For designer Giorgio Armani, the volcanic Mediterranean island of Pantelleria may hold the key to perfect skin.
It's not often you uncover a Fountain of Youth in your backyard. But for his new skin-care line, launching this month, Giorgio Armani turned to Pantelleria, where he has had a vacation house for over three decades. "It's the only place where my face is transformed," he says of the island sandwiched between Sicily and Tunisia. "For years I visited the thermal baths at Lago Specchio di Venere. The water and mud are renowned for their healing qualities, so I decided to adapt their ingredients for a beauty line." The result: a nutrient-packed anti-aging cream that has the same mineral composition—silicon, iron, sodium, and potassium—as the obsidian that was produced by the island's volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago. And while the cream might not be as therapeutic as an afternoon spent in the warm waters of a thermal lake, Armani is betting that, like Pantelleria, it will make "the wear and tear of life disappear."
"Pantelleria is the only place where I can truly relax," Giorgio Armani says of his second home. "My eyes are always focused on the clear sky." Here, his recommended spots for a perfect island idyll.
"Several rooms at photographer Fabrizio Ferri's Monastero Private Villa Resort [Contrada Kassà, Scauri Alta; monasteropantelleria.com; doubles from $2,045 per week] have four-poster beds and are decorated in the shades of Morocco."
"I enjoy pantesca, a salad made with potatoes and capers, at La Nicchia [Contrada Scauri Basso; 39-0923/916-342; dinner for two $102], which has an inviting garden terrace."
"My favorite bar is U'Trattu [Via Gabriele, Rekhale; 39-0923/916-579; dinner for two $68], where you can play a game of boccie at sunset."
"The Lago Specchio di Venere mud baths, in the northeastern interior, are known for curing skin ailments such as eczema. Locals visit them regularly."