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Digital Subscriptions > Italia! > Nov-18 > WORKING WITH WOOD


Artists Andrea Brugi and Samina Langholz reveal how a surprise romance changed their lives for ever and led to the creation of a successful woodcraft business born out of their rustic lifestyle in rural southern Tuscany
Samina and Andrea in the workshop at their 17th-century Tuscan home Samina and Andrea in their workshop
Images by Ditte Isager

A Tuscan love story

The unspoilt views of the olive groves surrounding the beautiful Tuscan village of Montemerano are a constant source of inspiration to wood artists Andrea Brugi and Samina Langholz. To them, a gnarled piece of wood is a thing of beauty that they will transform into a unique and desirable hand-made and signed object to grace any home.

Born in Montemerano, Andrea has lived all his life in the picturesque mountain village. Although he trained as a land surveyor, he has always worked with his hands, whether it be rebuilding and restoring the village’s old houses or creating items out of wood as a hobby. Samina grew up in Denmark, and it was a chance meeting while she was on holiday in Italy in 2004 that brought the couple together. “I was on a short holiday visiting a friend. I met Andrea after 18 hours and my short stay turned into a more than three-week vacation. Andrea didn’t speak a word of Danish or English and I didn’t know one single word in Italian”, she laughs. Was it love at first sight? “I think very close to… Definitely love at second sight!”

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About Italia!

When it comes to planning a holiday, so much of the enjoyment comes in the anticipation, which is why we have packed the issue with plenty of inspiration for your next trip to Italy, whether you’re going this year or next. We were intrigued to find out about the papier-mâché (cartapesta) tradition of Salento on our visit to Lecce, the ‘Florence of the South’. Lake Como is breathtaking whatever the season, and a visit to Villa Balbiano, now restored to its former opulence, is a must.