Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Millesimi Wine Shop Florence Italy


Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Here it is, Christmas Eve, well, technically Christmas, I guess. I enjoyed a lovely dinner and conversation with a sweet friend earlier, missed my goal of getting inside the Basilica di Santa Croce just to touch base with Michelangelo’s tomb (hey, he is my Jesus), and have been working on sharing images and other things before I get on a train in the early morning to spend Christmas by the Italian sea with friends. But, hey, that is what having no family around means, right? Work-a-holic. Ha.

I am actually just now starting to relax while I gear up for my week of solitude so that I can finally finish a collection of pastel and charcoal drawings that I need to complete. I recently shipped out the following pastel painting. It is a commissioned portrait of twin babies, a boy and a girl. They have the most amazing blue eyes, with his being darker.

However, I found this a bit difficult because I only met these lovely children briefly and had to work from photographs that I did not take. It was an interesting challenge to try to pair up photos that were not necessarily taken at the same time, get the sizes and lighting right, and try to capture the spirit of people I just do not know. For example, I began to get an impression of the twins based on the photos I was first given. I wrote to their grandmother, who commissioned this work, and told her my guesses about their personalities. Well, I was 100% wrong! The one who looked shy and demure in the photos was the dramatic and often dominant personality and vice versa. So glad that I asked! Anyway, I am pleased with what I was able to do with pastel on paper and subtle lighting (flash images always are difficult to work from since they flatten the forms). I hope the family loves the art once it arrives in America.

Hmmm, I just realized that I am writing a post combining babies and booze. Ah, well, sono io… I needed some spirits for a couple of events I was invited to attend this season and I decided to “shop locally” which in Firenze means going to a small shop in my neighborhood instead of the grocery store. One would think that I might know something about wine and bubbly by now, but all I know is that I prefer red wines and I prefer those from Sicily and Sardinia. Other than that, I am pretty much at a loss.

Imagine my delight: What a pretty store is Millesimi SRL! It is not far from my home in the Santo Spirito neighborhood of Firenze and is located on Borgo Tegolaio 33 r (the “R” means ‘red’ and in Italy, the red address numbers usually designate a business property, whereas blue means residential). This street is located between Piazza Santo Sprito and the Palazzo Pitti. I have walked by this place often and thought, “Someday I will go in.” Done. Happy about it, too.

Everything is organized beautifully and I was able to see quickly what kind of selection there was and that there was a large variety of offerings, in price, region, color, everything. However, after taking a walk through, I decided to ask for advice. This is Christmas after all, and why not? Besides, it was an opportunity for me to practice speaking Italian. Sadly, I can usually explain what I want, even if awkwardly, but I often have a difficult time understanding others. I am working on it. I find that like anything else really, trying is what really tips the scales.

Anyway, I told Gianni (sounds like “Johnny”) what I was looking for and my budget and he led me to some lovely choices. He wrapped them up in pretty packaging for me. My experience was such a good one that I hope to have reasons to return. And he let me take these images of the place. How could I resist the poinsettias with the wines and bubblies? I hope you enjoy. And I list the contact information here, in case you want to order something yourself.

Millesimi SRL
Borgo Tegolaio 33/R
50125 Firenze Italia
Tel. (+39) 055 2654182
E-mail: millesimisrl@tin.it

Tanti auguri per un buon natale!

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