Linen shops are plentiful in Tuscany. They will embroider a name or a message in under five minutes. Left - monogrammed hand towels, and aprons for Paul - an incommensurable butler and chef supremo.
Antico Setificio, founded in 1786, the best hand-loom weavers - possibly in Europe - run by Sabine, once belonged to the Pucci family and has recently been bought by fashion giant Stefano Ricci.
Woven silks [Ermisino], brocades, linen and silk and hemp and other marvellous combinations of fibres and colours. The factory has for decades woven on my behalf the grandest Florentine fabrics specifically to my designs - a treasure trove and a precious survivor of craft and excellence.
Antico Setificio Fiorentino
Via L. Bartolini, 4 50124 Firenze
|A dining room I created in the American Midwest, the chairs covered in a woven silk and linen brocade from Antico Setificio.|
I COLAZZI - After years of receiving invitations from Grazia Gazzoni to visit her family at this fabulous villa [designed by Michelangelo himself, or at least one of his pupils] I went to lunch.
Grazia met me at San Casciano and we rolled off into the Florentine hills. A total surprise - she had asked twenty four people in my honour, of which ten were old friends, one being Beatrice Monte della Corti, whose avant-garde gallery showing Rauschenberg, Twombly and Jasper John was in the courtyard of the palazzo where I lived in Milan for five years in my twenties. She subsequently married [Grisha] Gregory von Rezzori, the utterly charming epitome of ‘middle europa’. In his memory, Beatrice has a foundation at Santa Maddalena in Tuscany, a writers’ retreat, which yearly becomes more renowned for nurturing writers, each more famous than the other.
|View from Villa I Colazzi|
Abbadia San Salvatore
The historic medieval streets are intact at the centre of this small, industrial town near the summit of Monte Amiata. The Abbey was founded in 743AD and is to this day a monastery.