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1. Is air-conditioning required in Tuscany? 2. Pottery in Tuscany

1. Is air-conditioning required in Tuscany? 2. Pottery in Tuscany

Old Mar 22nd, 2001, 06:32 PM
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1. Is air-conditioning required in Tuscany? 2. Pottery in Tuscany

We are booking a villa in Castelnova Berardenga starting Sept 1 for a week and they do not have air-conditioning. Will it be too hot without it?

My sister in law is really into pottery - more to see rather than buy. Which place is good for that in TUscany? I know Deruta and Orvieto but both are quite far from where we will be based. Any other places?

Many thanks
Old Mar 23rd, 2001, 07:38 AM
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Don't know where C--B-- is, but chances are unless you like it really chilly, weather will be fine w/o AC in Sept. Re pottery, depending on where you're based, you might want to look into Faenza--it's about an hour(?) by train from Florence, maybe longer. (I had intended to go during my trip last summer but ditched it--too much else to do.) In Florence, there were many many shops (around every corner, it seemed)...in the small towns in Tuscany, you're also likely to find a few shops here and there. I thought the one on the "main street" in Montalcino had really beautiful pieces--the best ones painted by the owner's son, I think. Look around a bit before purchasing to avoid buyer's remorse (ie, "geez, I like this one in the second shop so much better!"), but if you love it, buy it, b/c you won't see it again (you'll see same/similar pattern/motifs, but what separates the mediocre from the really wonderful is the skill of the painter). If you are in Siena, the town is divided into about a dozen "districts" (I forget what they're called), each with its own animal motif, which were often painted on pieces in the ceramics stores here...again, a great reminder of your trip.
Old Mar 23rd, 2001, 10:12 AM
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Try Ceramiche Rampini outside of Radda heading towards Gaiole. In a non-descript house on the left side of the road (but ask - it is very well known.) This is a large operation which will sell you items in the showroom or handpaint to your specifications, then ship. Shipping takes 2-3 months but is very reliable. Patterns are lovely and the variety of pieces is very wide. The family speaks excellent english - as I said this is a very big and tourist- savvy business. But I can speak for almost 50 friends who have bought and/or ordered from them with absolute satisfaction.
Old Mar 23rd, 2001, 04:10 PM
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Thanks you both for your replies. Very useful.
Old Mar 23rd, 2001, 05:01 PM
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I second the vote for Rampini outside Radda! I waited 4 years for my second trip to Italy to purchase a full set of dinnerware. Unfortunately, I visited Rampini first, and felt I had to visit the ceramics mecca of Deruta before deciding. What I saw in all the shops of Deruta couldn't compare to the quality or pattern I liked best at Rampini. When I tried to order from Rampini by phone while still in Italy, they suggested I wait until I was home & they could e mail me a picture of the pattern to be sure it was the correct one. Good idea, except when I tried to order from the US, they would not honor the same price! The difference was over $400 dollars, so I still don't have my dinnerware. I've blown it twice, so be sure to buy on the spot, if you really like what you see.
Old Mar 26th, 2001, 05:42 AM
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I stayed in a villa on top of a hill in Tuscany and it was freezing at night. That was at the end of Sept.
As a potter myself, I find the pottery there extremely commercial quality. I did come across one gallery with creative work, otherwise they are just very colorful factory produced stuff.

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