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Why is it that we begin to feel a little more happy and lighthearted during the festivities at this time of year? I always wondered why December seems to make us all have a more jovial attitude than we do during the rest of the year. Maybe because it brings a sense of renewal with the New Year around the corner so it feels like we have a chance to start fresh? Or perhaps the fact that Christmas gift giving is a way to tell someone that you care for them, showing that you have taken time to do something specifically for them, makes us all a little more happy and feel good about ourselves too. Maybe we should all consider doing that even beyond these festivities as shopping is definitely a way to discover new proposals the market has to offer and make purchases even if it's just for fun. But consider this: it's even more gratifying if the purchase has a meaning for those you purchase from too!! This is why I believe if we all put a little research into what we buy, perhaps we will end up being more appeased and surprised by the shopping effort result and learn to buy things for their intrinsic value too.

Artisan goods are those that are made by the hands and the passion of Artisans. I too am an Artisan - an Artisan of the #Oltrarno district of #Florence #Italy As an artisan, our inherit passion for what we do is transferred into the products that we create and then put out there for you to buy and enjoy. The fact that we do not mass produce, in fact working often on a commission basis, is a centuries old way of sustainable manufacturing, (I bet no one ever thought of it that way!); also consider the fact that the items are usually done entirely by hand so with little or no polluting energy is required (how about that? - protect the environment too!). I wonder how many people realise this when they buy one of our products??

But being an Artisan in today's modern world, means trying to reach a public that is willing to listen to the story behind the piece, to the work it takes to make it and understand the craft learned that has become a way of life for us

Monnaluna handcrafted jewels and accessories
Hands at work Monnaluna

Social media is a wonderful world of magical sounds and videos and music. As Artisans, we try to figure out ways of portraying our skills and perking your interest and this is not always a downhill path. It's not such a simple task in such a competitive world where bigger and more organised and staffed entities have teams of people assigned just to achieve that specific goal. Yet we feel that getting together and sharing each other's ideas and energies is essential to our visibility so earlier last month, and to this end, we hosted an event here at #Monnaluna for the Artisans of the Oltrarno that are part of the #InBottega project which took place on November 9th 2022

At that event, we were delighted and honored to have had the presence of Dr. Eike Schimidt, Director of the #Uffizi Galleries here in Florence, and Mr. Ruffilli, the City Councilman of this Florentine district. Dr. Schmidt and Mirko Ruffilli, both highlighted how important it is to support Artisan works which are an intricate part of the history of this city. They both are also very keen on projects, like the InBottega project, that is trying to pass on the traits to a younger generation while mustering curiosity in the visiting public and attracting more people that can appreciate the importance of our humble efforts as a way to conserve art forms. The numerous and exquisite exhibitions at the #PittiPalace as well as the #Uffizi have also intensely contributed to an increase in awareness of this part of #Florence which is somewhat off the normal beaten path. Tourists don't typically visit the #Oltrarno when here in #Florence but we want to get our faces out there which is why we organise these events.

Another important new happening is the Florentine New Year called in Italian #capodannofiorentino It is a celebration of the original Florentine New Year, which in the middles ages was in March. This event was held for the first time this past March under the careful orchestration of Mr. Ruffilli who is the official "Fiorentinità" Master of Ceremonies of the City of Florence - March 25th marks the exact date. Artisans are the at the heart of what you see when you visit Florence. The second edition of the Florentine New Year, in 2023, will be held between March 20th and March 26th with many restaurants around the city offering special menus, many exhibitions and themed events. Special opening hours for some of the most important museums in the city will also give more time to spend absorbing our treasures. This is the place to be for authentic, sustainable, customized and quality products that you can get a feel for in the following views

So if you really want to come on over and indulge in a magnificent "bottega" or two, and order their fine crafts, note that you don't have to wait for the summer. Springtime is a great time to visit this marvellous city and in March, for example, you can find warm weather and not too many crowds as the season perks up... So get your bags ready and come around to visit one or more of us. The list and where to find us can be found on the website - there's even a map you can download to peruse. When next here in Florence, have something made especially for you or for someone close to your heart. Bring an authentic piece of Florence back with you!

Well, we hope you've enjoyed this little update as we prepare our new proposals for the upcoming Season in 2023. Stay warm, stay safe and enjoy your family and friends. We also wish to thank everyone that attended the event and on behalf of myself here at Monnaluna, Kris of GreenJuly and all the Artisans of InBottega, we want to wish you All a very Merry Christmas and a Fantastic 2023!


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