Friday, July 18, 2014

Castles, Crowns & Cottages, The Tales of European Holidays

while I certainly cannot wax as poetically as Anita, 
nor write as brilliantly as Vicki Archer,
or create art as beautiful as Jeanne...
something lovely comes over me when I think or talk about Italy,
 which is where I'm taking you today.

what is your 1st thought when you think of Italy?

tomatoes caprese?
or a big plate of pasta at a sidewalk cafe?
or a glass of the local wine?

for me, it's the vast vistas across the waters of Italy,
be it the lake country in the North, or the Mediterranean Sea
 or the waters & the  Adriatic Sea of Venice.

all beautiful, but in very different ways.

I'm drawn to the water.
in any location I travel I want to see water.

to me this is the perfect place to spend the rest of my life.
sitting right here overlooking the Mediterranean Sea,
hanging out with my family & friends,
listening to loud music, drinking the wines of the region, some of which must be diluted
with aqua minerale as the locals do.

going to the market to buy fresh!
fresh fresh fresh everything!
piling the fruits & veggies high on a big wooden table,
encouraging everyone to partake.

Vicki Archer described the difference between France & Italy a few weeks ago in the most
wonderful way, and I think she got it entirely right.

& maybe that says a lot about me also.
there isn't any country I dislike, even the ones in the Middle East,
however, the one I LOVE is Italy above all.

the warmth of the people, the extreme generosity of spirit, the spirit of life which imbues all of the Italians fills me too.  I feel like I AM Italian when I'm there!

we drove the coastline from Monte Carlo down to Portofino
on our honeymoon.  of course, we couldn't find the hotel right away (it was already dark
because my husband never got anywhere on time), and as he asked directions
out the window of the car he literally shouted "PORT-0-FINO" as if
being louder made the people understand him better.  :)'s

Belmond Hotel Splendido

everywhere you walk there will be a tiny view of the sea...
always the sea.



Chanel couture Fall 2014

Neoclassical Villa Sorrento.

imagine this beautiful villa.
perched atop the high bluffs of Sorrento, 
overlooking the sea.

our hotel was just to the left of this magnificent place & I wondered every single day who lived there.
what did they do, how long had this home been in their family?
& if this was just completely "normal" for them?

& this fabulously opulent gown from the Italian Valentino seems
to be perfect for attending a dinner party in this villa, doesn't it?


Maartje Verhoef for Valentino, Resort 2015

this is what I love about the Italians, they embrace opulent.
they created opulent.

but the "opulent" they do is perfection in a world filled with
the "over-done."

I am opulent, but I am never "too much" or "gaudy,"  know what I mean?

& yes, I would wear this outfit with those little sandals
 (even though the sandals are Chanel, not Italian). 

 & I would wear those earrings too!
& carry that little green bag, made from ONLY Italian leather.

thank you to our hostess, the delightful, warm & wonderful, Anita
of Castles, Crowns & Cottages for putting this little party together.
there are about 50 participants so please take the time to hop over to her place
& take a look.   HERE

Castles Crowns and Cottages

a little update on 7/23 Wednesday,
we have added many new earring styles to our
Designer Earring 
page on the website reachable via clicking on the icon at top right or



  1. I am weeping as I type, and I can barely see the keys and words I type...but my heart can see and my soul can hear the music of the spheres in the most beautiful piece of music ever written: Clair de Lune. Accompanied by your sentiments (eloquently executed) and perfect photos, you have captured the world of Italy in this post. Romance, color, texture and taste, LOVE is expressed here today. Sweet Marsha, thank you for participating; I hope you will take a week-long break, leave this BEAUTIFUL post up for others to catch up to, and enjoy the creativity around the western world. Many thanks and have a fantastic day, Anita

  2. Hi,hi,HELLO,Marsha!!!
    Oh,my...... You almost broke my hart with all these adorable images from Italy....
    Want just jump and go to Italy,just NOW:))))
    I can't being more agree with you about the see,the wine and all those little fabulous things,with makes our life relaxed and complete:)))

    Sending to you my warm,sunshine hugs,
    Dear friend!


  3. Marsha, you paint a beautiful picture of Italy with your photos and words. Bellissimo! (Thanks for the shout out, dear, you are very sweet!!!) I'm feeling transported and wish were sipping my espresso there this morning. I'm attracted to water, as well, so totally get what you are saying there.

    I hope you have the most beautiful weekend, Marsha! Viva Italia! XOXO

  4. Oh Marsha, may I go with you? I have been to Rome on two occasions many years ago, but I've always felt we had the tourist interpretation of that amazing place. I would so love to ride through the countryside and enjoy the water from a high perch such as your balcony picture. But, I would most enjoy hearing Andrea Bocelli sing from the quaint little village of Portofino. Want to join me?

  5. Marsha,
    Photography is gorgeous and yes your words are very poetic for I feel the warmth of the Mediterranean sun (like none other) on my skin. Your posts always delight my senses and I thank you for that. We return back to our beloved Tuscany for a visit in October. Your beautiful post lets us day dream and believe. Gotta tell you I had a major chuckle over your hubby on honeymoon.
    Soak in the sun, bask in the splendor of Italy, it's cuisine, wine and beauty that bestows all that experience Italy,

  6. This was wonderful Marsha, I loved reading this....and I know you love Italy. If you ever move into that Italian villa in the image above, I am coming to visit....a long visit, just warning you now!! And if I win the lottery, I shall send for you....first class of course ;)

    And I laughed at "PORT- O-FINO"....such a male thing to do!!

    I am now going to spend my evening dreaming of Italy Xx

  7. Hello Marsha, I, too wrote about Italy, it's captivating charm and beautiful landscapes. There's so much to see and do/ I love seeing your fabulous photos and I so appreciate you taking me along on this destination. Coming over from Anita's CCC.

  8. My first thought always when I step off the airplane is "I"VE COME HOME!"Even though I did not grow up there.I always too get teary eyed as the plane taxi's in to the gate...........I think you named all the reasons why ITALY is on so many of our lists!The views, the food, fashion the PEOPLE!I have a beautiful story to share with you about my husbands FATHER asking directions.........he was new to ITALY and had asked which way.........the man understanding but not knowing how to say in ENGLISH sent him in a circle..........when FATHER came back to the same spot where he asked the man for directions the man was waiting!You see he had run inside the building to ask another how to tell the AMERICAN where to go!!!!!!!!!I hope you can follow that but I thought that was just gorgeous!He sent him in a circle until he could find out!
    Those CHANEL shoes are MADE IN ITALY!!!!SO< TRA>>>LA!
    I hope you had a beautiful stay.........LUCKY YOU!

  9. Marsha, I dont know if anybody can portray and write of Italy so beautifully and eloquently as you...
    and as I read, I can feel your heart is just a little bit still there...I know this feeling !
    Im a blessed, truly, to spend time in has given me so very may just have driven past on your way down the coast that day. How lovely
    My first thought of Italy is 'Amore, de la mia vita'....Love of my life.... both for the man, and the location
    A little romance for us xx

  10. Hello Marsha,
    Never having traveled to Italy, this is such a treat for me.. The photos are just breathtaking! I love the cobblestone
    steps, the beautiful villa on the bluff, everything warms my heart. Thank you!

  11. Marsha, I love your post, especially how you explained the opulent fashion--I agree completely. They take couture to the limit but it's never overdone, just exquisite! I too wrote about Italy for Anita's party and hope you will drop by :)
    xo Mary Jo

  12. Oh, Marsha...I agree with you so much...there is nowhere quite like Italy...the country holds so many special memories for me...thank you for this wonderful trip; I hope you join me in Rome...
    Happy Weekend lovely lady xx

  13. Beautiful post Marsha. We are on our way to Italy next month. Now I'm excited even more. Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. Un pays que j'aime et que je connais bien ...
    Splendides images qui font rêver

  15. Oh my Marsha! Beautiful scenery, great houses, darling shoes and exquisite dress!

  16. Marsha...this post is perfetto from start to finish...the photos are stunning as is that gorgeous dress! I wish I was in Italy NOW! Hope you are having a lovely weekend, my dear! xoxo

  17. Marsha you did it again to me! I love Italy as much as you and similarly our long honeymoon took place here too((: it is the opulence and grande like with down to earth and real feelings combo that Italiance rule with and have a way to enjoy life like no one else!!! Love love love the country and fashion and people as much as you and being so expressive and out there warm and full of energy myself I do feel Italian too((:

    Big hug and kisses to you and thank you for warming my heart today!!!
    Ciao Bella

  18. Our time in Italy will always hold special memories. Hope to return someday. Your post is beautiful!

  19. Oh I am so happy to be here. I knew that when I took the next turn on this journey, you would be waiting for me, by-the-sea, in YOUR ITALIA! I am of Italian heritage, dearest Marsha. You make me appreciate and view my heritage in a new light every time you speak of YOUR ITALIA! Mr D's father was born there as were my great grandparents on my father's side. Our children are filled with more Italian blood than the both of us!
    I hope that he and I will be able to travel there together one day. I was 17 the last time I visited. It's far past time for a return.
    Cinderella's slipper is nuanced by YOU!

  20. This is truly lovely and I can see myself following along with you in this little getaway. So serene and picturesque.

  21. It's been too long since our last trip to Italy. Such a beautiful country with the warmest people! And the most delicious food!! Thanks for taking me back to Italy, Marsha!! Cheers, L

  22. Oh my, that market image had me day dreaming I was really there. Beautiful post! Anita is brilliant to plan this even.

  23. This was such a treat, to read your impressions of Italy and the places are gorgeous!
    - Violet

  24. Wow what a beautiful pictures I enjoy your blogpost very much and love to have a taste of the tomatoes caprese...
    groetjes van Marijke

  25. Wonderful post ...great party !!..thanks for Anita !!! Ria...x !

  26. Oh my, what a beautiful journey, Marsha! The music, the images, the sentiment - and those amazing shoes! Thank you so much for a lovely way to start my Monday morning :) Fabulous!

  27. Oh... How delicious! As you know, my son spent the last semester in Italy (Firenze), and I am thrilled he did (he loved it), and reminded that it remains a country I've always wanted to visit and have never set so much as laid eyes on. Shameful, considering all the time and times I lived / traveled / studied / worked in France, including the south - and I was so close!

    Italy remains on my "must see" list, for someday. (Don't we all need those dreams?)


  28. Gorgeous and stunning in every way, dear Marsha! VIVA ITALIA!!
    - Irina

  29. Beautiful photos of a fabulous country...

  30. Marsha,
    What is there about the sea that mesmerizes us? Your second photo, the one with the brilliant white columns looking out to the clearest of clear blue seas made me catch my breath, and made my soul remember the Mediterranean Sea between Cyprus and Turkey, where high on a barren cliff was a lone tree next to a rustic Greek cafe with an old wooden table and chairs. That is where I sat to stare out to the sea, just catching glimpses of the mountains of Turkey. We were newly married, and my Navy husband was stationed on Cyprus. No money, but a wealth of riches, including the Mediterranean Sea.


  31. You did this beautiful country absolute justice! Wonderful words, atmospheric images.

    Actually, in answer to your question, the first thing I think of when somebody says "Italy" are the rolling hills running down to the sea, on the Amalfi Coast…before I even start to think about the delicious food.

  32. Marsha,

    I LOVE this POST! You make me want to jump on the next plane!

    I hope that you have a great week!

  33. I've said it before, and I'll say it again Marsha. Your Italy is spectacular!
    Thanks for the journey.

  34. I did italy also + Venice + loved your photos

  35. Oh Marsha!!
    Is absoluty lovely !!
    wonderful photos and the way you told! gorgeous! I just discovered your blog thanks to Anita this Link Party! wish to continue enjoying your blog.
    I invite you to meet mine.
    Have a good day!!

    Personally selected products

  36. Marsha, this is truly a treat for all of the senses! What lovely photos of Italy! ♡Dawn

  37. Ah Beautiful Italy,I have been to a few place's in this country and it remains on my list of places to visit,xx Rachel and Speedy

  38. Marsha, I'm going to Italy in October, can't hardly wait to see all those beautiful places in the land from where my ancestors came.
    Your post is stunning, as always.

  39. I know, sadly, that I will never get to Italy because of my flying issues. 3 hours is my max, I didn't fly AT ALL for over 30 years!!! Your words transported me though and I AM 1/2 Italian. My Mom was 100% Irish and my Dad 100% Italian! I will have to live vicariously through you, the other bloggers and the internet.


Thank you so much for your wonderful comments, each of them mean so much to me. After all, the interaction is the reason we blog. xx's