Julie Adams (a fashion photographer) and Emma Scott (a writer and designer) have a shared love of Italy. And so together they bring to you beautiful, heartfelt, inspiring and often unexpected stories from people all around the world, and their 'affair with Italy'.
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|Jan 2012||Annie||Melbourne, Aus|
|Feb 2012||Mel||Sydney, Aus|
|Mar 2012||Abigail||London, UK|
|Apr 2012||Michael||Dhaka, Bangladesh|
|May 2012||Suzi||Melbourne, Aus|
|June 2012||Christel||Tweed Heads, Aus|
|July 2012||Linda||Chicago, USA|
|Aug 2012||Amanda||Melbourne, Aus|
|Sept 2012||Paddy||Melbourne, Aus|
|Oct 2012||Mary||Ipswich, Aus|
|Nov 2012||Shelley||Preston, UK|
Travel TipsClick to see more.
Pop Up Dining
Join An Affair with Italy and some of the best chefs from around the world for a unique dining experience – superb food and wine, all set in one-off secret locations.
Latest dinner: On Friday evening February 22nd, An Affair with Italy guests arrived at the secret location - diamond and luxury jewellery house, Cerrone - to be greeted by Nick and Carmela Cerrone and their wonderful staff. Guests were invited to explore the stunning showroom and choose a piece of jewellery to wear for the evening. The excitement was contagious; the evening began with a brilliant energy.
To find out more about the dinner, the incredible meal served by Stefano Manfredi and to see photos of the night go to Manfredi Pop Up Dining Experience.
Designer of the MonthCarla Zampatti Click to read about
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About Sue Townsend
- Originally from the English countryside, I now call Florence my home.
- After finishing school, I went to the South of France for a short time before moving to London.
- When I arrived in London, I got a job at a greetings card company off the back of the Times newspaper.
- I currently live with seven dogs and two cats.
- I was one of the founders of international brand, Crabtree & Evelyn.
- After selling my shares, I then worked on various projects including for JP Rothschild and The Prince of Wales.
- I founded Italian soap and scent company, Ortigia, Sicily in 2006.
- The name Ortigia comes from one of the oldest sections of Syracuse, it was the greatest city in the Greek empire.
'I think in life you always think one more time. Everytime I go to sell my car I say, 'oh I will just buy an ordinary car, not a fast car anymore because I am too old', but it never seems to happen, I like the fast car.'
The time is exactly 4.26pm. Julie and I have just arrived back to our quaint little apartment opposite the Sant’Ambrogio markets, in one of the oldest parts of Florence. Having spent the morning in Rome, we had meticulously planned the day to ensure we had just enough time to arrive back into Florence by train, drop into our apartment and collect a few necessities, and hail a taxi before arriving at the home of Sue Townsend at 4.55pm for our 5.00pm interview. However, at 4.27pm disaster struck. I placed the key into the front door of our apartment, went to turn it and ‘snap’, it quite simply broke in two. My face turned ashen as I turned to Julie to explain our newly found predicament.
Now before I go on any further, I need to give you some context around the importance of this impending interview. Sue Townsend, unbeknownst to her, had thunderbolted into my world 2-3 years earlier when I had been travelling through Florence. I was strolling along the very famous Borgo S. Jacopo, that runs aside the river Arno, when I was struck by the most exquisite store front – Italian soap and scent company, Ortigia. A wonderful warm glow emanated from the store, contrasting remarkably with the front door detail – a black silhouette of an enormous, stylised palm tree. An array of brightly coloured boxes, exotic patterns and tantalising Mediterranean smells beckoned me to enter. I am so passionate about design and brand, and to me, this brand was genius – a subtle mix of strength, beauty and luxury. So here began my love affair with Ortigia and my fascination with the English woman who founded the brand – Sue Townsend. Julie and I had heard that Sue was notoriously media shy, in fact we were told she never agrees to be interviewed. We tried various connections to reach Sue, with no luck. Finally, Julie rang the London Sloane Square store and somehow managed to charm the manager into giving her Sue’s personal email address. Julie then wrote to Sue with our request, and to our surprise, Sue wrote back with a ‘yes’!Read More
Sue's Italian tips:
1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TIME OF YEAR IN FLORENCE AND WHY?
March, April & May, all the early part of the year is marvellous... Spring is a riot of colour... by March the Camaelia and fruit trees are past & the magnolia blossom... leads very quickly to roses everywhere... just above where I live is the Rose Garden... half way up the path to San Minato... the oldest most beautiful church... where we often take some drinks and sit on the grass for an aperitivo and watch the sun set on the Arno river.
2. WHERE IS THE PERFECT SPOT TO MEET FRIENDS FOR AN APERITIVO (APART FROM YOUR INCREDIBLE TERRACE!!)...?
So many places. Procacci on via Tornabuoni... where they specialise in tiny truffle rolls... washed down with Antinori Prosecco... The Loggia of new little B&B in Santa Spirito.
3. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE LOCAL RESTAURANT/TRATTORIA?
A) Cammillo near my shop in Borgo San Jacappo.
B) La Vecchia Bettola... Cibreo BAR unlike a restaurant... is the same food but much better atmosphere and price.
C) Best of all for authenticity; Sostanza in via Porcellana.. where you share long marble tables... they cook the Bistecca alla Fiorentina... on charcoal at the back. It's been in the same hands for such a long time... completely un-pretentious... famous to the locals... menu NEVER changes... specialities Tortino Carciofi - a sort of Fritatta & Chicken in butter.
D) Also, Lola, although no name outside, is very good and cheap and fun... Lola, via della Caldaia Oltrano.
4. DO YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR AREA IN FLORENCE THAT YOU LOVE TO TAKE A PASSEGGIATA?
A) North of Duomo around Four Seasons Hotel... lots of old gardens & museums.
B) The area around Santa Spirito on the Oltrano... has the small shops with Artisans still making interesting pieces with jewels & leather... all the best of Italian craftsman... my shop is on this side.
C) Best of all, the Boboli Gardens... go in by Palazzo Pitti... walk up the hill and see the Ceramic Museum & Fortessa... best view of Florence.. leave by top gate and go slowly back down to the river in Giardini Bardini... Bliss!
5. FLORENCE IS FULL OF WONDERFUL SHOPS, CAN YOU SHARE WITH US A FEW OF YOUR FAVOURITES?
A) Food – Pegna... near Duomo.
B) Gelateria della Passera... Ice Cream from daily fresh fruit... in Piazza della Passera.
C) Ermano Schervino... via Rondinelli... VERY stylish fashion... jeans to lace... very pacy.
D) Angela Caputi... really great modern jewellery.
6. WHERE DO YOU LOVE ESCAPING TO IN THE SUMMER? CAN YOU SUGGEST SOMEWHERE TO STAY?
A) Forte dei Marmi good for seaside fashion set... up-market beach life AND shopping... VERY good fun.
B) Venice – Cipriani at Torcello... not the very smart hotel in Venice... same family... but further out on the island of Torcello on the lagoon... heavenly place... wonderful food and beauty... only six very simple rooms.
C) Bellagio – Hotel Serbelloni, an old fashioned 5 star hotel on Lake Garda... best location, best views, very chic and marvellous service.
D) Napoli – Hotel Vesuvio, go in Spring & Autumn.. .on the Lunonare... looking at Vesuvius & Capri... old fashioned 4 star... take the suite with terrace and dinner inclusive rate... charming staff... they serve a perfect dinner on top floor terrace... one of the wonders of Italy.
E) Cortina - Aguila, a small charming hotel in middle of the prettiest town in Dolomites... skiing and summer. Cortina is chic, beautiful and fun all year.
'Spring/Summer 2013/14 Collection'
The Carla Zampatti Spring/Summer 2013/2014 Collection perfectly exemplifies everything that is this iconic Australian/Italian brand - strong lines, exquisite tailoring and modern luxury.
Monochromatic pattern, bold black and white stripe, white mesh panel inserts and perforated leather cut in simplistic lines, plunging bare backs, sensual draping and incredible detail create a collection of eye-catching strength and pure elegance; a celebration of the essence of the modern empowered woman.
'Italian precious gem and diamond jeweller Sydney, Australia'
When you have the opportunity to wear something so exquisite as a Cerrone precious gem earring or stunning diamond bracelet, you know what it is like to experience something truly luxurious. Each piece is designed and hand-crafted to enhance the true quality of the stone. Thank you to Cerrone for accessorising me for the recent red carpet events – a once in a lifetime experience made all the more special by your extraordinary jewellery.
Make up: Elsa Morgan @ Reload, Hair: Byron Turnbull @ Reload, Stylist: Viva Vayspap, Model: Chantal @ Chic
'with Carla Zampatti and Cerrone'
On the 1st May, An Affair with Italy's co-founder Emma Scott, accompanied her husband Craig Pearce to the New York premiere of The Great Gatsby. Craig co-wrote the screenplay with director Baz Luhrmann.
The iconic Australian/Italian designer Carla Zampatti dressed Emma for the red carpet. Cerrone accessorised the look with stunning diamond earrings and bracelet.
AAWI talks to Carla about how to do red carpet.
Click to read more.
On Tuesday night I accompanied my husband, Craig Pearce, to the brilliant opening of Catherine Martin and Miuccia Prada’s Dress Gatsby Exhibition at the Prada New York Epicentre at 575 Broadway in Manhattan.
Many of the guests, including myself, wore their Prada and Miu Miu finest in celebration of the incredible achievements of these two super talented women. While others dressed in true 1920s New York style. The guest list included of course Catherine Martin, Miuccia Prada, some of The Great Gatsby crew and others who just love Catherine and Miuccia’s work... Baz Luhrmann, Carey Mulligan, Florence Welch, Tobey Maguire, Isla Fisher, Katy Perry, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Alexa Chung to name a few.
- Tine was born in Paris and Luisa was born in Rome.
- Tine used to live in Paris then moved to Rome at 17 years old.
- We both live in Rome now.
- We met 9 years ago at the 18 birthday of Luisa.
- In 2010 we lived together in Paris for one year to create our brand; we used to do research during the day and attend classes in fabrics research at night.
- We are both half Italian and French.
- We both graduated from IED in 2009. In Fashion Design (Luisa) and Interior Design (Tine).
- Tine used to date Luisa's brother.
- We are both Louis Vuitton ambassadors since last year (2012).
- We did a special bag for Maria Luisa/les 3 suisses in 2011.
- We love the cinema. We did 4 short movies as a producer and art director.
- Our first inspiration has been the artist Anselm Kiefer. We love the way he works with fabrics.
- We are preparing a collaboration with a great artist we love. Secret for now!
- One of our most magical experiences was our trip to Shanghai last July for Louis Vuitton. We had the best time.
- We have an instagram account on grazia.it follow us! tineluisa_grazia_it
'I met this beautiful girl. When you meet beautiful women you can either be really jealous and hate them or be a little more grown up, put that aside and become insanely inseparable friends.'
Imagine, on your birthday, being treated to a trip to Rome for the day; lunch at the very famous L'Enoteca Cul de Sac Cafe, and then spending the afternoon leisurely chatting to two extraordinarily creative and super funny best friends Antonine Peduzzi and Luisa Orsini - founders of handbag design company TL180.
Well this was how my birthday unfolded, it was all only possible because of my own extraordinarily creative, super funny business partner Jools. She planned the whole day.
Jools is intensely passionate, rather dramatic, determined, hilariously funny (actually she gets thrown out of establishments for disturbing the peace with her laugh!), so considered and thoughtful, not so great with her diary but one of the best instinctive photographers I have ever worked with. And in many ways quite the opposite to me, which does lead to the occasional moments where I am sure we would like to strangle each other, but 95% of the time we have the perfect collaboration.
So as I listen to these two young business partners excitedly discuss how they created their brand, what they love about working together and what drives them nuts about each other, I can’t help but reflect on my own partnership, and smile.Read More
TL180's Italian tips:
1. BEING TWO YOUNG CREATIVES IN ROME – WHAT PART OF ROME MOST INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
The one you know - only if you live there. Rome is not only the stunning city everybody knows.. there is also an exciting underground spirit.
2. WHAT ARE THE FIVE THINGS EVERY VISITOR TO ROME MUST DO/SEE?
A) Have lunch on the beach at Fregene.
B) A car by night around city.
C) A walk in Portaportese on Sunday morning.
D) A drink at Jerry Thomas.
E) Have a nice ice cream at Fassi after spending the morning touring the Fori Imperiali.
3. FOR AN AFTERNOON OF SHOPPING WHERE WOULD YOU GO? ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR BOUTIQUES IN ROME YOU LOVE?
We would recommend the vintage shops in Via del governo vecchio and also in Monti.
4. WHERE IS THE PERFECT SPOT FOR AN APERITIVO?
5. IF YOU ARE GOING FOR DINNER WITH FRIENDS – DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE RESTAURANT?
6. FOR A WEEKEND ESCAPE, CLOSE TO ROME – WHERE DO YOU HEAD TO? CAN YOU SUGGEST ANYWHERE TO STAY?
'Celebrating designer of the month Tomas Maier'
Since becoming creative director of Bottega Veneta in 2001, Tomas Maier has transformed the brand into one of the most successful outliers in the industry. With a focus on craftsmanship and new technologies, the brand has stepped into the 21st century with timeless appeal.
Maier has a love of detail and subtlety. He has a no-logo vision for the brand; he believes in a sophisticated luxury. The brand is renowned for its incredible attention to detail and its ability to create 'pretty' with a suggestive, dark edge – woven leather work, intricate stitching, fine-art inspired patterning and embellishments.
An Affair with Italy were thrilled to shoot this seasons Bottega Veneta looks; a brand we have come to admire for its ability to create art that is so damn wearable.
Go to Designer of the Month to see more.
- I was born in Sydney Australia to an Italian father and English mother.
- I lived in Rome for a year at age 15 and have loved Italy ever since.
- I started working for Qantas at age 19 and from there started a life full of travel.
- I moved to France in 1990 where I lived for 10 years running a highly successful Bed and Breakfast.
- In 2000, I returned to Australia and lived in three different states where I worked in the Indigenous arts sector as well as fashion and 5 star hotels.
- I started my writing career in the early 2000's, writing freelance articles on travel, human interest and interior decor.
- My first travel memoir "Ma Folie Francaise" was published in 2008.
- In 2010, 2011 and 2012 I spent many months in Italy researching a biography on my father's life. I also ran a 5 star Bed and Breakfast in Bruges Belgium for three months.
- In 2012, I completed a collaborative work with composer/musician Andrea Cutri in Sardinia. It is a modern opera called "Eterno Divenire" or "Eternal" and I am the official lyricist of the English version.
- I also started an export/import business, Sharden Concept Inex, with a Sardinian business partner. Our first products will be launched in Italy mid 2013.
- In March 2013 my second travel memoir "Club Mauranges" will be launched and I am also working on a screenplay based on all my autobiographical works.
- I am moving to Cagliari Sardinia in May 2013 where I plan to reside and work at least 6 months a year...hoping it becomes full-time in the near future.
'I'd lost myself in my marriage... as a young person I knew I was reasonably clever but as an adult I never used my mind the way I should have. Writing to me has been a rebirth. It makes me feel like super woman, that I can do anything. It's been the catalyst for me believing in myself.'
It’s hard to imagine that the attractive and confident, accomplished author and lyricist sitting before me, leisurely sipping a cup of coffee, has been through a great deal of trauma in her adult life – pain which she says she doesn’t want to dwell on. Could this really be the same Marisa Raoul who struggled with a debilitating autoimmune disease for years, leaving her depressed and bed bound for long periods? The same Marisa Raoul who a few years back came face to face with the excruciating reality that her 23 year marriage was over? The same Marisa Raoul who never quite understood her place in the world? But then again I don’t think I have ever met a successful writer who hasn’t experienced pain or been forced to delve into the depths of their own being and grapple with the demons they find there. That’s what makes them special, and Marisa is certainly special.
I ask Marisa: “How did you get into writing?”Read More
Marisa's Italian tips:
Although I have thousands of favourite places, foods, shops and cultural sites all over Italy that I could mention, I have concentrated on Sardinia, where my passion lies...
1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SHOPPING DESTINATION IN SARDINIA?
INTRECCI Via Regina Margherita 63 Cagliari Tel: +39 0703328708
This contemporary, gallery style boutique showcases some of the most gorgeous, artisan made homewares and individually styled pieces of jewellery as well as fabulous "one-off" designer dresses and clothing items. I found the most beautiful wedding dress I think I've ever seen in this store...not for sale sadly, as the designer couldn't bare to part with it. It reminded me of the skin of a mermaid encrusted with shells and pearls. Most of the garments are contemporary pieces based on traditional regional costumes but with totally modern twists. They are made with handmade and hand-woven fabrics making each piece truly unique. So worth a visit even just to stand and stare.
2. WHERE WOULD YOU TAKE FRIENDS FOR A DRINK OR A MEAL?
SU PROCCIU Portico San Antonio 3 Cagliari Tel: +39 070650643
Luigi the restaurant's owner has several speciality restaurants in Cagliari all serving true regional and island fare but this restaurant is my favourite. It is a little hidden (which add to its intimate ambiance) under a portico between the bustling Via Manno and a tiny square where the Youth Hostel sits. Even though the portico is cool and quite romantic, it's the interior dining space that I love with its fabulous mosaic floors, curved ceilings and ancient roman brick archways. Although the restaurant prides itself on its fish dishes the meat and pasta dishes are equally as good and great value for money. I'm afraid I can't go past the Pasta con Bottarga e vongole (bottarga and clams) and when in the season, the pasta con ricci (sea urchin).
ENO Ristorante Vineria Bar Vico Carlo Felice 10/12 Cagliari Tel: +39 0706848243
This restaurant/wine bar has a relaxed atmosphere and it's a lovely place for a light lunch with daily lunch specials at only 12euro for 2 courses. Dinner here is also a very relaxed affair but the modern Sardinian dishes are tasty and a little different. The wine choice is fabulous with over 200 local and Italian wines to chose from. They also offer great value summer "tourist" menus with speciality dishes at fabulous prices.
3. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BEACHES?
Sardinia is globally renowned for its amazing crystal clear turquoise waters and pristine coasts and beaches, however, most foreigners seem aware of the Costa Smeralda in the north but know very little about the fabulous south and west coast beaches, which are equally as beautiful but much quieter.
A) My all time favourite is PORTO SA RUXI on the south-east coast just 30 minutes from Cagliari. This stunning beach has great amenities so you can stay all day and eat under the shade of the Juniper trees at the little stone outdoor cafe.
B) Just another 10 minutes along the coast is VILLASIMIUS another fabulous coastal village with fantastic beaches and a very lovely marina.
C) Definitely check out PORT GIUNCO beach and if you're feeling energetic climb to the top of the point and sit under the bronze age tower, you will not be disappointed for your efforts.
D) To the west of Cagliari try CHIA and a little further TEULADA beaches, both gorgeous with some of the most turquoise waters you'll ever see.
E) If you have the time and access to a car, drive north along the west coast to Cabras, the home of Bottarga and visit the white quartz beaches of the Sinis Peninsula especially, IS ARUTAS, MAIMONI and MARI ERMI. They are amazing but don't be tempted to steal the quartz stones...they are listed as a national treasure.
If you love coral like I do, Sardinia is one of the best places I've ever found for buying coral jewellery. Local Sardinian coral is the deep red which I love and although now very rare, the prices here are better than anywhere else in Italy from what I have seen. Just be careful not be tricked by the coral-composites that look incredibly real.
'Street style by Lauren Michelle'
As the world's top fashion editors, buyers and bloggers hit the streets of Milan, I was ready in sub zero temperatures to capture their elegance and style before they attended some of the most coveted shows of the season; such as Roberto Cavalli, Gucci and Prada.
To see more go to Milan Fashion Week, Street Style.
'at Cerrone, Leichhardt'
On Friday evening February 22nd, An Affair with Italy guests arrived at the secret location - diamond and luxury jewellery house, Cerrone - to be greeted by Nick and Carmela Cerrone and their wonderful staff. Guests were invited to explore the stunning showroom and choose a piece of jewellery to wear for the evening. The excitement was contagious; the evening began with a brilliant energy.
To find out more about the dinner, the incredible meal served by Stefano Manfredi and to see photos of the night go to Manfredi Pop Up Dining Experience.