January 18, 2011

Top Ten Tips-How to Fit Right In During Your Italian Vacation

We all love italian travel, and we want to be comfortable. But even though we are proud to be tourists, and are adventurous, we also want to try to fit in and present some semblance of style and sophistication in our actions and in our dress. Here are a few tips:

1.Be polite. In shops and restaurants you will almost always be greeted with “Buongiorno” or “Salve”. Respond in kind! And when you leave, grazie, buongiorno, buonasera or ciao go a long way towards showing kindness and respect.

2.Try to learn how to correctly pronounce a few italian words before you travel: grazie, prego, per favore, mi scusi are musts. And maybe even learn how to say a few favorite wines or foods like formaggio, pane, vino rosso, or vino bianco.

3.Stick to wearing neutral colors in the cities, adding a little color for accent. Leave your hot pink tops at home.

4. Men- wear long pants, no matter how hot it is! Shorts are great for the beaches, but not the cities. Baseball caps and fanny packs should be left at home.

5. Women- wear a scarf around your neck, no matter what the season! Wool,pashmina,or cotton; and in the summer throw a cute long linen one around your neck and let it drape.

6. Enjoy your cappuccino in the A.M. Italians don’t drink cappuccini after a meal or in the afternoons. But a caffe’, an espresso, anytime. Have one standing at the local bar with a little panino.

7. Order a salad after your main course, not before. Unlike in the States, a salad is not an appetizer. But try pinzimonio, a raw veggie antipasto, instead!

8. Eat where the locals do. Try to delay dinner until 8:30 or so, that way you'll be able to dine with Italians. And try to get away from restaurants surrounding tourist attractions. There’s a fair chance they are mediocre and overpriced.

9. Buy something Italian to wear in your first few days. A scarf at one of the open markets, a piece of Angela Caputi jewelry,a belt,or a pair of gloves- and wear them right away!

10. Try to “fare la bella figura”, having an air of what appears to be unstudied sophistication and fine aesthetic sensibilities. It's lots of fun!

Here's a great Italian look! courtesy of The Sartorialist

January 3, 2011

Some New Year's Thoughts From Serena Italian Imports

Tanti auguri!

Those of us who are small business people, whether we sell Italian handbags, Italian jewelry or anything else, are seeing signs that the worst is over and that 2011 will be a prosperous and fulfilling year for all of us.

Looking back at the past few years, wiser now, albeit a bit greyer, we must realize that whatever our circumstances may be, we’ve all been through some unbearable times- as individuals, as families and as communities.

As I’ve gotten older, I realize more and more that nothing lasts forever. And this is true for both extremes- the fabulous highs and the “in the pits” lows. This realization and acceptance is very liberating to me. I can enjoy and appreciate the highs while they exist, be they personal or professional - and accept them just for what they are. I’m able to stop striving for perfection in every area of my life, because it’s an unattainable goal. And I can give up thinking that true happiness only occurs when every area of my life is in harmony. Why did it take me so long to figure this out?!

What remains is a substantially calmer place, warts and all. So businesses carry on, and we make space figuratively and literally for 2011.We plan with realistic hopes and dreams that this coming year be successful. In the spirit of making space for the New Year, we have sale priced a large selection of Angela Caputi jewelry. So have a look and give yourselves what you really wanted for the holidays!
Our best wishes to you for a year of good health and happiness.

Un bacione a tutti.

Angela Caputi Jewelry on Sale

Angela Caputi Window in Florence