The Flavours of a Land: The Immersive World of Lovely Tuscan

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When designer-turned-actor Luca Calvani met fitness trainer Alessandro Franchini in 2016, they found in each other the right partner to bring a lifelong dream to life.

In 2019 that dream came true.

Together, they tell us the story behind their brand Lovely Tuscan, and give us an insight into the immersive world they are creating in the hills of Tuscany.

Hello Luca and Alessandro, could you share with us a bit about your background and the personal journey that led you to create the brand Lovely Tuscan?

Luca: I’ve always been on the creative side of things. I studied textile design, and in the early years after graduating I worked in the fashion business in New York; later, I veered towards acting and entertainment, but I always kept a foot in design, whether it was for fragrances or interiors. When Alessandro came up with the idea of doing up a farm I immediately thought it could have been a great conduit for so many creative ideas.

Alessandro: My path is a bit different. I’m a professional fitness trainer, and during the summer I used to work in hospitality in my hometown, Viareggio; but I’ve always loved backpacking around the world, losing myself in nature, and I cultivated the dream of having a farm for a long time. 

Lovely Tuscan offers a wide range of products, including organic honey, spirits, body products, and home fragrances. How do you aim to convey the distinctive taste, scent, and warmth of this region through your products?

It’s all in the ingredients, really: what we love the most about our products is that they are subtle and elegant.

We all know the smell of a day in the sun, maybe even without knowing it, and the Helichrysum gin smells just like that: it has the power to unlock memories, and that’s what makes it so unique. It’s the same with Apuania: its sage scent is really intoxicating and refreshing, it brings you back to a walk in the woods. Our bees live in the middle of the woods, so they can harvest their pollen in peace, and the lavender fields close to their hives add a special note to the honey.

Lovely Spirits: Helichrysum Gin, Camillo and Lavandario.

The Apuania shower gel.

Bee-o, the organic honey produced at Lovely Tuscan’s country estate.

Your headquarters, Le Gusciane, appears to be a truly special place: an agricultural estate and country inn located in the picturesque valley of Camaiore in Tuscany. How does this location influence your approach to production, and which distinctive elements of the Tuscan landscape are reflected in your products?

Le Gusciane is a genuinely special place to begin with: the land, its position, the views… it feels like entering a different dimension, and that magical sensation surprises everyone at their first visit. It’s Tuscany with a twist: the green fields make you think of England, while the rocky peaks of the Apuan alps add a touch of Switzerland, and all of this is just 15 minutes away from the sea. We played with that when we designed the interiors: a Tuscan house, with an English charm and a bit of a lodge atmosphere.

Lovely Tuscan is a captivating blend of tradition, passion, and quality. From the process of sowing and cultivation to the final production, you demonstrate meticulous attention to nature and a dedication to excellence. How does this commitment to Tuscan craftsmanship manifest in the details of each product?

Italy is incredible in that aspect, and Tuscany itself offers incredible craftsmanship. We make all our products here, from spirits and soaps to textiles and of course the honey. Our territory offers so much and we are proud to share this patrimony with our guests and our audience.

Could you share insights into the inspiration behind your spirits and the unique characteristics that make them distinctly Tuscan?

The idea behind the Gin, for example, was sparked by the house itself: an English style country inn in rural Tuscany seemed to call for a traditionally English spirit imbued with typical Tuscan flavors, and that’s how we decided to use Helichrysum Italicum and Tuscan Juniper, two very local products. The other spirits came a little later: we wanted to create a family of products that could enhance the mixology experience, like the Camomille Liqueur and the Lavender Amaro.

In what ways do you infuse the same level of craftsmanship and attention to detail into the production of body products and home fragrances?

When it comes to body products you must rely on the knowledge of the people you work with. We can have ideas about the scent and texture we’d like to see in the product, but then it’s in the hands of the labs to turn  it into reality. Your partners are key when it comes to beauty and fragrance – and we really think we chose the right ones.

Beyond being a product line, Lovely Tuscan seems to be an experience in itself. How do you hope people will perceive and connect with your brand?

When we established Lovely Tuscan, our idea was to create immersive experiences, beautiful rituals that could inspire that moment of reflection and self care. To us, that’s the greatest goal. As you enter our place, you should immediately feel at home – and somewhat removed from all your daily routines to embrace the slow rhythm of the farm. Suspended, that’s the word I was looking for.

Are there any meaningful moments in the history of Lovely Tuscan that you would like to share with us?

It’s hard to pinpoint a specific moment. When you’re developing a lifestyle brand, it’s more like finding a groove – suddenly, all the pieces start to come together. There’s that sweet spot where the coherence and values of your brand are recognized, making an impact on your audience and tuning in with them. Finding that frequency is both the hardest and most rewarding task. When it happens, you really feel that sense of accomplishment.

One joyous moment is the Helichrysum and Lavender harvest. When guests sign up to participate in gathering the flowers and then join us for a convivial lunch that I cook for them, days like that become a true testimony that our message has arrived.

Finally, regarding the future of Lovely Tuscan, what can we expect? Are there new projects or products in development that you can share with us?

We are working on personal fragrances, and that’s the big thing on our list; we are also working on a new spirit that will be unveiled next spring. Growing the brand is also important to us, and that’s why we recently started distribution in the UK; as anglophiles we are genuinely happy to be there, bringing the soul of our beloved homeland to another world we love so much!

Discover more about Lovely Tuscan.

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