Christmas in July: Giveaway-Shopping Spree in Italy

Gondola Jam

As part of my Christmas in July celebration, I am taking you to Italy!  To do a little sight-seeing (with the help of my friend Avital Pinnick) and to do a little shopping at EtsyItalia! The winner of my "Christmas in July giveaway - Italian shopping spree" will get to spend $30.00 in any of the EtsyItalia shops listed below and in addition, I am picking up the cost of shipping.

All the shops included here feature beautiful items "hand made in Italy", and were chosen because each one of the owners was kind enough to take the time and make the effort to share stories and images of their own personal hand made nativities (Precepi) for me to share with my readers on Gingerbreadsnowflakes last December.  

Find the post here. (If you missed it, you might want to pop over!)

And extra special thanks to Avital Pinnick who has kindly allowed me to illustrate this post with her images.  The image above: "Gondola Jam" by Avital Pinnick

Colored Houses of Burano

Image: "Colored houses of Burano" by Avital Pinnick

To enter to win the "giveaway-shoppng spree", simply leave a comment on this post and answer this question: if you were to actually visit Italy, what would be most important to you to visit - place, region, museum, city, statue, buildingÂ…. Dream a little!  Why not?  it's Christmas in July!!

All entries must be posted by midnight PST on July 20th. The shopping spree is open to everyone - including internationals!

Ponto Vecchio, Florence

Image: Ponto Vecchio, Florence by Avital Pinnick

Please! Enter! And in so doing help me support and appreciate friends who have been so willing to share a part of their own personal Christmas celebrations on Gingerbreadsnowflakes.

Florence Duomo

Image: "Florence Duomo" by Avital Pinnick

But before we go shopping, won't you join me on a splendid virtual tour of Italy - through the eyes of Avital Pennick. Her images are spectacular! The next best thing to visiting in person!

I am so grateful to Avital for allowing me to share a few samples of her images from Italy in this post. But don't stop here!!!  There is so much more to see!!! View her slide show here! And I highly recommend you take the time to visit the entire collection here.

Every time I visit Avital's collection of images I truly feel as if I am right there next to her at the moment she pressed the shutter release. Using the word spectacular to describe her images is seriously insufficient!"

And FYI - she is in the process of curating her images from a recent trip to Dublin and Manchester. You can see the newest additions to the gallery on her blog "This and That" right here, or at Flickr - Dublin here and Manchester here.

San Gimignano, Torre Grossa

Image: "San Gimigamo, Torre Grossa" by Avital Pinnick

And now sip a glass of wine and treat yourself to a little shopping! Visit all the shops below! You will be glad you did!

Frederica's shop "fredrica creations" is a wonderland of adorable felt creations!  You will find the cutest tic tac toe game ever, precious owl bags for little girls, sweet, sweet, sweet felt baby shoes, crochet earrings and even original art!

Paola can be found at her shop "atelierpompadour" - also known as plush stuffed animal heaven"!  Right now bunches of clever, whimsical stuffed felt mice seem to have taken over the shop! And each one is wearing a stylish little hand made outfit!  

Roberta creates lampwork and hollow glass bead and aluminum jewelry. Every simgle piece is a work of art! No two alike and each one more beautiful than the last. Visit her shop "amabito" - like me, you will probably find at least ten items you don't want to live without!!! 

Marta is a macreme magician!!!  And in her shop "Utilart Macrame", you will find macrame like you might never have seen it before!!!  I do not remember seeing anything this creative and beautiful during the Macrame Era!!  Her errings are tiny works of art and the tropical fish - OMG!

In Margherita's shop "little daisy and company" you will find patterns to knit and crochet and lovely hand made items including tunisian crochet belts, crocheted orgami cranes and sweet little hand bags. Be sure to check out her patterns for wonderfully unique three dimensional crochet flowers.   

Christina specializes in making stunning, brightly colorful Geometric Wood Jewelry and unique little ACEO Floral Illustrations ( ACEO stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals - a tiny card art that you can collect, gift or trade with others collectors.) Your eyes will be happy you ventured into her shop, "Lettera Sy"

Enter Silvia's shop, "Madame Renard" to find an eclectic collection of unique and beautiful items created from fabric - often recycled! Silvia loves to embroider and many items are embellished with embroidery including sweet little wallets and tiny star ornaments.  And if you are into one of a kind clutches and bags - this is the place to shop!!! 

If you are enchanted by miniatures - especially those of you with dollhouses in the family - you will want to visit Roberta in her shop "Mairi Tales". Her miniatures are unlike any you have seen before - each tiny, precious and hand made.  Think: 'shabby chic butterfly wreath', 'Tillandsia air plant', 'Lavender beauty basket', 'Crystal ball' and 'Custard pie'!!

Diana is into felting!  And when visiting her shop "Diacraft" it is obvious that she is a very skilled felt maker, and she has a delightful sense of humor!  My particular favorites - her amusing little owls and clever little kitty cats with big bobble eyes!  Be sure to check out her gorgeous white felt planters - they are on sale!!

Thank you for for taking the time to enter the shopping spree! And for visiting the EtsyItalia Shops and enjoying Avital's brilliant photography.

One of the things I enjoy the MOST about blogging is sharing the work and talent of others I meet in the blogisphere.  

Happy Christmas in July!

I would love to ride in the

I would love to ride in the countryside on horseback. Also visit the glass making and art areas!

I would love to go to Venice

I would love to go to Venice during the carnival!

I am an art teacher so I

I am an art teacher so I would love to see all the art works!

If I were lucky enough to get

If I were lucky enough to get to Italy, my first place to visit would be the ancient coleseums. Second would be the museums - any of them. The entire country has so many area to explore and discover their wonderful secrets. If my dream would actually come true, some amazing Italian woman would take me into her home and teach me her cooking secrets. All the pastas, desserts, everything! Sight-seeing and enjoying the gorgeous Italian men would just be an extra pleasure to indulge in.
Thank you for allowing us to day-dream for a few moments out of our dreary day, and to have this contest to hope to win. Your site is the best ever!

This post makes me want to go

This post makes me want to go to Italy again - it's been more than ten years since the last time I was there, and it is one place I definitely want to visit again. I love Rome, Venice, Cinque Terre...all of it.

I would love to be able to

I would love to be able to visit Venice!
Thanks for hosting this give-away!

Definitely the art museums!

Definitely the art museums! How I would absolutely LOVE to go there--someday! ;) Thanks so much!

Lovely photos. If I ever get

Lovely photos. If I ever get to go to Italy I woul want to go to Rome, Venice, and Murano.

My Mom got diagnosed with

My Mom got diagnosed with lung cancer Oct 11/12. She began her bucket list right away. The #1 thing she put on her list 1.Kiss on a gondola in Venice! When she passed away a couple weeks ago on June 20/13 at the age of 54, she did not get to accomplish many of her goals. My 4 year old daughter and I were looking through her things. We found her list with a note asking me to please finish it and do as many of them as possible. So that's what my 4 year old, Rowyn, my 7 month old little girl, Sydney and my amazing husband and I are going to do! P.S I love your blog it really inspires me:)

When we went to Rome, in

When we went to Rome, in 2000, we visited the Forum over and over. We sat on the broken columns and imagined we were seeing Nero, Paul and others walk down the street. If I were to go to Italy, the Forum would again be my first stop. However, I would make time to go inside some more of the museums this time.

I love your website! This

I love your website! This post is very dear to my heart. My first visit to Italy was in the mid-80's with my parents. The 2nd was my honeymoon in '89. And the 3rd was my 20th anniversary a few years ago with my children. We visited every place you have shown today. I met so many wonderful, warm, friendly shop, restaurant owners, staff in hotels, tour guides, etc. etc. I didn't want to leave. I told those special people I am going to try to go back for my 25th anniversary and we stillactually email back and forth. the sites are magnificent but all of the people we met who welcomed us with open arms and hearts and who were as sad to see us leave as we were to go are the ones I want to go back and see!

Italy is on my "must go"

Italy is on my "must go" list. I make fused glass, so I'm eager to go to Venice and Murano to see all the glass.

I visited Italy for the first

I visited Italy for the first time 6 years ago, and would love to return.

What one thing would I want to see/do? Cinque Terre. And eat lots of Gelato, of course.

Thank you for the beautiful

Thank you for the beautiful photos and the tips on the great EtsyItalia shops! The most important place for me to visit in Italy would be Assisi. I would want to go there at a time that I could see the full moon rise. Nikos Kazantzakis has a wonderful description of moon-rise over Assisi in his novel on St. Francis. I would like to see it and feel it for myself.

I won this last year, it was

I won this last year, it was so much fun! A beautiful handmade item from Italy! You're so wonderful for hosting this giveaway!

When I went to Italy, my favorite city was Venice. I love the scale of the old cities and there were amazing buildings and sculptures, made of all sorts of different marbles. So many artisans, was really interesting to learn about the people, for instance the sculptures of the stations of the cross on the outside of the cathedral were made because most people couldn't read and they could "read" the story by looking at the sculptures.

Thanks for the slide shows, beautiful country.

Oh the pictures made me feel

Oh the pictures made me feel as if I were right back in Italy! Beautiful!! I love visiting all of the churches - the structures and the art are just unbelievable!

If I went to Italy I'd have

If I went to Italy I'd have to go walk as much of the Via Appia Antica as possible, and think about all the people who walked the road before me, all the history involved!

When we went to Pisa, we must

When we went to Pisa, we must have stopped at every ice cream seller! Might be able to fit in a few of the amazing buildings in between tastings! I love Italy!