One of the things I love most about weddings is that they are a great excuse to wear a fabulous hat. And if it is an outdoor wedding, all the more reason for this red head to protect herself from the sun's harmful rays. I decided to pack a simple black maternity dress for our friends' Tuscan wedding (why waste good money on something I'll wear once) and splurge on a hat once we arrive in Italy. When I studied in Florence I for some really great hats so I was confident that I'd fall in love with something for the wedding. I further rationalized the purchase as saving myself from carting a hat there and back as well as it would be my souvenir.
There was a little bit of confusion between Mr. W and me in regards to our itinerary. I thought we'd fly into Florence, stay there for a few nights before we headed out to the villa. However the way the booking worked for the villa we'd have to go directly there and then switch to a hotel the day of the wedding. Not ideal. We wouldn't be staying in Florence until the end of the trip. That put a lot of pressure on me to map out where I could buy a hat rather than leisurely shopping for a few days prior to the wedding.
I bought my original Florentine hat, which looks like a white cake, at the department store Coin. My flatmate and I walked by this store everyday on our way to and from studio. I also found several delightful pairs of summer gloves there. Coin is in the middle of il Centro near Piazza della Signoria. I searched hat shops and milliners in Florence and discovered Grevi. I got so excited just looking at the hats photographed on their website. Their showroom is located close to Santa Maria Novella. I remembered that there was a public parking lot at the Santa Maria Novella train station. Our friends Mr. & Mrs. K, with whom we would be sharing the villa, were going to pick us up from the airport. I figured we could park at SMN and then walk from there.
The day we arrived I got worried, it was a Monday and I imagined there was a possibility that shops could be closed. I had no back up plan if I couldn't get a hat that day! We found Grevi without much difficulty. It was closed, but only for lunch. Such a relief. We were all hungry too so we walked over to Piazza della Repubblica because I remembered being a poor college student looking longingly at the diners in the restaurants around the piazza. All my happy memories of living in Florence came rushing back to me as we had our lunch. I really wished that Ms. HG had been able to make the trip; Italy wouldn't be the same without her. But, I was able to enjoy my pesto pasta nonetheless!
The wind was whipping around quite a bit during lunch and as soon as we finished our meal it started pouring. I'd packed an umbrella, but it was back in the car. We all decided that we didn't want to slog around in the downpour. So Coin was out. We rushed back to Grevi. So many wonderful hats inside. My only concern was that they were all pillboxes or _; for practical reasons I was hoping to find something with a large brim to keep me well shaded. Apparently big brimmed hats are out this season! I tried on a lot of hats and Mr. W, and Mr. & Mrs. K helped me decide upon one. It has 3 grosgrain rosettes and one big, raw silkbow on top and spotted netting. I don't have anything like it so I am very, very happy. I figured the flowers made it wedding-y.