The shop is called Marilou and it’s located on a small square in Panzano in Chianti, Tuscany, and it’s so small that if you’re driving too fast, you’ll miss it. Annalisa and her mom run the place but it’s usually her mom actually manning the store because Annalisa and her crew of creatives take care of decorating villas and castles in the area for weddings during the long, Tuscan summer wedding season.
Barely computerized, Annalisa writes her work down in a looseleaf notebook and she never overbooks. ‘One big wedding or two small ones is enough for me in one day’, she swears, and once the date is gone, it’s gone – so book her early!
Annalisa is too shy to hand flowers to the bride personally, she is set on getting her work done and having plenty of time for any last minute adjustments or changes – rarely the case as her work is flawless and of rare creative talent. A simple green table runner comes alive with fluff and fragrance, and every bouquet and boutonniere she makes match in elegance and simplicity.
‘I grew up in the middle of flowers, plants, all nature – just like a real Tuscan!’ And when you visit the area Annalisa lives in you realize how natural beauty becomes part of your soul. Panzano in Chianti is nicknamed the Golden Basin because the wide, amphitheater-shaped valley now covered in Chianti vineyards used to be covered in wheat, thus ‘golden’.