Part IV - Firenze Food and Portraits

Firenze - where I got to shoot a portrait fashion editorial and attend the most intimate, fun pasta making class with just Michael and Carissa and our hosts, Monia and her husband, Emmanuell through BonAppetour.

One. I had the opportunity to bring a few pieces from No Man’s Land Wanderlust jewelry line with me to Italy. And then the stars aligned when Carissa graciously agreed to model for me. IN FLORENCE. We chose early morning to meet up and let me tell you, drowsy Florence is so different from the wide-awake touristy Florence. It’s quiet, peaceful, and make me feel so much more at home. I absolutely fell in love with the hushed city and the way the sun softly made its appearance across the river Arno. I was also super giddy that the outfit I picked from Carissa’s wardrobe the night before worked so incredibly well against our surroundings. It couldn’t have worked out better and gave me such confidence in my ability to choose the right components and piece together ideas into a solid theme. And honestly…that’s not an easy thing to be able to do successfully. This is why you hire a professional photographer. It’s not just for the images they are able to produce but for their eye and the work they do BEFORE and AFTER your sessions as well.

Two. There were a few delicious places we ate at or explored while in Florence - Osteria All'antico Vinaio (most AMAZING sandwiches ever), Lo Sprone Vinaino, and the San Lorenzo mercato. The first 2 food places were probably my favorites. Sandwich place is famously well-frequented (read: touristy long lines) and the second is off the beaten path and introduced to us by Carissa (aka go here for low-key and for locals).

Three. I had every intention of booking a cooking class for us before we left for Italy but I forgot, so whoops, I did it a day before we left the Amalfi coast haha it ended up being one of the best last-minute spontaneous decisions I made because I sure as hell didn’t do much research on what cooking class to take and through who. I probably should’ve but didn’t. Carissa also joined us for the class and that made it even more special. Monia and her husband lives maybe 15-20 minutes north of Florence in a cozy little home. Monia and I clicked immediately. She was the Italian-version of me, who loves cats and squeals in happiness at delicious food. Monia was a kindred spirit. And she spoke not one lick of English :) Emmanuell translated for her the whole time and they worked so well together. We had such a great time learning to make pasta and an equally amazing time eating all the amazing dishes she prepared for us to go with our pasta. I dislike eggplant but hers I would totally eat again. And the piece de resistance? I discovered that my homemade tiramisu could compete against Italian-made tiramisu. Come at me bro.

Denise McMahonComment