Irresistibly Italian for the Holidays

The story of Vietri starts how all great stories do (before 2020) – three women go on vacation to Italy.

But first, some history. Lee Gravely was born in Lynchburg, VA in 1925, attended Sweet Briar College and married a World War II bomber pilot before settling in North Carolina with four children. According to the Rocky Mount Telegram, her husband died unexpectedly in 1981. Two years later, in 1983, she took her two daughters – Frances and Susan – on their first trip to Italy.

While having lunch at the San Pietro Hotel in Positano, Lee and her daughters fell in love with the colorful dinnerware. The next day they toured the factory and met the artisans in the town of Vietri sul Mare. Returning to the U.S., the Gravelys brought home an array of pieces with mixed patterns all related to nature. According to Vietri’s website, the flagship dinnerware collection would become known as Campagna. And the first order was from none other than Neiman Marcus. Lee was quoted saying, “The rest of the story is like a fairy tale.”



Sadly, Lee Gravely passed away five years ago at the age of 90 – but her style and grace live on.

Today, we are proud to say that Boxwood is the only Vietri retailer in Alexandria. Throughout the year, you can find our all-time most popular gift, the hibiscus bud vase, in a range of colors. And we love how folks get addicted to the papersoft linen napkins.

But Vietri really shines with collectible holiday items in signature gift boxes. Here are a few of our favorites.

Old St. Nick is a character hand painted by Alessandro Tadde – you can find him up to a range of mischief. This boxed set of four cocktail plates proves St. Nick doesn’t discriminate when it comes to vino.



Uccello Rosso, red bird in Italian, is a sign of remembrance that someone who loves you is thinking of you. In my opinion, this gift has never been more special than this year.



While the Mistletoe pattern isn’t as traditional or well known as the other two designs, we love the vibrant colors and playful look. We can see it treasured by any modern Alexandria family.



  • The latest from Leah
Co-Owner | Boxwood
Over the past 15 years, I’ve covered the major branches of D.C. careers – political campaigns, Senate press office, advertising sales, and strategic communications. But after I had my two kids, I knew I wanted to do something that truly reflected my desire for creative, colorful design. Luckily, I stumbled into a shop on South Royal Street in early 2019 and met Joanna Szczerban. We opened Boxwood in April to offer Old Town a fresh take on home decor and gifts – and we haven’t looked back.

Boxwood was born out of the idea that our homes should be as vibrant and colorful as the people who live in them. So our decorative items and gifts bring a fresh, modern look to Old Town – everything from pillows and table linens to furniture painted with Annie Sloan® Chalk Paint®.

128 South Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Sunday & Monday: 12pm – 5pm
Tuesday – Thursday: 10am – 6pm
Friday – Saturday: 10am – 7pm

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