Aldo Furlanetto Meets Giacomo Puccini
29 Maggio 2009
We have arrived in Lucca from Florence by train to this quaint area fragrant with Magnolia trees in full bloom. Viviana takes us on a short tour and Lucca is quintessential Italian village with cobblestone streets and colorful shutters flung open dripping with hanging baskets of flowers above shops and ristorantes. Lucca is know for shopping on the popular Via Fillungo and I am eagerly searching for an Italian designed handbag to bring home for my birthday nine days past. And of course to wear to the Puccini concert tonight. We stroll up to Furla, an Italian brand established in 1927 by Aldo Furlanetto in Bologna. Furla has a reputation grounded on time-honored craftsmanship, artisanal expertise, a sense of beauty and innovative designs. A turquoise patent leather clutch with a simple shoulder strap and a closure bow catches my eye and my breath. The outside is glossy patent leather and the inside is soft turquoise suede. There is something stunning yet understated about this luxury bag and other than a subtle signature Furla imprint on the back of the clutch it is unassuming and absolutely perfect. It made me so giddy that I knew it was love at first sight despite the 150 euro commitment. Little did I know that this bag would travel with me the next 12 years and be worth it's weight in euros. And despite all of the places it has been, I have kept this beautiful clutch preserved with its original tissue and dust bag.
On our way to the Puccini concert we stop at a little Ristorante for some piazzeta - a traditional Tuscano pizza, thin with cheese, just the right amount of sauce and just a little salumi. The piazza is lively with people casually and joyfully on their way to perhaps enjoy il pasto while the streets ring with "ciao" and "buonasera". I am wearing a new black dress with white piping gifted for my birthday from my sister back in the states and of course sporting my new Furla bag.
We arrived at the most beautiful and stunning Basilica, San Giovanni in the very core of Lucca where concerts celebrate Giacomo Puccini, one of Lucca's most famous former residents and maestro. The concert is split into four ballads and each operetta beautifully echoes off of the church walls. When we walk back to our apartment, Viviana has been cooking us dinner and has olives, prosciutto, focaccia, Parmesan and truffle salami waiting on the deck and we watch the sun go down over the Tuscan countryside while sipping Prosecco and Lambrusco. She is cooking two courses of her father‘s Milanese recipes; Italian Sausage Risotto and Pollo Con Formaggio Caprino. We ate, we laughed and sipped Limoncello while recapping stories of the day.
This entry taken from my travel journal May 29, 2009. The Italian Furla bag has been preserved in excellent condition and available at The Boutique Closet, 13 N. Wisconsin St., Elkhorn, WI or online at www.theboutiquecloset.shop in The Curated Closet.