In a town where most peopble live on Brunello, it's a relief to see that some still don't. When the flower shop on Montalcino's main square closed down over a year ago, everybody expected that yet another wine shop was about to be opened. But instead of cases of wine, two beautiful old Singer sewing machines were unpacked and bales of prime Italian fabric were delivered.
Twenty years ago every Italian town used to have a tailor on the main street. One of my favorite ones can still be found in Umbria, where Sartoria Trabalza has managed to resist the tide of globalization on Bevagna's beautiful town square. And thanks to Renata Prinicipe's artisan spirit another one has just been born in Montalcino. Craftswomenship has been running through her family for generations, and from clothes to table linens every single piece in the shop is handmade by Renata, her sister and her mom.
The textiles at Sartoria Principe range from Tuscan classics like the famous Busatti fabrics to finest Italian cloth produced with silk, cashmere or merino wool. One of the things I keep saving up for are the shawls and ponchos made with alpaca fleece, which isn't imported from South America, but sourced from a heard of alpaca, which is happily grazing on the slopes of nearby mount Amiata (the extinct volcano co-responsible for Montalcino's ideal micro-climate for fine wines).
Sartoria Prinicpe has a great selection of ready to wear pieces at their shop next to La Fiaschetteria (Montalcino's Art Nouveau wine and coffee bar on the main square). Made to measure will obviously take a bit longer, but can be sent overseas if you don't have time to come back for another glass of Brunello.
piazza del Popolo 2, Montalcino. Phone: +39 0577 84 95 50 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Open daily in high season (also during lunch hour) and from 9.30 am - 1 pm and 4 pm to 7.20 pm in winter.
Readers of Map It Out - Montalcino get a 10% discount in Renata's shop (mention Map It Out before paying). And husbands and kids are welcome to do some people watching from the shop whilst you try on your new Italian cashmere shawl or leather belt.