In northern Italy, Como counts George Clooney among its summer residents and entices travelers with one of Europe’s largest lakes (and most glamorous addresses) . One of its signature exports: silk. The region is home to 800 companies involved in the silk trade, including Ratti, a leading luxury textile producer since 1945, and Frey, which has been crafting silk scarves for since 1899. The city itself employs some 23,000 local silk manufacturers, who craft products for brands across the globe, from Armani to Hermes to Ungaro, and beyond. At Como’s Educational Silk Museum, visitors can learn about the delicate process of spinning slender silkworm threads into feather-light silk for scarves.
Find a statement scarf – or three – at the Ratti outlet or in local boutiques, such as Azalea Silk of Como or A. Picci.
Rome is brimming with opportunities to take home one-of-a-kind hand-crafted jewelry, from gold bracelets to colorful beaded necklaces – all within the Centro Storico district. A five-minute stroll from the Tiber River, Co.Ro. Jewels, helmed by locals Costanza De Cecco and Giulia Giannini, who employ their architectural-design backgrounds to construct jewelry that echoes renowned local structures. (The name Co.Ro. derives from the Collegio Romano, a cobblestoned square next to the Pantheon where the founders met as teenagers). The shop’s square, rose-gold-plated silver Collosseo Qudrato Ring pays homage to the Colosseum.