Lake Como isn’t Milan. You won’t find mega stores, nor would you, I imagine, want to. There are however some sweet and fun boutiques located throughout Lake Como and Lake Lugano. In fact, if shopping is your game then you should pop up to Lugano for a day. Not only can you do some shopping, the lake is beautiful and it is home to two beautiful, fabulous churches and some interesting museums as well (more on these to come). I scoured the web for a comprehensive shopping guide to Lake Como and could not find one. Here are the shops that I thought were worth popping into for gifts or fun fashions.
In Como City:
Let me start by saying that out of all of the gorgeous small towns on Lake Como, Como was not my favorite. It had a larger and more bustling, atmosphere and the small towns doted with tiny colored houses isn’t what you find in Como. But there are a few boutiques worth mentioning.
There is a kids branch, mens branch and two womens branches of this store. They carry the Italian standard. Golden Goose sneakers, Fendi, Valentino, Saint Laurent and so on. The stores are lovely and you do have to spend time trekking from boutique to boutique to find what you need. You can spend a whole day this way,stopping for gelato and espressos on the way.
This is similar to A. GI Emme in the sense that there are several stores scattered all over the town one for kids, one for women, and one for men. Again, you will see more of the same high end designers and the stores are lovely. I think the men’s selection are far better than the women’s selection.
Great vintage shop in Como with a large selection of Celine handbags and Chanel. You could spend hours wandering in here.
Bellagio is one of my absolute favorite towns on Lake Como. It is dotted with small trinket shops and higher end boutiques. There are loads of sweet cafe’s and gelaterias.
This was one of my favorite finds in Como. Nene carries tons of made in Italy cashmere and some fun jewelry as well. Her selection of cashmere rivals Barney’s in maybe 500 square feet. She also carries a fun collection of shoes, bags and jewelry. Be sure to ask what she has sitting in back!
I am not a sucker for “souvenir shops,” but this is so much more than just a souvenir shop. We stopped in the store because we saw the beautiful handmade dolls in the window and my daughter looked longingly and asked if she could add a doll to her “do not touch it doll collection.” The dolls were unbelievably beautiful but once inside I was captivated by the antique costume jewelry, artisan jewelry and antique silverware. Gorgeous store well worth a visit.
Menaggio is a gorgeous small town on Lake Como. If you go on a Friday you can stop at the open air market filled with white tents selling jewelry, scarves, silks, flowers, foods and more.
By far my favorite boutique in all of Lake Como, Aldo Savorani has two boutiques in Menaggio. One right on the square and one off the first road to the right of the square. The boutique carries well known brands: Brunello Cucinelli and Golden Goose, but it is their lesser known Italian brands that stole my heart. I love owning something I know no one else will. They carry some jackets that are made in Italy and hand stitched there as well. They have an amazing stock of scarves, jewelry, boots, shoes, hats and fun accessories. A must visit store.
Lugano is a beautiful city located about an hour away from Como by car. Lake Lugano is gorgeous and there is an amazing park right on the lake in the city of Lugano, should shopping not be your thing.
However if you do want to stop to shop you can hot all of the majors: Gucci, Prada, and Moncler.
Some of the smaller boutiques, By Kilian, for instance are worth some time. By Kilian is a boutique fragrance, probably best known for their scent Good Girl Gone Bad. But they have so many scents and so many versions of this original it’s worth spending some time picking a new scent.
This is the boutique for the mini Jet-Set carrying Bonpoint, Simonetta, Moncler and Scotch R’Belle. They have a fabulous shoe collection for boys and girls.
So if you are off to Lake Como or Lugano feel free to spend some of your dollars they will buy a lot more now than they did last year (remember though Lugano is Swiss Franc not Euro).
And if you are flying out of a country other than Italy then you have to get your VAT forms stamped at the border out of Italy.