source), so if you are still wanting some chanel, i would buy them now and then see what happens with H. however, if there is an H bag available to you now at a reasonable price in the combination you want (and not just to settle for), i would buy H first just for the fact that it is that htf. i hope that helps!

  2. Jackie

    Dear Larkie, happy New Year! I always enjoy reading your blog, I admire your refined taste and eloquent writing. I have a question of you. Now that you’ve moved to Hermes, do you “look back” at Chanel? I remember reading at some point your comment on the purseblog in a thread called something like “do you buy Chanel because you cannot afford Hermes”. Have your views changed on that (I do not mean exotic bags)? The thing is that I am thinking of starting buying Hermes, but still want a couple of certain Chanels. Given the prices of Chanel, I am facing a dilemma: should I just turn to Hermes right away? Thanks!

  3. Scholastican

    Ah Firenze, glorious Firenze! Grazie mille, Signorina Bella 🙂 Ciao!

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