When it came time to shoot our Italian-inspired collection, we tapped stylist, producer and author Annette Joseph. The multi-hyphenate has been spending time in Italy since she was a teen, including 12 years living on the Italian Riviera. She shares the culinary and entertaining knowledge she accrued during this time in her can’t-miss book Cocktail Italiano: The Definitive Guide to Aperitivo: Drinks, Nibbles, and Tales of the Italian Riviera. Today her family splits its time between the states and a medieval fortress in the Tuscany region (it’s exactly as romantic as it sounds). Annette has so much dolce vita experience in her repertoire, we were excited to get her take on our Italian-inspired collection and share how she enjoys summer’s lazy days the Italian way.
FG: What first attracted you to the Italian way of living?
AJ: It’s all explained in my memoir Italy is My Boyfriend, out in May 2020. I love the Italian ways of enjoying life. I like slow living; it’s all about family and friends, great unadulterated food and wine. They adore dogs and children, and appreciate beauty. I am OK generalizing this sentiment, because it’s the truth.
FG: What are key elements to styling an outdoor space that evokes the Italian Riviera?
AJ: I like to call it retro chic. It’s an elevated style, not rustic. Think glamour. Scallop umbrellas, retro colors, in blue, coral and white. Stripes and oversized handpainted pottery with tropical paints.
FG: What Italian-inspired cocktails, drinks and foods do you enjoy in the summer?
AJ: Always an Aperol Spritz, a charcuterie platter, and always potato chips. In Italy, potato chips are a standard aperitivo nibble.
FG: What can a lifestyle enthusiast expect from your Italian Workshops at La Fortezza?
AJ: Our workshops appeal to creatives and foodies alike. We offer a variety in the spring and fall, which also happen to be the best times to visit Italy. We always include cooking classes, like pasta making and cocktail making, during all of our workshops no matter the subject matter. Food is such a big part of Italian life, and the region we live in, northern Tuscany, has an amazing, rich food history. All guests stay onsite in our medieval fortress, and during the five-day stay, they see a unique side of Italy that they would not without our insider knowledge.
FG: What does a life well lived mean to you?
AJ: A life well lived means following your passion, living your dreams and sharing your life with people you love.
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