Where Your Shoes Will Lead You: Italian Lakes & BeachesJun 14, 2017
Why: It’s only a 1 hour train ride from Milan. So if you’re already in Milan, why skip Lake Como?
Where to stay:
Il Sereno: Elegant, relaxed, and done in muted colors, this hotel is a hotel of our time. Forget the antiques and heavy velvet drapes; here you’ll find custom furniture handpicked by no other than Patricia Urquiola who’s a favorite in the interior design world. If you see a particular furniture you like, just ask: it might be available for sale.
Where to eat:
Osteria del Gallo: Tucked away in a narrow pedonale, this family-run restaurant serves simple, home-style meals. The locals give this place their seal of approval and for good reason: It’s been operating for 35 years, churning out excellent food on a daily basis. We recommend the cheese focaccia and don’t be shy to try their selection of local wines.
Il Gatto Nero: If you want to eat with a view, high up in the mountains overlooking Lake Como is the famed Il Gatto Nero. Need a reason to go all the way up just to eat? George Clooney gives this place his seal of approval by frequenting this restaurant.
Interesting info: If you see George Clooney walking the streets of Italy, it’s because he has a house on Lake Como — Villa Oleandra — but it’s said that he’s selling it. Madonna, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are also said to have houses in the area.
Recommendations: If touring Lake Como by private boat, we recommend booking a few months in advance to get the best deals.
Why: It’s photogenic, charming and has a lot to offer that even the rich and famous frequent it.
Where to stay:
Hotel Splendido is the hotel of choice for the selective traveler. Here, the terrace is elegant, the pool is always enticing, and the service is nothing short of exceptional. There’s a reason why Hollywood’s elite have chosen this hotel as their destination of choice.
Eight Hotel: If you want a cozier vibe, this is a good choice. Nestled in a quiet part of town, it’s also a short distance to the harbor and restaurants.
Where to eat:
Ristorante Puny for simple fare done well, and served by exceptional staff to boot. Order the Pappardelle Portofino. It’s worth a try.
Trattoria da Pezzi is a family-run restaurant, at close-by town Santa Margherita, that’s been serving good food since the 60s. Try the calamari fritte and cold veal — simply wonderful.
Recommendations: Make sure to bring a good pair of sandals. When sunbathing is not on the order of business, explore the footpaths at a leisurely pace. We recommend going to the Benedictine abbey at the tiny bay of San Fruttuoso. Abbazia di San Fruttuoso is heaven on earth, but it takes a good 2 hour walk from Portofino. You can also get there by boat.
Why: Paradise to sun worshippers, scuba divers, and food enthusiasts, many forget that Pantelleria is only 9 miles long and 5 miles wide. Here the wine is always flowing and local flavors are served with gusto. Expect only the most exceptional dishes done with local flair.
Where to stay: We recommend staying at a typical stone villa called dammuso. Search a rental via Solopantelleria.
Where to eat: Wherever you choose to eat, make sure to pair it with passito wines and to try the local capers.
Recommendations: Circle the island by boat, travel inward by car, or take a leisurely pace and enjoy the sunset while taking a walk. There’s a reason why A Bigger Splash was filmed here — the place seems suspended in time and there’s always someplace interesting to explore.
Why: For the discerning traveler who wants to enjoy exclusive nightlife spots, shop at designer boutiques, and relax at luxury spas, Porto Cervo is the place to be.
Where to Stay:
Petra Segreta is an oasis perched on a hill. It’s the best hotel for a relax weekend but it’s also a great starting point for all your exploring needs.
Where to eat:
San Lorenzo is a proper Italian restaurant that serves delicious suckling pig served on a bed of myrtle leaves. Book ahead of time in order to reserve the suckling pig — it’s well worth it.
Recommendations: Echo the stylish interiors of Italy’s best villas with luxurious silk tops and crisp culottes. Finish with satin or suede sandals for a clean and minimalist take on Italian glamour.
Main photo by jarekgrafik. Lake Como images by Villa Serbelloni, Matus Kalisky, and Nico Franano. Portofino images by jarekgrafik, and Hotel Splendido. Pantellaria images by Sikelia Luxury Hotel, and Pantelleria Hotel. Porto Cervo images by Colonna Resort, and Hotel Cervo. Outfit image via polyvore.com.