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Lizzie & Kathryn's Guide to Lakeside Italia

Italy is a recurring special place for me and my collections. It’s the land of my paternal grandparents (“Fortunato” comes from Southern Italy); it is a country Kathryn and I have traveled to and explored many times; and the glamorous feeling of “la dolce vita” has influenced many of my past designs.
But for SS20, I referenced an alternate side of Italian glamour - more sun-washed and striped than coiffed and well-heeled - our newest collection is an ode to the end of the day when you’re just out of the water, still in a towel, feeling bronzed and effortlessly beautiful. It’s an ode to “magic hour”.
This past summer we explored Italy's lake region. My mama and I spent the first few days of our vacation at Lake Garda — Italy’s largest lake, dotted with picturesque towns and bordered by the Dolomites in the North. From there we drove to the well-heeled Lake Como, where we met up with Kathryn for a few blissful days of hikes, ferrying across the dazzling deep blue water, and exploring the small towns around Como. We fell in love with Italy’s lake region and are excited to share our latest travel & inspiration guide with you.


Lake Garda and Lake Como, Northern Italy.

Where to Stay:

Lake Garda

Villa Arcadio: We're dying to return to Villa Arcadio, which has views of Lake Garda, the town of Salò, and the mountains surrounding us. The hotel is perfect for anyone seeking serenity, it’s set back from the town’s action and perfectly mixes nature and elegance.

Lake Como

Grand Hotel Tremezzo: for the ultimate experience in luxury. We loved the floating pool in Lake Como as well as the tiered swimming pool and gardens on the hillside beyond the hotel. No detail is left ignored, this is a spectacular option if you’re up for the splurge.

Also: if funds are limitless and you’re looking to treat yourself, Il Sereno is a mid-century modern lakeside hotel that is super chic and has floor to ceiling views. And Villa d’Este in the town of Cernobbio is one of the oldest lodging options, it’s grand and gorgeous and will transport you to another time. We went for dinner and got to experience beautiful views, celebrity spotting, and top-notch cuisine.



Where to Eat:

Lake Como 

Locanda dell'Isola Comacina: This quirky “locanda” in the middle of Lake Como requires a water taxi to get there but is completely worth it. The island is rife with history (including near century-old stories of curses and other mythology) and an entertaining “fire ceremony” is performed over dessert. Come hungry, despite the menu not changing since 1947, the food is delicious.

Al Veluu: This was my favorite meal of the trip. Featuring magnificent 360-degree views of Lake Como and incredible traditional Northern Italian cuisine, it should not be missed.


What to Do:

Lake Garda

Soak in the windy roads and lake life: Being the adventurers that we are, my mom and I were eager to explore the windy lakeside roads and towns that dot its perimeter.  We drove to the beach at Limone Sul Garda, which was filled with Italians braving the ice cold — and crystal clear — lake water.

Riva del Garda: At the northern point of Lake Garda is the town of Riva del Garda, which we fell in love with. Paddleboats with striped seats line the harbor and you can see the Dolomite Mountains rising above the town's picturesque peach and yellow storefronts.



Go south: A few hours in the opposite direction is the town of Sirmione, which is at the southernmost point of Lake Garda. Human presence in Sirmione dates to 6th-5th millennia BC and the town — surrounded by otherworldly blue green waters — has long been a popular destination for Italians. Sirmione’s fort (still in remarkably good condition) dates to the 4th-5th centuries and was built in the late Roma era to defend Lake Garda’s Southern shore.


Lake Como 

Riva boat tour of Lake Como: What do you get when you combine an old school wooden speed boat + a picnic of champagne and snacks + celebrity house spotting (think George & Amal) + the most scenic lakeside photo-ops? The most incredible afternoon ever.

Villa Carlotta: This museum and botanical garden is steps away from Hotel Tremezzo and is worth the visit. The gardens are breathtaking and incredibly diverse featuring flora native to Italy and from around the world. It’s a treat for your senses.




Ferry to Bellagio: We stayed on the western side of Lake Como (the lake has at least 16 towns around its perimeter) and loved exploring the town of Bellagio which juts out into the middle of the lake. Ferry over to explore Bellagio’s cobblestone streets and for an Aperol Spritz at Harry’s Bar.

Hiking: There is excellent hiking all around Lake Como (and you’ll need it after all of the spritz’s you will inevitably drink during Magic Hour). The hiking is scenic and can be tough as you can gain elevation pretty quickly but the benefit is amazing views.



Inspirational Reading:

Yolo Journal: Our hotel was stocked with the inaugural issue of Yolanda Edward’s namesake Yolo Journal which featured the most magnificent Italian imagery and anecdotes. In fact it was some of these images, plus our own nightly “magic hours” that influenced Lizzie’s sun-drenched, peach, pink, and golden-hued SS20 collection.




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