Tuscany’s Shopping List
Published: May 2009
By Valerie Waterhouse
Five Tuscan treasures worth bringing back.
So named for its one-stop shopping experience, The Mall (8 Via Europa, Leccio; 39-055/865-7775; themall.it) is Tuscany’s most exclusive outlet complex. Here, you’ll find more than 20 boutiques—Gucci, Pucci, and Marni, to name a few. Best finds: Tod’s classic pebble-soled suede moccasins ($215) and silk Armani ties ($50).
Colle di Val d’Elsa’s fairy tale–like Vilca (53 Via Fratelli Bandiera; 39-0577/929-188; vilca.it) studio produces some of the area’s most imaginative crystal ware. Every morning, patrons can watch artisans hand-blow delicate chalices and vases, then pick up their creations at the shop next door.
Brother and sister Alessio and Cecilia Tessieri launched the chocolate company Amedei in La Rotta 18 years ago. Alessio sources the cocoa beans, while Cecilia oversees the toasting and delicate conching of the decadent stuff. You can purchase Amedei chocolate at various shops, including Siena’s Antica Drogheria Manganelli (71–73 Via di Città; 39-0577/280-002).
Beneath the vaulted showrooms of Busatti (14 Via Mazzini, Anghiari; 39-0575/788-013; busatti.com) sit the original looms that the Busatti- Sassolinis have used to make linens since 1842. Traditional striped table sets in yellow and blue are the most coveted items.
Inside Alab’Arte (28 Via Orti di San Agostino, Volterra; 39-0588/87968; alabarte.com) carved horse heads and Roman gods crowd the studio’s shelves. But collector-worthy contemporary pieces, such as transparent spiral candleholders and striped vases, also abound.