6 Piazza della Chiesa
Tel: 39 075 529 481
Italy's cashmere king has his home base in the tiny village of Solomeo, west of Perugia. Here, about 400 workers turn top-quality Mongolian cashmere into the almost 600,000 sweaters, jackets, skirts, and other womens' and menswear items that Cucinelli's company turns out annually. The "factory" is spread among the heavily restored houses of the village, and the outletwhere this year's collection can be picked up for 30 percent off retail pricesis right at the heart of things, in the main square.
Closed Sundays. Closed Saturdays after 12:30 p.m.
Flanking the busy E45 superstrada about ten miles south of Perugia, the modern-day ceramics factories of Deruta are the successors of workshops that have been turning out the area's distinctive blue, yellow, green, and white glazed pottery since the 13th century. By the 1500s, Deruta bowls, jugs, and apothecary jars decorated with fruit and flower motifs were being exported all over Europe; these days, they travel the world. With more than 250 outlets to choose from, it's difficult to know where to start. The key thing, if you intend to have your purchases shipped home, is to check the small print of the shop's shipping agreement, as it has been known for items to take months to arrive (or to occasionally never turn up at all). Reputable manufacturers (all of which offer tours of their premises) include Ubaldo Grazia (181 Via Tiberina; 39-075-971-0201; www.ubaldograzia.com; closed Sat. after 1 p.m. and Sun.), Antica Deruta (E45 road, Km. 73.8; 39-075-971-1171; www.anticaderuta.com; closed Sat. after 1 p.m. and Sun.), and Franco Mari (236 Via Tiberina; 39-075-971-1795; www.majolichefrancomari.com; closed Sun.).
25 Via Ringhiera Umbra
Tel: 39 074 237 8119
Umbria has a long tradition of textile manufacture and hand weaving, including embroidery and lace making (the latter concentrated in the Lake Trasimeno area). Founded in 1949, and based just outside the charmingly named town of Bastardo, Tessitura Pardi is one of the few local textile firms to combine industrial scale with handmade production values and traditional motifs (many designs are copied from ancient Umbrian models, some dating back to the 14th century). Linen and cotton are used to create delicate tablecloths, bedcovers, curtains, sheets, and runners. Pardi products are available in textile stores all over Umbria, but the main outlet is in Montefalco.
Closed daily between 1 and 3.