This past week has been like a dream for me. I flew to Florence as a guest of my beautiful friend Felicia (@feliciaevalina), and fell in love (again!) with this amazing city.
I’d never been during the late July/August peak summer period. The heat, despite being a bit stifling at times, brings out the best of this region. The sun hits the stone buildings and the surrounding Tuscan countryside, and brings everything to life. The geraniums bloom, the sunflower and lavender fields are in full swing, while the rosemary, thyme and sage thrive. The pale orange and yellow buildings bake in the sunshine, while the olive trees stare down onto the city from the surrounding hills. This trip really felt like a reintroduction to Florence.
I stayed in a holiday rental right near Piazza Santa Croce, which was the setting for most of the shots you see here. I imagined a town square with lots of stone and marble to shoot this beautiful dress from Mestiza, and I was lucky enough to find it right on my doorstep. The Santa Croce Basilica is the resting place of Galileo, Machiavelli and Michelangelo, among other notables. It is just an overwhelmingly special place to wander around, especially when you have the whole square to yourself – so now for my text tip: beating the crowds…
Obviously I’m not the only person in the world who likes Florence, so my tip is to take advantage of the 6am sunrises in July and shoot like crazy while the rest of Florence sleeps! Italians do not get to bed early. They eat late, party later, and sleep at about the same time I’m usually waking up. So it is a blessing to be able to wake up and have this historic city to yourself – so don’t sleep in!
Felicia’s wedding ceremony was also close to my flat, at the Chiesa di San Filippo Neri. It’s set on another great square to shoot, and then we moved onto one of the most special nights of my life – to the reception at a quintessential Tuscan villa in the hills, overlooking the city. We were greeted with the sounds of crickets, we were handed Aperol Spritz on arrival (of course!), and we were welcomed with such enthusiastic and warm hospitality by both Felicia’s Chinese and American friends and family and her husband’s amazing Italian friends and family. Italians are so animated and passionate – to be at a wedding like this full of the groom’s friends and extended Italian family was truly a blessing. They were so hospitable.
For all of this grandeur, I needed a dress that would live up to the hype. So check out the pics and make sure you click here to visit Mestiza now, as they’re having a sample sale. I love these two girls – learn more about them by clicking here. They are determined to provide opulent dresses without prohibitive price tags and they’ve obviously got something very special about them – I was randomly asked by three different girls on the way to the ceremony about where I got this dress.
Each time I have visited Florence I’ve taken dramatic pieces and shot early in the morning. I can’t imagine a more accessible setting that has such grand scale. Put it on your wish list, it’s a blogger’s dream!