I’ve been slowly recapping my summer vacation to Italy over the past few months (read the posts here, here, and here). In case you missed my earlier posts, I traveled to Italy in July with Andrew and my family (parents, sister, brother-in-law, and niece). After spending three days in Rome with Andrew, we met the rest of the fam for a week at a Tuscan villa. We spent our days exploring nearby towns, and our evenings eating delicious home-cooked Italian meals by the villa’s chef, Rosella. Perhaps my favorite town is the one I’m sharing a glimpse of today: Pietrasanta. We loved this little town so much that we returned to it for a second visit on our last day in Italy.
Often overlooked by Tuscan travelers, this beautiful, artsy town is filled with tiny art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques. In fact, I picked up my most treasured souvenir of the trip in Pietrasanta – a pair of handmade gold hoops reading AMORE and PASSIONE (love and passion) – an early anniversary gift from Andrew. And contributing to the town’s artsy vibe and whimsical feel, this past summer, Pietrasanta was home to an enormous art installation – more than 1,000 flying umbrellas hung over main street of the town’s historic center.
Founded in 1255 by Guiscardo da Pietrasanta, the podestà (governing magistrate) of Lucca, Genoa, Lucca, Pisa and Florence all jostled for possession of Pietrasanta’s marble quarries and bronze foundries. Florence won out and Leo X (Giovanni de’ Medici) took control in 1513, putting the town’s quarries at the disposal of Michelangelo, who came here in 1518 to source marble for the facade of Florence’s San Lorenzo. Artists continue to work here to this day – contributing to Pietrasanta’s hip and funky vibe that I loved so much.
Where we ate:
We enjoyed a multi-course feast of tiny meatballs, prosciutto and bufala mozzarella, salad, and a simple pasta of tomato, basil and ricotta salata at La Brigata di Filppo. I loved the vibe of this chic, modern bistro – from the open kitchen to the exposed beams and enormous hanging wicker light fixtures. Also, the warm bread and foccacia brought to the table throughout the meal were among the best we had in Italy.
Where we shopped:
My beloved earrings were made by Marco Balderi. I saw them in the window on our first visit to Pietrasanta, and could not stop thinking about them. When we returned to the town on our final morning in Italy, I just had to go in and try them on. Since returning the U.S., I’ve worn them countless times. I love the ‘love and passion’ message, and they always make me smile when I’m reminded of our vacation.
What would a trip to Italy be without leather?! My mom, sister, and I also picked up some shoes at Mauro Volponi. Mine are ankle booties with a subtle star pattern. Perfezionare!
GET THE LOOK: