For those who consider Como only as “nearby” to the great Villa D’Este hotel, Tyler Brûlé has a few additional thoughts.
Brûlé, that international man of style and editor-in-chief of Monocle, recommends a sartorial stroll through the town itself.
After all, the silk road meandered from Sicily into Lake Como’s basin in the Middle Ages, and today houses like Mantero and Ratti produce printed silks for the finest fashion names of Europe—Chanel, Hermès, Versace, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent, to name a few.
From its 1923 Lombardy-style headquarters against the medieval walls of Como’s old town, Mantero creates a range of men’s accessories both under its own label and for brands like Calvin Klein, Christian Lacroix and Kenzo. While everything is made in Como, a Mantero outlet is just a half-hour car ride through the mountains of Switzerland (Fox Town, Via A. Maspoli 18; mantero.com).
A drive up around the lake from Mantero’s Como factory, Ratti’s warehouse, Villa Sucota (Via di Cernobbio 19; ratti.it), offers foulards and cravats by Valentino, Ungaro ties and a myriad of other—often-paisley—accessories.
Brûlé himself takes a biannual shopping detour to Lake Como, skipping the silks for the more relaxed, contemporary Italian taste flawlessly curated by Adriano Monti (pictured above) at A.Gi.Emme (Via Vittorio Emanuele 91; agiemme.com). Stock up on two-button navy blazers by Boglioli, perfect jeans and Italian knitwear ideally suited for an evening on the terrace of Villa D’Este.