The drive was 7 1/2 hours, and I did get to chase them horses somewhat.. amazing speed for such a heavy car. In Italy they use the 'Tudor' system which (apparently) tracks cars and measures the average speed between two points on the highway... so I am not sure if I still get some 'presents' from Italy in the coming weeks. But it was fun
We spent 3 nights in Florence which was great but very very hot. DD and myself got tired of visiting the musea so my DW had to go off on her own for a while.
We visited the Scuola del Cuoio (Sta Croce), the Leatherschool, where we bought 2 bags for DW and a croc belt for myself.
After eyeing my DW's Birkin, the owner had the nerve to showing off his version of the Birkin (at least without the Hermes stamp). It was very clearly inferior quality/fake and we told him so. We also told him that he should stick to his own designs which he halfheartedly agreed with but he wanted to please his customers anyway....
Oh yes.. we stopped off at the H store in Florence of course. The only bag worth nothing was a 40cm Ebene Kelly... it it wasn't for the color I might have been interested but I already have a 50cm Ebene Birkin)...
We visited the Ferragamo shoe museum + store and the Bottega Veneta store (which had 2 Cabats but we did not like the colors).
Lots of great food of course to be had in Florence but the outstanding one for us was a tiny restaurant called Baldovino (beside the Scuola del Cuoio). Very reasonable prices and excellent food. There is no real ambiance as it is located in a side street but the food makes up for it. We had heard it was good and ordered too much food (as we wanted to try many things) and then ended up eating all of it.... the huffing and puffing afterwards, although annoying, was worth it though.
On the way over to Il Borro we passed and (of course) stopped at The Mall and visited some of the stores there. DW got away with a pair of YSL shoes.
We then drove on to the Il Borro estate where, after checking in we were lead to 'our' farmhouse Pin di Chiocci. Once there, a nice lady came up to us and introduced herself as Christina Ferragamo, she told us ever so apologetically that she was sorry but there was a mistake in the booking and that she and her friends had taken over all 4 appartments in the farmhouse and that we were being upgraded and we would love it...
So we drove back to the other side of the estate and found ourselves in a place with one farmhouse (4 appartments) and an individual house (La Capanna). We had been put in the single house... definitely a very nice upgrade!
The bottle of wine (Il Borro) on the table was another gift along with another 20 apologies for doing this to us. (Reminds me of airlines where they are apologetic to upgrade you from business to first... ).
The estate is great. DD (5 1/2 yrs old) went to get horse-riding lessons with DW. On the last day my DD was on her own with the instructor and lo-and-behold she just had to meet Salvatore Ferragamo Jr. on his horse (he is the one that runs the entire Il Borro estate) and she managed to yap his ears full for 5 minutes .
Whilst there are many things one can undertake there such as Balloon rides, fishing, wine tasting....we choose the lazy vacation and mostly just relaxed at the pool (considering we had such bad weather this summer in Switzerland, lounging at the pool with my newly acquired Amazon Kindle was not a bad proposition at all).
We did however go back to The Mall once more and ended up buying some more shoes (Ferragamo for DW, Tod's for DD and Bottega for me) as well as Gucci bag as a gift for our maid/nanny/dog-sitter. BV had a lovely white nap-sack which I could not keep my hands off and got so close to buying but as I could not find enough reasons to carry it I managed to walk out without it.
We went to Montevarchi (The Space - Prada & Miu-Miu outlet) but ended up with nothing... this is maybe not politically correct but once you get used to H quality, it is hard to lower your standards :shame:
DD made her own belt in the tiny, lovely Il Borro village, DW bought more sandals and we bought some wine from the owner of the leather shop (his own wine that normally is not for sale).
We cleaned up the grocery shelves of our favorite Tomato Sauce (enough for a year so we have a reason to return to Italy) and bought a few cases of lovely red wine from the estate.
The car was so ful... almost embarrasing not being able to look out the back-window... but then, we were in Italy where noone looks through the rear view mirror, so why should I, hehe
We went of course during the hottest time of the year to Italy and Florence apparently is one of the hottest cities during this time. Temperatures ranged from 34º to 39ºC (93ºF to 102ºF). As such this is not a problem as we all love hot weather but when walking around all day in Florence it can get a bit much (prepare to drink lots and eat a lot of great ice-cream!).
Overall Il Borro was lovely except... THE MOSQUITOES!!!! There were just too many of them. We all looked like we had the pocks and although I miss the weather and the pool it was lovely walking into our house and care for our bite marks and not having to worry about new ones.
I know, I know... I need to make and upload pictures of the bags / shoes... still to come.
Your post makes me miss Firenze. I too went to the Leather School when I was in Italy in June. Laura and Tomasso are wonderful. I can't wait to go back! I'll have to try that restaurant that you mentioned in your post.
Wow~ those lucky bags get to go on wonderful vacation with you~~~ Oh how I miss Italy.... Florence was DH's favorite city when we went on our honeymoon.... just lovely!! Thank you for sharing your vacation with us