Monday, March 10

My invitation to Blogtour Milan has me dreaming Italian style, reminiscing about Capri!

Italia beckons!
My adventures with blogtour continues with 
I am excited to be embarking upon another whirlwind Blogtour, the brain child of Veronika Miller who manages to set up these design-inspired trips to all kinds of lovely places and all the while with the best sponsors who indulge us in an inundation of design.  Add to that my favorite place in the world, Italy, and you have a deal.  Additionally, Veronika hand-picks an eclectic and interesting group of people, and well, we bond.  I was on Veronika's maiden voyage to London for Decorex in 2011, then attended an enchanting trip to New Orleans last spring to take in the kitchen and bath show, KBIS, and now Italy. All this musing has gotten me to channel my love for Italy, and reminisce about some of that here today...
Amalfi 2005
With mom and daughter, we shopped, walking through the cobblestone streets in Amalfi.
Blogtour Milan is slightly different than other Blogtour trips because it is the first "lifestyle" tour, and although  we will still muse about interior design (hello, we are visiting swanky Italian furniture show, Salone Internazional del Mobile), we will also be writing about our experiences with food, wine, hunting for antiques, and, well all the fun "lifestyle" topics surrounding this wonderful country.  To be able to visit one of my most favorite corners of the world with an eye on these subject, makes me giddy.
On April 5, together with 10 other fun and lively designers and design blogger, I will be saying "Ciao Bella" for six days--first in Venice, then Milan so stay tuned for details and of course I will share, share, share my sources and sites.
Of all the places I have traveled, Italy remains the most memorable.  On this particular trip I highlight today, I hope to inspire a little Italian love.  I'm channeling my last trip to the chic island of Capri, which was a dream vacation I spent with my mother and daughter.  
Capri Island is off the southern, Amalfi coast in Italy and was one of Jackie O's favorite get-aways.  She visited many times throughout her life.  Her fascination with the island's infamous handmade sandals, which are created on the spot and bespoke while you wait by island artisans, helped propel their popularity.  While in Capri during my honeymoon in 1992, I had heard of the famous sandal maker that Jackie forged a relationship with, Camfari.  I had my very own sandals made, and molded to my feet and even chose the special starfish jewel to adorn them.  

Jackie O, (then Jackie Kennedy) visiting the shop to have her K sandals made

Camfari opened in 1946 by owner Amedeo who produced colorful, unique sandals.  Decorated with jewels, shells and little decorative items that have become their signature look, Jackie O fell in love with them.  The shop would open exclusively for her when she visited the island in order to have her famous "K" sandals made.  Other notables fell in love with the shop including; Sofia Loren, Clark Gable, Naomi Campbell, Maria Callas, Princess Caroline and more.
In Capri, they even have effervescent blue glowing water, the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzura) which is a sea cave where sunlight passes through an underwater cavity and shines through the water, creating a blue luminous cave.  Just like so much of Italy, it's magical!
The last visit we stayed at an elegant hotel on the island, the Grand Hotel Quisisana, which holds court over the chic scene that unfolds every afternoon on the large outdoor dining area, offering up a quintessential "Italian" dining experience.  Don't forget to sit outside, while sipping a Campari because the people watching is an event in and of itself!
I have a serious lemon obsession
After my last visit, I became enamored with lemons.  Lemons are everywhere, and in addition to growing they are adorned on their pottery, art, clothing, paper and even in the architecture. When I discovered my brother's new home in California has a blooming lemon tree recently I was overjoyed and he sends me regular boxes of his fresh-picked lemons!
We climbed a steep hill during a rainy night to dine under the lemon groves at paolinocapri restaurant
a gorgeous setting and delicious food served al fresco, paying homage to the lemon.
We dined under the lemon trees
managing to stay dry even with a light sprinkling.

We became enamored with the Italian gardens throughout the island and the country, discovering we loved the way Italians mix greenery with  gargoyles, statues, urns and injecting a sense of drama into their outdoor spaces.  
I'm channeling Italy for you, for me and to inspire our spring thoughts.  Of course, there will be lots of Italian love here on Nest by Tamara this month, so please stop back.  We can certainly take a little advice from the country that knows how to live life, with ease, and a *Joie de vivre everyday and all the while enjoying the smallest moments.  
Joie de vivre: French phrase often used in English to express cheerful enjoyment of life; exultation of spirit. 
Check out my Capri pin board for photograph sources other than my own. I promise to keep you posted!

Happy Nesting 
XO Tamara