ciao-amalfi-la-selva-soap-positano-3

La Selva Handmade Soap from Positano

ciao-amalfi-la-selva-soap-positano-3

A gift box of 4 soaps from La Selva (Photo courtesy La Selva)

High in the mountains above Positano there is an enchanting place where you can experience the natural beauty, sights and scents of the Amalfi Coast in an untouched setting. That special place is called La Selva, and I’ve shared about it here before since it’s setting for Sole Yoga Holiday’s annual Positano Yoga Retreat. La Selva is the creation of Martha and Cristiano, who have worked hard to make a place that respects nature – and highlights it at the same time. This is perfectly encapsulated in Martha’s new line of handmade soaps. And, yes, you can order them online!

ciao-amalfi-la-selva-soap-positano-1

Handmade soap from Amalfi Coast grown lemons and olives (Photo courtesy La Selva)

I’m always on the lookout for locally produced crafts that capture essence of the Amalfi Coast. I’m also dedicated to living as natural as possible on a daily basis, which is a continual evolution and wonderful journey. This summer while at La Selva for the Positano Yoga Retreat, I was excited to learn that Martha had created her own line of soaps. I had the pleasure to sit down with her and learn more about the process while I was there. The soaps are made with local olive oil from the first cold press along with other natural oils. Walking around La Selva, a meandering pathway leads through a beautiful terraced olive grove. Everywhere you look are the beautiful natural plants and herbs that Martha uses to make her soaps.

positano-yoga-retreat-11

La Selva’s olive grove overlooking Positano with the Li Galli islands in the distance

In fact, the soaps are all natural and include traditional Mediterranean scents like lemon, orange, mint and rosemary. Ingredients are all sustainably sourced and the soaps are produced in small batches completely by hand using a “cold process” technique before being air cured and hand cut.

ciao-amalfi-la-selva-soap-positano-4

Hand cut soap drying (Photo courtesy La Selva)

There are a variety of scents to choose from: Limone e Oliva (Lemon and Olive), Agrumi (Citrus), Menta e Rosemarino (Mint and Rosemary), Propoli e Miele (Propolis and Honey), Iperico e Tea Tree (St. John’s Wort and Tea Tree) and Mirto e Arancia (Blueberry and Orange). I’ve tried out three of the soaps above and love them all. I’m excited to try out the new Lemon and Olive oil soap this winter!

ciao-amalfi-la-selva-soap-positano-2

Lemon and Olive oil handmade and all natural soap (Photo courtesy La Selva)

If you love the Amalfi Coast and natural products, this is the soap for you! You can find out more and order directly online from Martha at the La Selva Positano Cosmetici Naturali Facebook page.

ciao-amalfi-dadini-atrani

Dadini – Jewelry Inspired by the Amalfi Coast

ciao-amalfi-dadini-atrani

The Amalfi Coast is endlessly inspiring to me. Whether I’m writing or out taking photographs, there’s always something that I’m trying to capture to share or remember. I love seeing how this beautiful landscape inspires so many different types of artists. When I spotted Dadini, a local jewelry company started by Salerno native Alessandra Sessa, the influence of the Amalfi Coast in her lovely designs made me smile. What a beautiful idea! Dadini was inspired by the colors and emotions of the Amalfi Coast and, of course, the strong tradition of ceramics in the area. Each majolica cube has a design that reflects the Amalfi Coast – the blue of the sea, multi-colored homes, yellow lemons and the intricate tiles you’ll find all up and down the coast.

ciao-amalfi-dadini-4

Many of the colorful designs in their Amalfi Coast Collection are even named after towns along the Amalfi Coast, like the Positano, Ravello or Conca dei Marini. All the designs are charming, but it will come as no surprise that my favorite is the Amalfi! I have my eye on a few other designs to add to my collection, which I know will grow. How can you resist these colorful little designs?

ciao-amalfi-dadini-2

I love the joy and color captured in Dadini’s designs and in everything they do. Just look at this video, which tells a charming story. On their website it says, “Once upon a time, there was a Dadini that traveled along the Amalfi Coast from Vietri sul Mare to Positano, along the way meeting other Dadini to create a colorful bracelet.” What a fun little visual story!

 

 

Curious to find out more? Visit Dadini.com to see all their designs. You can order from the website and get free shipping in Italy, but they also ship worldwide. Add a touch of Amalfi Coast charm to your look this summer with the colors and design of Dadini!

_______

Disclosure: Dadini very kindly sent me the necklace featured in this blog post, which was a lovely surprise! However, the opinions in this blog post are entirely my own. I love supporting and sharing about local companies and small businesses. Shop local and support artists whenever you can!

Kasia Dietz Handbags Amalfi

My New Kasia Dietz Handbag in Amalfi

Kasia Dietz Handbags Paris

I’m a firm believer that there no such thing as too many bags. I have old bags, new bags, weird bags, colorful bags, plain bags. Whatever the shape or style, they all remind me of something or often some place. When I travel, I often bring home a bag as a souvenir, which is always a happy memory while out shopping or going about day to day life.

When I first happened across Kasia Dietz on Instagram, her beautiful Paris photos and handbag designs immediately caught my eye. When I had the pleasure to meet up with her in person earlier this year in Paris, I discovered she is just as lovely! I enjoyed sharing Paris and Italy travel experiences, and of course I couldn’t leave Paris without one of her handbags.

20160618-DSC_0579

Although Kasia has many beautiful lines of handbags inspired by travel destinations around the world, I couldn’t resist bringing home the 75007 hand printed bag. Although not the most obvious, which is why I love it, the number will probably only be familiar to travelers who have spent time in Paris. 75007 is the zip code for the 7th arrondissement, which is my favorite neighborhood in Paris. I love this bag for traveling since it folds flat and doesn’t take up space in my suitcase.

Just had to share one of my favorite new bags and highly recommend you pop over to check out Kasia’s beautiful handbags – designed and made in Paris! Find out more here: www.kasiadietz.com

5 Holiday Gifts for Amalfi Coast Lovers

Amalfi Coast Holiday Gift Guide

December has arrived! It’s that time of year to make your holiday shopping list, check it twice and find special gifts for your loved ones. If you have someone on your list who loves the Amalfi Coast, here are a few ideas — big and small — to put a little piece of this beautiful place in Italy under your Christmas tree. If that person is you, then here’s a list you can oh so subtly share to, ahem, get the point across. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season from the Amalfi Coast!

 

Last Voyage of the Valentina

Last Voyage of the Valentina Santa Montefiore

Recently re-released with a gorgeous new cover, Santa Montefiore’s novel Last Voyage of the Valentina is a mesmerizing read for anyone who enjoys getting lost in a good story and a beautiful landscape – all at once. Originally published in 2005, the new release has shot to number 4 on the Sunday Times Bestsellers List. Yes, it’s that great of a story! Find out more about Last Voyage of the Valentina here.

 

Gelato Sisterhood on the Amalfi Shore

Take a trip along the Amalfi Coast with Chantal Kelly in her lovely book Gelato Sisterhood on the Amalfi Shore. Chantal beautifully interweaves history and sightseeing tips with stories of her travels leading small group tours in Campania and on the Amalfi Coast. Informative, fun and with plenty of gelato … what’s not to love?  Find out more about Gelato Sisterhood on the Amalfi Shore here.

 

Amalfi Coast Travel Essentials App

Amalfi Coast Travel Essentails

Rome based writer Gillian Longworth McGuire’s handy app Amalfi Coast Travel Essentials is a great stocking stuffer for the Amalfi Coast lovers on your list. A fabulous deal at only $2.99, it’s packed full of great tips for shopping, sightseeing and accommodation on the Amalfi Coast and Capri from an insider. Find out more about the Amalfi Coast Travel Essentials App here.

 

Sole Yoga Retreat in Positano

Sole Yoga Holidays Positano Rretreat

If you have any yoga lovers that you want to spoil with, well, seriously the best present ever, then a yoga retreat on the Amalfi Coast it is! Sole Yoga Holidays has put together a gorgeous yoga retreat based in a glorious spot high in the mountains above Positano. Expand your yoga practice while also exploring the Amalfi Coast and enjoying the finest aspects of area, including locally grown fresh food, hiking on the Amalfi Coast, a boat tour and great fun along the way.  Find out more about the Sole Yoga’s Positano Yoga Retreat here.

 

The Mamma Agata Cookbook

mamma-agata-cookbook

An Amalfi Coast icon and one of the most popular cooking schools, the Mamma Agata Simple and Genuine cookbook is a wonderful resource for recreating the traditional recipes of the Amalfi Coast in your home. All the recipes have photos of the steps making them easy to follow, and the cookbook shares the stories of Mamma Agata and her family as told by her daughter Chiara Lima. They also sell a selection of beautiful products, too! Find out more about the Mamma Agata Cookbook here.

 

Criscuolo Arte e Bijoux in Amalfi

Over the quiet winter months many shopowners take advantage of the down time to rearrange, redecorate or repaint their shops to have them looking great when the spring season begins. I was very excited to see the work that my friend Michelangelo and his family had done in their lovely shop called Criscuolo Arte e Bijoux. For weeks the windows were covered on the inside with paper, and peeking inside I saw some major redesigning going on. When they reopened this spring, I was thrilled to see that they had created a beautiful gallery space highlighting the work of the artist Luca Mancini and with beautiful jewelry and ceramics dotted throughout the store. On a sunny day recently, I stopped by and snapped a few photos to share.

Luca Mancini is an artist from the province of Asti in northwest Italy who has lived and worked extensively on the Amalfi Coast. With fine detail and intense colors, his paintings really do capture the beauty of the Amalfi Coast. His stylistic range is quite varied, from a dreamy and hazy feel to paintings so finely detailed I had to look closely to make sure they weren’t phtoographs.

I found the jewelry displays quite beautiful and effective in their simplicity. I loved how the vibrant coral picked up the colors of Mancini’s paintings on display around.

The shop displays paintings by Luca Mancini and reproductions of his work carried out under his careful control. There is also a selection of jewelry and ceramics on display throughout the shop and in the window displays.

I love how memorabilia of Amalfi has been incorporated into the displays, including historic photos, cameras, postcards and some early printed publications about Amalfi.

You’ll find Criscuolo Arte e Bijoux on the main road as it goes through Amalfi in the pretty little Largo Scario with a fountain.

Warm wishes to Michelangelo and his lovely family for success in their new endeavor!