Oh the quest for beads in Italy began far before my actual trip took place. I searched on the internet, asked friends and travelers, chatted on line with recent returning travelers and it was looking very grim for finding beads and bead stores in Italy. I finally just days before departure found one bead store in Florence which was our first stop. This is me looking very tired and wondering in hindsight why we forgot to take any photos inside while we selected and made our purchases.
These are the handmade lampwork beads the artist makes. I merely bought an assortment not knowing what I was going to do other than make jewelry pieces for my etsy shop. The shop owner and artist actually graciously fired up the torch and made me a bead on the spot. It is the black and white one in the photo at top of the group. I was trying to convince my husband to learn lampwork bead making as I am too fearful of fire and burning flesh to do it myself. I did not succeed with that request. LOL
Purchasing beads in a foreign country is a wonderful pursuit as it breaks up the constant visits to churches and museums. Also the beads are very easy to carry and don't add much weight to carry-ons. They also lighten the bank account as the prices can really soar especially with the very high Euro to US Dollar rates we experienced.
This necklace is the first item for "Adorn Me!" jewelry design line I am adding to etsy. Please check out http://createology.etsy.com/ for more information.
It is titled "Night Lights on the Arno" and the photo at the top is the inspiration for it.
It was a magical and wonderful trip to Italy and one I shall never forget. Oh I do wish I had purchased more beads than I did.