Florence, Italy, is one of my favorite places in Europe, steeped in history and abundant in unique architecture and amazing details. The Ponte Vecchio (“old bridge”, pictured above) was built in 1345 and spans the Arno River at its narrowest spot. The bridge still has the shops built along its sides. This was common practice, but whereas butchers once occupied these spaces they are primarily jewelers and art dealers today. It is a bit touristy, but the bridge is a must-see, and every time I am in Florence I cross it several time a day. Traveling and exploring the great cities of the world has a profound influence on my design style. The experiences with the art, architecture, and culture of these unique places shape how I express myself artistically. I am constantly peeking around the next corner, searching for I am not exactly sure what, but all of this genuine curiosity has produced a wealth of impressions which have served as fuel for my designs. The variety of textures, shapes, and colors are fascinating and can be found in many of my travel inspired collections. — Christopher A Florence Gallery An enormous concentration of wealth and a convergence of some of history’s greatest minds made Florence one of the Renaissance’s most important cities. Art, science, politics, business… almost ever aspect of modern western culture has roots in 14th-16th century Florence. Opera was one of its final innovations from the period, invented there in the late 1590s. Today Florence attracts history buffs and art students who are drawn by both the city’s architecture and by the myriad treasures displayed in museums such as the Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace, and Galleria dell’Academia. Food lovers flock to Florence to savor regional fare from bistecca alla Fiorentina or wild boar ragù to schiacciata and gelato. My Florence Designs Fashion Designs Most of Florence is much older than Paris. This age reveals itself in heavily textured stucco walls and the pitted, wrought-iron transoms common in the city. This difference quickly found its way into pieces like Porte d’Italia, whose design was taken directly from one of those transoms. The quatrefoil is a common embellishment on Renaissance building. I used it as the foundation for the Bella Italia design. Bridal Designs Petite designs, many with diamond halos, typify the Bella Italia bridal collection. Optional engraving depicts architectural details from Florence and Venice. Click here to view our Italy-inspired bridal Collection, Bella Italia. Custom Designs Has Florence inspired you? Turn your own memories into a unique jewelry design with help from our custom design team. Learn more about creating a custom travel-inspired ring here. Shop — Inspiration: Florence Exploring Italy has found me in many places outside of Florence. These designs draw their inspirations from those other locations, from Capri to Milan.