Milan + the Lakes Region

Milan + the Lakes Region Travel Guide

This exceptional publisher of design books runs a shop and art gallery. Look for titles by Enzo Mari and Bruno Munari.

The company offers boating services on Lake Como.

An emporium of all things gastronomic, including white truffles from Alba, 40 single-origin coffees, and 3,000 wines.

Rossana Orlandi took a 19th-century tie factory in the Magenta District and converted it into one of the premier venues for interior design.

Balbianello is owned and maintained by the Fondo Ambiente Italiano—the Italian National Trust. In addition to the gardens, a magnificent 18th-century loggia, which has columns delicately laced with well-tended garlands of ficus, is open to the public.

Inside a colonnaded 16th-century palace, you'll find Mannerist frescoes by Giulio Romano, a pupil of Raphael's.

Founded by Italian designer Consuelo Castiglioni and her husband Gianni in 1994, this avant-garde clothing company now has almost 100 stores in fashion capitals across the globe, including London, Paris, Madrid, and New York.

The most expensive cocktail in Milan can be found at Nottingham Forest just outside Porta Monforte. At €3,500, the diamond cocktail is thankfully the only of its ilke at this tiny bar dedicated to mixology.

Little seems to have changed in this coffee and cake shop on Via Santa Maria alla Porta since opening in 1824. Baristas still wear white shirts under black vests and bowties while dispensing pralines, éclairs, and 30 different types of cream cakes.

Select a table by the window, order the golden-brown namesake aperitif, and watch the bustle in nearby Piazza delle Erbe.

Perhaps the finest example of 17th-century Italian Baroque garden art. When seen from the town of Stresa, the island looks like a giant ship: the Borromean Palace at the stern balancing the 10-terraced garden at the bow of the island.

Insider Clout: For a writer client researching a novel about World War II–era Italy, Grisdale opened her little black book to arrange meetings with a Venetian countess, the scion of Italy’s oldest silk-weaving company, and a former U.S.