I have a new found love. Tuscan hills teamed with a glass of Chianti and a little truffle honey and Parmesan cheese. Each one as glorious as the other, the latter possibly more detrimental to my hips than the former. I have just returned from delivering a classic Kelly bag to a Roman client at her holiday retreat in Radda in Chianti. I was lucky to stay with her at the fabulous Villa Vercenni where her family had taken the two stunning villas side by side in the Tuscan hills for a month. How idyllic.
My room looked out over the stunning Radda in Chianti area and with a beautiful marble bathroom and perfect four-poster bed I felt rather like a Medici princess myself. In fact my entire time with this terribly glamorous Italian family was pure regal chic. My client herself is in her late 60’s and still the most beautiful of women. She was once a prima ballerina and has the most extraordinarily tiny waist and perfect physique. Her style is classic with a twist. She wears wonderful tweed jackets teamed with leopard print skirts and a little croc Hermes Kelly thrown in for good measure. Whilst a lover of all things luxe, she collects Hermes accessories, pronouncing one day “even as an Italian I can appreciate the French on this subject!”.
The Hermes bag this time round was a Hermes Kelly in black porosus croc with gold hardware. A real classic piece, extremely elegant and stylish.
Radda is really the sweetest town. It is nestled far up in the Tuscan Hills and apart from the obvious touristy shops it still maintains a very local and traditional way of life. We shop daily at the fantastic Porcatti Deli. Each morsel of cheese even more delicious than the last. The tomatoes actually taste. I’m rather glad I don’t live right next to this wondrous place or I may never fit my jeans again!
Close to Radda is Siena and indeed the larger Florence. We visit both. I am treated to a real insiders gastronomical interlude with each city. We dress down for Florence and up for Siena. Seeing each town once again I feel even more in love with Italian style and their civilised way of life.
In Siena we dine out at the fantastic Osteria Le Logge. I have the truly decadent beef cheek teamed with a glass of the local red. Bellisimo.
A quick pit stop to purchase a powerful scent for my husband at the bespoke perfumery Amaranthus Erboristeri just off the main square. Viride by Orto Parisi is the final decision after lengthy deliberation, a simply beautiful perfume.
In Florence I’m taken to the wonderful Cibero. We eat at the ‘caffe’, which is so far removed from a ‘cafe’ as I know it I can hardly bear to leave! Delicious bruschetta, baked cod, a little Aperol Spritz. We watch the men and women of Florence saunter past in their stylish getup, a fair few stunning Hermes bags hung upon their golden tanned arms. My client shows me the Theatre also owned by the same chef where you can eat a delicious buffet and then settle down to some flamenco or opera, whatever is on that evening. Here I find a gaggle of glamorous Italian ladies lunching in the salon, all dressed to the nines and two sporting stunning vintage Hermes bags. They sure know how to dress in this town.
We finally head home to our retreat and relax on the terrace sharing fashion faux pas stories and tips for a truly delectable risotto.
With sadness I leave the rustic beauty of Radda and the stylish company of my client and her family. I have eaten well, drunk far too well and am truly inspired to be more chic, more fabulous and a little more Italian in everything I do.