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Usually when I travel, I look forward to hunting for treasures. Sacred trinkets to remind me of the amazing places I've been. Often, this includes desirable antiques and enchanting charms that inspire my jewelry. But this past summer when my beloved husband Don (seventeen years together now!) and I went to Italy for an Alana Leigh business trip, it wasn’t just about the hunt. Instead, I was so overwhelmed by the magic of being there with the love of my life, relishing the splendor in each fairy tale glorious moment, that aside from my appointments, all I wanted to do was absorb my surroundings and surrender to the elevated state of being completely present to my inner spirit, to my husband, and to the beauty all around me, as if each moment might have been my last. 

This was a powerful, heartfelt experience to say the least, and the trip still lives on within me. As the memories settle, what I have realized is how I became illuminated by the ecstatic  colors of Italy. The penetrating warmth of crimson at sunset, the terra cotta hues of ancient villas , gold ochre and turquoise doorways, the accents of silvery sage cypress or the aquamarine of the Mediterranean, the worn, rich patina of old walls with layer upon layer of paint, in cities that speak countless stories of romance and history. All of these images come flooding back to me and energize and inspire my current creations. 

I've always been enamored with antiquities, and being in Italy so recently has re-awakened this passion. I've been experimenting with heavy gold regal embellishments, and exploring color combinations that evoke a fresh, sunshine-filled morning on my veranda in Portofino, with the boats and the twinkling, opalescent water below.

A passion of mine, aside from creating jewelry, is photography. The memories inside of me won't fade, but even if they do, I can always return to Italy right here in my heart and in these images I captured to share with you...

Images from left to right: Portofino, Italy; Lake Garda, Italy; Alana's inspired aquamarine Florentine stacking rings; Alana and husband Don on Lake Garda; Portofino, Italy; Alana's Mediterranian inspired pearl cluster enhancer.