Subject: Tuscany & shopping
I'm so pleased to read Don & Linda's reviews of Tuscany and to see that they enjoyed so many of the delightful places we reccommended to them. Francesca at La Casalta and Ada, Antonella, Vasco, Sergio and everyone else at Belagaggio are some of the reasons we enjoy living here so much. While Tuscany does indeed offer some of the most beautiful scenery and food in all the world, the people here are its biggest asset. We were at Rodopel this morning with friends and Dorino Storni (the owner with the key to the vault) makes everyone great prices on leather and fur products - one of my American friends bought an incredible beaver jacket there today. If anyone is trying to find it - look for the sign outside that says Labor - not Rodopel. In this area near Foiano della Chiana, a huge new discount outlet shopping mall has just been announced to be built in the near future - featuring all of Italy's top designers. Directly behind this leather outlet is a shirt manufacturer called Liba. Pierluigi Lapi is the owner there and he produces over 200,000 men's and women's shirts a year for Giorgio Armani which he sells at a near 80% discount from his factory. Recently, he was so kind as to show us the new Giorgio Armani prototypes for the upcoming season - and today allowed us to buy some of them. It's kind of fun knowing that the shirt I'll be wearing for dinner tonight isn't even on Giorgio Armani's shelves yet. I'm sorry I gave Don and Linda the wrong name for the Osteria delle Grotte in Sinalunga, but at least the directions were good and the food there is some of the best Tuscany has to offer. Also, the Osteria dell'Acquacheta has long been one of Montepulciano's little secrets. If we can ever help anyone in this little area of Tuscany, we'd be delighted. Bill Sutherland Montefollonico, Italy