Meet the Founder

I’m Gigi, a living history enthusiast and creator of La Bella Donna, an Italian Renaissance historical blog. If you’re here, then you’re probably into history as well, right? In real life I am a social scientist and environmental planner. I love the fact that my hobby allows me to geek out and find out all sorts of cool tidbits about people who lived throughout history. My research is cataloged on this blog for you to peruse and use. During the past few years I’ve gotten really obsessed with still room arts, you know, herbs and soaps and vinegars and cordials. I wanted to better understand how my 15th century Italian counterpart, Giata, would mix and blend those raw materials together to create what we modernly go to the mall and visit Sephora, L’Occitane, or Ulta to buy. That led to my creating the Aromatario del Giglio, the La Bella Donna Apothecary. I hope you enjoy perusing my site, learning about Italian history, and end up trying some of my favorite apothecary produts.

Her Favorite Things

Hmmmm… Gulf Wars, Italy, my Bae, my household (Accademia dello Giglio d’Oro), making my own apothecary products (not necessarily in that order).

my favorite things


What is living history? Living History is a hobby combining elements of archeology, research, arts, crafts, martial skill (at times) – and of course, fun. It is finding out what it meant to be a merchant, a convict, a farmer, a soldier, or a person of means – this list is not restricted; and can be from any time and any location. It is an attempt to simulate, or reenact life in another time, and is a very tangible and visual interpretation of aspects of social heritage. It is a three-dimensional history lesson that is entertaining as well as educational; combining the art form of dramatic performance and the discipline of historic research, it is not a medium which accepts the mythology of the past. Widely used throughout Europe, the United Kingdom and North America as an integral form of historic interpretation, its promotion as a recognized method of preserving elements of our cultural heritage is a significant objective. (from the Queensland Living History Federation)

What is the SCA? The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international living history organization which focuses on the Middle Ages and Renaissance. People in the SCA use a psuedonym from a pre-1600 culture and attempt to recreate, to some extent, the appearance and skills of a person from the past. The SCA is organized into kingdoms, baronies, shires, and other small groups by geographic area. The SCA has no requirements for authenticity–according to the rules of the organization, “a reasonable attempt” at medieval costume is all that’s required for attendance. Among the participants in the SCA (approximately 100,000 worldwide) there are widely varying levels of knowledge and interest in medieval customs, craft, and culture.