Book Review: Big Miracles by Joanna Garzilli… jewelry in Florence, Italy

78369de7-95b5-49a6-b8e6-ddbc79271ef3A few days ago I was at the bookstore. It’s my favorite place to be besides browsing jewelry shop windows in Italy. When my children were young, if we were in Florence, of course, I would have to look at the jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio. My younger daughter would tell me, “Mama, promise, no looking in the windows, we are going for gelato.”

This is funny, because if any of you have been to Florence and have walked across the Ponte Vecchio, you KNOW it is IMPOSSIBLE to walk across the bridge and not look at jewelry. All the shops sell jewelry. The bridge is glittering in white, yellow and rose gold!

I would kid her that she was half Italian, jewelry was in her DNA. One day, I might be telling her not to look in the windows. As she gave me a scowl, I would give a grin and say, “I promise, I will do my BEST to walk in the middle of the road.” See photo, I did a zig zagging walk across the bridge. Can you picture it?  Look in one window to the right, have her pull me to the center, then go to the left, look in one window, have her pull me to the center! It was most amusing.

43a807e3-0894-4785-9fce-bc9248d95e75Guess what – NOW, she is at the age where she sends me photos of jewelry she likes. I KNEW this would happen!

Back to the bookstore. As it is a new year, there was a table full of motivational / spiritual types of books. Browsing through them, I found this book about “Big Miracles,” by Joanna Garzilli.

It’s a book about connecting with your Spirit. One thing she brought up, which I had never heard of, was experiencing the “dark night of the soul.” She talks about when she experienced this period and soon after met her husband. She explains that “the dark night of the soul,” is when we are going through a period of hopelessness/despair, it’s not depression, we are low, but somehow we know we must rid ourselves of negativity, so we can move toward happiness. She spoke about uncontrollable crying and illness that wouldn’t go away. She realized later that her soul was releasing the part of her that felt unlovable, because shortly after this she met her future husband.

She has some interesting insights. I think with each book we read, we gain a little more knowledge that helps us in self discovery, focusing on our vision and destiny in life. Some years we are right on target, other years it is slow moving and then suddenly it seems our hard work pays off and we are catapulted into the happiness and success we have been focusing on.

Life, it’s not easy, but if we focus on the goal — WE GET THERE!

The Bridge of Gold

imageThis week I was talking to a few people about my trip to Italy. They were asking me what I saw and I jokingly said, “Well, I was on the bridge of gold.”  As they have not been to Florence, they did not know about the Ponte Vecchio. This reminded me of my arrival to San Francisco years ago when someone pointed to a reddish/orange bridge and said, “There is the Golden Gate Bridge.”  WHAT?  It’s orange, I thought. I had envisioned something totally different, so it was a bit of a let down for sure.

Luckily, I had a few pictures of gold shops to show them. One was a really good photo of the Rolex store. I had been standing on the Ponte Vecchio watching the tourists go by when I happened to look up and see this little glass window with the Rolex logo. What an elegant and clever marketing idea!

imageRight now, gold is at an all time high at over $1,200 an ounce. It was interesting to compare what they were selling now on the bridge from jewelry styles a few years ago.

I spoke to a German woman who lives in Florence and works at one of the jewelry shops. She said because gold is so expensive right now they have to make what will sell and that means jewelry that is lighter in weight and hollow inside. She had me feel the weight of an older bracelet versus the new styles. There was no comparison. I told her it is the same with clothes and purses. Designers cut corners, so that leather is thinner and clothes have no lining. This is the new way.

Oh, I have to share with you a sculpture of a man riding a turtle. When I walked into the Piazza della Signoria I noticed immediately this gold looking sculpture. It was really beautiful. Sounds like the artist has it on display for a few months. The sculpture is by Jan Fabre, “Searching for Utopia,” silicon bronze, 2003.

I leave you with YOUR thoughts on this sculpture…

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