Sebastian DelBrenna learned fine jewelry-making from his father, who in turn learned it from his father-in-law during the early 20th century. The family trade was passed down in Cortona, a small Italian town made famous in the 2003 film “Under the Tuscan Sun.”
The DelBrenna jewelry boutique appears in the film, but you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to visit with Sebastian or buy his family’s unique oxidized gold jewelry. He and his Kansas-born wife, Megan, also have a boutique in the Crestwood Shops. In addition to jewelry, it carries Magnum glasses that perfectly aerate wine and women’s dress shoes hand-crafted of Tuscan leather and encrusted with jewelry.
When he’s not traveling the world or working in Italy, you’ll find the suave DelBrenna in the shop dressed in impeccably tailored Italian suits and Meattini shoes made by a Cortona cobbler.
1. Story, the restaurant. I’m a big fan of their grilled octopus. They do it very well; it’s very Tuscan. In Tuscany, everything is very simple, and he (chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen) does it my style.
2. Harry’s Bar & Tables in Westport. It was the first bar I visited in Kansas City 15 years ago, and it’s so sophisticated. Everything is old wood and it’s in a beautiful location.
3. Bloody Mary. It’s like you are drinking a salad with alcohol.
4. Brunello wine. I am a Sangiovese guy and Brunello is 100 percent Sangiovese. It goes very well with every kind of food. It has a very clean flavor – you taste only the grapes.
5. The Filling Station. They are always so nice and the coffee, I have to say, is great.
6. DelBrenna’s cameo pendants. They are old, and I build my jewelry around it. Many are 200 years old.
7. The Ponte Vecchio in Florence. I stand there and stare at what man built 500 years ago. It’s beautiful.
8. Arthur Bryant’s barbecue. I love a place where they are not perfect. They don’t care about the restaurant (appearance), they care about the food.
9. Traveling: I cannot stay in one place more than a month.
10. Vintage wrist watches. I love watches, and not necessarily expensive but definitely rare. I have more than 120 including this Titus Russian watch, one of the first with Swiss movement.
11. Andrea Bocelli. Usually beauty is visual. But he makes you dream, and he is putting beauty on something that is not physical. I will see him in the Theatre of Silence later this year. (Bocelli sings in the open-air theatre, in Tuscany, once every July. The theater remains silent the rest of the year.)