I have been in a Florence now for 21 months.  The first year was about getting familiar to my new country, my neighborhood, new lifestyle and new friends.  When you have worked most of your life it does take sometime to get adjusted to not working on a regular basis.  I love it here and I know I made the right decision for Zoe and I. 

About 9 months ago I decided I wanted to Find products for my retail clients in California. I love the hunt and this is the perfect place.  It went very well so I intend to do more of it this year and I will be posting about that at a later date.

I also decided I wanted to get involved In some charity work. I have a nice life and am very grateful for being able to do what I want.  I don’t want to become self-centered and selfish.

After talking to some friends and acquaintances I found AILO. The American International League of Florence is a charitable organization, based in Florence.  It was founded in 1975 and its members come from all parts of the world.

AILO’s mission is to contribute to community well-being through programs of social assistance and fundraising for charity within the city of Florence. It was exactly what I was looking for.

Funds are mainly raised through the annual Christmas Bazaar held on the first weekend In December.

At the time of the Bazaar I had just joined so I cannot take any credit for the hard work that these ladies did in the part year.

But what I could do is go and do some shopping.  This table is all about our four legged friends, which I am happy to say are very much loved in Italy.

All the baked good were homemade by various members. One of the members, Begga, made 750 cookies.  I can confirm first hand they were delicious. I bought several packs to take as hostess gifts but they never left my house.





This is Judi Roselle-Cecconi the president of AILO and santa is her husband .  I am so impressed by all of the board members who work very hard but also want everyone to have a good time.  



The clothes are the big hit of the bazaar thanks to Roberta Magni who does an unbelievable job throughout the yearsorting and storing them in her apartment.

This cute guy makes beautiful things out of olive wood and I bought a beautiful piece.


Before Christmas AILO has a dinner at the American Consulate that I was excited to go to. 

The security to get in was long and thorough but it was worth it.  




BJ is a member of AILO also from California and Victor is my buddy who moved here last September.

Always ready for a persecco.  Love his green coat.

They look so elegant.

Always look up for a nice treat.

Two wonderful ladies that I am so happy to know, both board members who inspire me in so many ways .Begga Leifsdottir on the left takes care of community service and through her I have gotten involved with Caritas. It’is a Catholic charity that feeds the needy everyday of the year.  Go once a month and I am so happy to be there.

Roberta I mentioned earlier as the women who takes care of the clothes at the bazaar. She also host a fun event every month called Night Owl.



Begga with her beautiful daughter and handsome husband. 


Consul General Benjamin Wohlauser who is the Honorary a President Of AILO gave a nice speech welcoming us to the evening event as well as praising AILO for all their good work. Maria Terese Medri is our Vice President and past President.