Italian escape
Simply Crochet|Issue 118
Tuscany-based designer Kate Alinari offers a grand tour of a different kind – she organises retreats, lessons and walks around Florence for fellow crochet enthusiasts
Lucy Evans

Picture the scene – the stunning historical buildings of Florence, the best Italian food and the chance to crochet! How could you resist? Kate Alinari has taught and designed crochet for several years, and has herself been crocheting since she was a child. She runs a regular crochet group in Florence, and in 2019 she began Walking Wool, a guided tour of Florence for yarn lovers, and has more recently ventured into organising crochet retreats.

“With Walking Wool, participants discover the hidden gems and legends of the Medici town, walking around Florence with me and a certified tour guide,” Kate explains. “At the end of the walk we visit one of the oldest yarn shops in the city and crochet in a cafe with a breathtaking view!” She confesses that walking around Florence and sharing her passion for architecture, yarn and crochet is a dream come true. “I’m organising my first crochet retreat,” she adds. “I always dreamt of an event like this. It will be in spring 2022 in a magnificent old palace, close to Urbino. It’s a retreat for crocheters and yarn lovers – there’ll be crochet lessons, good food, visits to artisan workshops and evenings at the fireplace doing ‘one last round and I’ll go to bed’.”

CROCHET COMMUNITY

Crochet and yarn crafts are popular in Italy, and in Florence and nearby cities there are a lot of knitting and crocheting groups, free and open to everyone. The pandemic put pause to many, but Kate is pleased to report that groups are meeting again. “Since 2017 I’ve been running a monthly crochet group, hosted by a bookshop in front of Florence Cathedral. If you’re coming to Florence you can’t miss it; it’s a fantastic occasion to meet locals and fellow crocheters.”

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