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How fashion guru airbrushed ex out of history

London - For seven long years, Italian fashion guru Ferruccio Ferragamo’s English wife Amanda laboured and toiled to transform a run-down medieval estate into one of Tuscany’s most glamorous go-to destinations.

Such were her endeavours in restoring Il Borro — a sprawling, 1,750-acre estate just south of Florence, which was once owned by the Medicis — that she turned her experiences into a book, Seven Years In Tuscany.

File photo: Salvatore Ferragamo Chief Executive Officer Ferruccio Ferragamo and Japanese model and actress Ayako Kawahara attend the opening ceremony of the Italian fashion house's flagship boutique in Tokyo. Credit: AP

It even contained a forward from her brother, Prince Charles’s former private secretary Sir Michael Peat, marvelling at her colossal achievement.

But more than a decade after we revealed a secret lovechild was behind Amanda’s sensational split from Ferruccio, it appears that her considerable contribution to the Ferragamo family legacy has been airbrushed from history.

There is no mention of Amanda on the website of the estate, which is now run as a hotel and spa. Indeed, a gushing profile in the Wall Street Journal appears to credit her son Salvatore, 41, as the man who restored the place.

It says that at the tender age of 22, Salvatore had been entrusted by his father with the mammoth task of restoring the estate’s buildings, many of which had been untouched for a century.

But there is no mention of Amanda, 66, whose 32-year marriage to the multi-millionaire fashion house boss ended so sourly in 2000 after her husband was revealed to have fathered an illegitimate child with a woman of 35, just three years older than their twins Salvatore and James.

In his forward to his sister’s book, Sir Michael, a former keeper of the privy purse at Buckingham Palace, wrote: “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.”

Ferruccio has since remarried and Amanda returned to Britain virtually penniless because Italy’s divorce laws favour the man. At the time, she was also forbidden by Ferragamo from putting a foot inside the Italian estate, although she has since returned there, attending the 40th birthday party for her sons in 2011.

Says a friend: “Amanda and Ferruccio got divorced and Amanda came back to live in Hampshire and he got remarried. It’s very sad.” - Daily Mail

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