Q&A with Salvatore Ferragamo

The grandson and namesake of the iconic founding designer, the younger Salvatore Ferragamo is the CEO of Il Borro, a luxury resort, estate and vineyard in the northeastern hills of Tuscany. Fascinated by the preservation of history, culture and tradition, Salvatore and his father, Ferruccio, president of the fashion label, purchased and renovated the medieval hamlet in 1993, keeping the historical elements in tact but infusing the property with a modern and refined sensibility. The Il Borro wines, of which four varietals are produced, are now sold internationally, and Ferragamo integrates the Il Borro estate with the local community, preserving the brand's philosophy of quality and service. Here, Salvatore discusses the development of Il Borro and shares details about his life in Tuscany.

What inspired the creation of Il Borro as the property it is today? Il Borro was abandoned and in very bad condition: heavy land erosion, very limited infrastructure and every rooftop leaked. The inspiration for my family was to bring back the property to its original beauty. Today the estate has been completely restored. We have kept the external feel of a 1000-year-old village, but we have also provided modern comforts for our guests with interior renovations in contemporary Tuscan style.

What sets the estate apart from other Tuscan properties? Il Borro is a real working estate not simply a holiday destination or a resort. On the property we produce a world-class wine, olive oil, honey and our own vegetables, all organic. Moreover, 450 acres of agricultural land and 1,100 acres of woodland are all kept with organic farming practices and with a zero carbon footprint thanks to over two MegaWatts of renewable energy produced on the estate.

Tell us about your ideal day in Tuscany During my free time I love to play sports and the beautiful Tuscan nature is the perfect environment for me. I enjoy bike riding on the "Setteponti," the old route that connected Rome to the north of Italy, and playing polo with my Il Borro team.

What are some of your favorite restaurants or wineries around Tuscany? One of my favorite restaurants in Florence is Enoteca Pinchiorri, where I am always welcomed by Anne Feolde and her team. I also love to have a light lunch at Cantinetta Antinori and for an aperitif or dinner with my friends Il Borro Tuscan Bistro (Lungarno Acciaiuoli 80r, Florence; 39-055-290-423) on the Arno River.

How do you incorporate the Ferragamo philosophy and brand into Il Borro? Quality and lifestyle are the links with Ferragamo, and our objective is to provide our guests with a unique experience and deliver the highest level of quality in terms of service and products we offer.

When not at Il Borro, where do you like to travel? I like to sail in different parts of the world, especially French Polynesia.

What are some of your favorite memories at Il Borro? The first harvest and greeting our first guest.

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