From Rome to Rimini
Day 1 (6/20) After a near 5 hour delay at Miami Intl, we made it to Rome and rolled right into a great meeting with our friends at Sevitex - makers of MIIO’s exclusive FLOAT Collection bed linens and PluMy duvets.
Had a great dinner together at Le Grotte where we had the honor of being joined by Nicola Pietrangeli, Italy’s all time greatest tennis player and member of the tennis hall of fame. And we learned that the Nik bed linens are named after Nicola! Highly recommend Le Grotte - an easy walk from the Trevi Fountain where we finished a late night for our first visit in almost 19 years.
Day 2 (6/21) We started with a drive from Rome and meeting our friends at Ivan Basile in Scandicci. We checked out great new styles and selections - hope we can get them in to MIIO very soon.
We met two new MIIO suppliers, too. CAPAF with very unique wicker handbags, also based in Scandicci, and with a beautiful family tradition dating back to 1946. And ViaMailbag based in Empoli where we met Francesca and Giovanni and their super cool bags which will offer an alternative compliment to our leather selections.
Upon arriving in Florence, we immediately went to Cuoiofficine to check-in with our friends Tommaso & Timothy. Although they were not around, we were able to see Simona!
We closed out the day with dinner at the legendary Osteria Cinghiale Bianco - one of our all time favorites and a “must” for any stop in Firenze - and a few hours of leisurely walking around this magical city.
Day 3 (6/22) We met with the amazing Amerigo Buti in beautiful Cascine di Buti on Wednesday. We first met Amerigo in early 2022 when on one of our first prospecting trips to Milan and Buti is now our best selling Florentine handbags at MIIO. It’s always great to see the exquisite work done in our suppliers’ factories, and especially so at Buti. We also had the distinct honor and pleasure to meet Amerigo’s mother and his daughter at the factory.
We enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Villa delle Memose - highly recommend if you are passing through this area.
Buti is a very authentic and not touristy area - well worth finding a way to visit if you are nearby in Pisa or Florence. You might even see his Torrette di Buti on his family estate up in the hills overlooking Cascine di Buti! And maybe you can buy some of Amerigo’s home made olive oil while there - named, of course, Torretta della Fam Buti.
Bella Lucca - we decided not to make the return drive to Florence from Buti and instead grabbed a room in the beautiful walled city of Lucca, at the Palazzo Rocchi right in the Piazza San Michele.
Nearly the entire city of 90,000 is a “zona pedonale”, no cars. Which makes Lucca a delightful, cozy and charming experience. Easily navigated by foot, family friendly and with many notable historic buildings and sites, it is no wonder Lucca is often referred to as an attractive alternative to the maddening crowds of Florence.
We were amazed by the Acquedotto Nottolini bridge (nearly 2 miles long) on the ride in. We recommend Palazzo Rocchi to stay because of the central location, its roof top terrace and very nice breakfast. For a great dinner, highly recommend Buca di San Antonio, too.
Day 4 (6/23) A beautiful but long drive on A14 to Bologna - lots of traffic as you near Bologna. Lots. We met with some great folks at Roberta Gandolfi on the outskirts of Bologna - Sylvia, Marco and Roberta. Toured the factory, saw some great new collections, played with their dog Joy and talked basketball with Marco - a big US hoops fan. And Roberta gave us some great tips for our stay in Rimini. Look for new Roberta Gandolfi items at MIIO soon!
Then we ripped to Modena to meet one of our early suppliers and friends at the Biagini factory. We were able to meet with Valentina and Elisa and meet their parents Alberto and Enza. Great people and great leather and exotics! We got to see the factory for the first time and learn more about the history and growing legend of Biagini craftsmanship and artisan creativity.
We spent the night in Modena - another absolutely stunning and special city. Make sure you visit the Mercato Storico Albinelli and surrounding areas for sights, aperitivi and various food options. There is a great pasticceria just inside the Mercato to the left. And the Duomo Modena and Torre Ghirlandina are just around the corner with a hive of activity in the Piazza right there. Another walking city - it is well worth a visit.
And try to make your dinner reservations as early as possible before your trip. Modena is quite the foodie city and we had trouble making reservations at several recommended ristorante and ended up at a place we simply would not recommend unless rather desperate. Particularly, we heard from locals that Piccola Osteria Zemian is the go-to.
Day 5 (6/24) We woke up in Modena and further explored the previously mentioned Mercato Albinelli & Piazza Duomo, before hopping in the car for the 3 hour journey to Rimini on the Adriatic Coastline. Being a Saturday morning in the summer, there was quite a rush from the main Emilia-Romagna cities to the beach which made us decide to trust waze and take the “scenic” route and boy was that a great decision. We coincidentally passed the Lamborghini Museum just outside of Modena and seeing as though we were in no rush, decided to make the impromptu stop. With both Ferrari and Lamborghini based in this area, it is truly the region of “slow food & fast cars.”
We then continued to Rimini, checking into one of our favorite old school grand hotels in all of Europe, Grand Hotel Rimini, before exploring the historical city center near the Tiberius Bridge (Finished in 20 AD) and getting dinner with our dear friends Veronica Tordi & Claudio Iannetta at Osteria de Borg.
Day 6 (6/25) Beach Day! We knew that after a long week of meetings & travelling, we would need a day off. We spent the day at the Rimini beach under the blistering sun before enjoying aperitivo at the hotel. We got one of our favorite meals of the week at Ristorante Club Nautico, a recommendation from Roberta Gandolfi. Capped the night with a nice “passegiatto” to the local gelateria before heading off to bed to prepare for week 2.
Day 7 (6/26) Before setting off to Marcon for the official beginning of the second week of meetings, we met with Beelight at their showroom in Rimini to see new pieces and meet the matriarch of the business, Antonella.
STAY TUNED FOR WEEK 2!