Due to my work in Milan I have not had time to report on the lovely Jane Austen Society of Florence weekend. In one word it was 'fantastic'. My friends and I decided to take a holiday either side of the event. I thought the city of Florence itself was wonderful. The people were friendly and the atmosphere was amazing. We stayed near to the Pitti Palace in a historic palazzo. The event itself was lovely. Saturday night there was the Grand Ball in the Poggi Palace and Sunday was a relaxed day at a country villa with an evening party. I was also lucky enough to be able to try on an authentic Empire parure in one of the antique jewellery shops on the Ponte Vecchio. It was a very special moment!! I also visited the Santa Maria Novella shop where they sell natural perfumes, creams, herbs and other beauty products. What an amazing place!!