We talked to the duo behind fashion brand Caftanii Firenze: meet Tuscan-queens Ludovica and Ginevra Fagioli.
Born in Florence, twins Ludovica and Ginevra Fagioli found themselves in their hometown after years travelling around Italy. Bringing their very own, differing experiences to the table, they launched fashion and lifestyle brand Caftanii. Inspired by the colours and shapes of their land, the duo has built a brand of timeless Passepartout pieces, to be kept into our wardrobes, forever. Discover all about them, the inspirations behind the brand, their favourite spots in their hometown of Florence and their home-away-from-home, in Tuscany’s Versilia, Forte dei Marmi.
You were both born in Florence, do you believe your historical hometown will be home to you and the brand forever?
Well, we’ve always had a very special relationship with Florence and that’s why we decided to establish our project here and hence our lives of course.
We’ve always travelled a lot with our family and on our own, so we never felt like Florence wouldn’t have been the perfect place to live. Today we are so happy and proud of our choice, as Florence is so central in Italy and it makes it easy to travel through our country also for business reasons, and well connected to Europe too. We love to live in Florence! And it’s such an honour to promote, through our creations, the heritage of Florentine/Italian craftsmanship.
You have previously mentioned that Caftanii also draws inspiration from Versilia and the beauty of the Tuscan territory. Can you tell us how Florence, Forte dei Marmi and the Tuscan territory have shaped your aesthetic as a brand and as individuals?
Yes exactly, our upbringing in Florence - and in Tuscany in general - shaped our taste for sure. We grew up with the idea of creating a brand that speaks the universal language of Italian beauty and quality. Our creations are often inspired by the colours and shapes of the Florentine Renaissance: for example, we love the ochre colour of many brocades, the heavenly cloud of porcelain, warm and sandy reds from carpets, as well as the terracotta and eggshell of marble statues and limestone busts.
What make these two places special to you girls?
They are the guardians of our childhood's best memories, they are our roots, our happy places, our safe harbours.
What emotions do you want to convey the most to those who come into contact with Caftanii?
We strive to convey a timeless elegance, lifestyle, femininity, and charming ease.
Something that makes you feel beautiful and gentle with no excess. Each piece is conceived to last forever, to be your forever passe-partout piece, your summer must-have,
And in this sense, we love to create something that makes you feel very confident.
What would a typical day in Florence look like? And one in Forte?
We live in the Oltrarno neighbourhood and we love it!
So, when we have days off, we love to start the day with a little walk in this area: Piazza Santo Spirito, Piazza Pitti, Boboli Gardens, Via Maggio, Borgo San Jacopo.
Here you can still find most of the Florentine artisans, beautiful aristocratic palaces, and good trattorias: we love Tuscan food. Our favourite typical trattorias and restaurants in Florence are the following: Cammillo; Ruggero; Harry’s bar; Cantinetta Antinori; Momoyama (japanese); Cinque e Cinque (for vegetarians). Borgo Antico makes the best pizza in Florence, in Piazza Santo Spirito.
A day off would include a visit to a museum or a Palazzo. Every spring, a beautiful initiative organized by the Florentine artistic management is to have all the gardens and courtyards of the historic houses of Florence opened so you can be able to visit them. Palazzo Gondi is definitely one of the palaces with the most exclusive view of Florence, as it organizes many events. Another must-visit is Palazzo Pucci, an unmissable pit-stop along the way as its exhibitions on the history of the brand are, gorgeous!
Our favourite shops in Florence include Libreria Todo Modo, Moleria Locchi, PianoD ( a contemporary art and design shop), Flow Store, Richard Ginori (of course!) and Loretta Caponi.
The afternoon is more for long walks on the hills surrounding Florence, starting from San Niccolò neighbourhood, then Piazzale Michelangelo, and make sure to be on the Lungarno at sunset time (especially in Summer); it’s such a magic moment. No better way to end the day with a drink and dinner at Caffè del Cibreo in Sant’Ambrogio area. However, we also suggest trying out some of our other favourite little aperitivo nooks are Santino; Procacci; The Terrazza at the Hotel Continentale; and the Terrazza at the Hotel Calimala.
Forte dei Marmi:
We really have the best memories here. Forte dei Marmi for us means so many things starting from: friends from a lifetime, genuine laughs by the beach, first flirts, first nights at the disco. So many happy moments there! Today, even if lots of people say that the sea it’s not the best you can find in Tuscany, we just cannot live without our summer holidays in Versilia!
We have been going to Bagno Silvio for the past thirty years, but we also love Bagno Santa Maria; Bagno America; and Bagno Vittoria. Unmissable is, of course, Bagno Costanza!
Our typical day here starts with a very nice breakfast at Caffè Soldi or Sambo, and a little shopping in our favourite artisanal stores like Artigiano Antonio or La Cesteria del Forte.
We love to spend all day on the beach, having lunch there with friends and enjoy the sun until the afternoon. We love to play tennis, usually at 5 pm.
We love to have a little aperitivo at home, with our family, then having dinner in Pietrasanta where our favourite place is Enoteca Marcucci. Such a special vibe there! Surely one must spend an afternoon in Pietrasanta, between art galleries and small shops, such as Zoe Boutique, for the house and beyond. And we love going to Versiliana in the afternoon, the event calendar is always full of debates or book presentations.
However, there is no better way to end the night with a last drink and dance at La Capannina!
What makes the shops you mentioned in Florence and Forte dei Marmi special?
Their owners and their hard work. They are such great artisans, you can feel the love they put in their creations and we believe this is priceless. They strongly believe in their taste and ideas, and even if fashion fades, their creations never go out of style. People love what they do - and it could be a bit a cliché - but it’s true :)
Where to stay if you’re visiting Florence and Forte for the first time?
Florence: We would recommend booking a hotel or apartment in the Oltrarno area because it’s more niche and authentic, and you can easily walk everywhere from there!
AdAstra Hotel and Soprano Suites are some of our favourites in our hometown.
Forte dei Marmi: Villa Roma Imperiale or Villa Gilda Guest House are great places to stay in FTM.
You mention the park of Vallombrosa and Villa Talamo as magical places/alternatives for weekends outside Florence, can you tell us why these places are magical to you and why we should visit them?
Yes, they both have something special for us.
Villa Talamo is a hidden gem in the bay of Talamone which is simply amazing. This southern part of Tuscany has such a special commingling of countryside and seaside, simply a dream. Villa Talamo is a very beautiful and charming Villa that is now managed as a luxury stay. It is so close to many places in the Maremma area, but once you are there, you just cannot think about what’s around, you just want to relax, enjoy the sea view, the palms, and that charming and relaxed Italian lifestyle we love so much!
Vallombrosa: hidden and kind of mysterious place 30 min far from Florence. It’s a cool and shady haven in the summer months, a bio-genetic reserve with over 5000 examples
of native trees and a learning facility for future generations, an amazing monumental abbey in a forest filled with trails for hiking and adventure. It’s a perfect place to admire the fall colours in the valley, while for others it is a spiritual retreat where one will find the famous Abbey of the Vallombrosan monks.