Society / Featured Parties

Houston Beloved Jeweler Franco Valobra Earns a Major Honor In New Orleans That Harkens Back to His Florence Roots

Meet the Honorary Consul for Italy in Louisiana

BY // 09.27.23
photography Darryl Schmitt

September has been an exceptional month for master jeweler Franco Valobra, beloved not only in his adopted city of New Orleans but also in his second city of Houston. Most impressive this month was his installation as Honorary Consul for Italy in Louisiana. That honor was officially bestowed on Valobra in his namesake jewelry store in the Crescent City’s French Quarter.

Ashley Davis, Larry & Jan Rigdon (Photo by Darryl Schmitt)
Ashley Davis, Peter & Peggy Breslin at Franco Valobra’s installation as Honorary Consul of Italy in Louisiana. (Photo by Darryl Schmitt)

The fourth generation jeweler added New Orleans to the family stable of shops in 1982 and since that time Valobra has made a positive mark in the Big Easy. Perhaps most indicative of his high level of entrenchment there is the fact that he was elected King of the Krewe of Hermes for the 2022 Mardi Gras festivities.

The installation in the Valobra shop on Royal Street was conducted by Italian Consul General Mauro Lorenzini of Houston, who was joined by New Orleans City Council president Helena Moreno in the double ribbon cutting. Blue for Louisiana and red, white and green representing Italy.

Franco, Nany & Maximo Valobra (Photo by Darryl Schmitt)
Franco & Nancy Valobra with their son Maximo, at Franco Valobra’s installation as Honorary Consul of Italy in Louisiana. (Photo by Darryl Schmitt)

In the spirit of celebration, Italian, American and Louisiana flags filled the shop and on display on the street was a 1966 Fiat 600 Multipla that originally served in the 1960s as the official government vehicle for the mayor of Florence, birthplace of Valobra Master Jewelers.

Going forward, two large flags — one of the Italian Republic and one of the State of Louisiana — will be flown outside the jewelry boutique indicating the honorary consul position.

Valobra opened his Houston store in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and since then has become a popular and generous figure in the Bayou City. Thus it was no surprise that a number of Houstonians joined friends and clients from New Orleans for the festivities.

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