Tuscan Stakes

LONDON — Amanda Ferragamo had never thought about writing a book — "I am heavily dyslexic," she says — until a few years ago when she woke up at 3 a.m. and began penning a story about a bombed-out villa, a Scottish terrier and the...

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Today, the 19th-century villa, which had been bombed to bits by the Germans during World War II, serves as the Ferragamo family’s country home. The grounds have been transformed into a working farm and the medieval village restored.

In the foreword to the book, Ferragamo’s brother, Sir Michael Peat, who resigned as the private secretary to Prince Charles last week, and was Queen Elizabeth’s former accountant, pays tribute to his sister’s chutzpah.

"Neither Amanda nor Ferruccio had any significant experience of restoring old buildings or of land management, and I wondered whether they fully appreciated what they were taking on," he writes.

Although Amanda has not returned to Il Borro since she left in the summer of 2000, she insists she doesn’t miss it.

"It’s done, over. It comes into my dreams, though. And when I’m walking past a building site, I can’t help but think to myself ‘Where’s the piping going to go? And how is the electrical wiring going to be installed?’"

Today, she writes a column for 213, a Los Angeles magazine, and is carving out a new life in London. "Now I want to live! I want time to go to the hairdresser, to go to lunch, to travel, to be a woman," she says. What would the workmen think of that?
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