Reflections Italian summer style

Style Notes by on 13 September 2012

From the Lakes of Northern Italy, through to the shores of the Costa Ligure some places of exquisite style and understated elegance still capture the dreams of the worlds’ most discerning clients, who have little time to find peace and balance in their jet setting lives, but know the qualities they seek.
On a visit to one of the grid references for heaven, I ended up at the Villa d’Este on Lago di Como. Here I am sure to have touched this elusive quality of tranquility and heritage which is still very much the Villa d’Este’s signature. Arriving through the bustle of the small village of Cernobbio, you almost shoot right past the drive-way off the main road which lures you through green lawns and on to the Hotel beyond: new horizons extend from inside this gated property, starting with the floating pool which gently rocks pure style on the lake!
Antonella my host, and I sit in the dining room which is semi indoors / outdoors with walls covered in a bespoke mustard yellow and lake-blue striped fabric, which gives the sound of the conversations around the tables a hushed importance…this is whispered luxury, as is the nod of approval from the Maitre D, as you sit down.
The dress code throughout the hotel requires the timeless elegance and formality of our favourite brand, Pal Zileri. Dinners at the Veranda overlooking the lake and the classical gardens, require a formal attire such as a bespoke navy linen/silk jacket, soft white shirt and tie, teamed up with pale coloured trousers. The Grill, for the more regional cuisine, requires a smart casual look which might entail a light cotton blouson, polo shirt and jeans, and at the Pool Bar, a Mediterranean tan is de rigeur, seen from under easy linen shirts and shorts, accessorised with a cotton pull-over, should the stay prolong into the evening when live music entertains the terrazzo.
Describing the myth of the Villa d’Este requires a long list of superlatives! basically it is the place where dreams are not a problem! The culture of this place oozes a home-grown style and heritage, dating back to more than 500 years, and the intimacy and privacy of a home is retained throughout, but one word of warning: do yourself a favour – come here, but never stay alone!

Check the charm on


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