I'm often asked what the "take home" items or gift items are from a vacation here in Lake Como. That's not so simple in Lombardia, this region known for truffles & gorgonzola cheese, but try taking those through customs! Wine, ceramics & olive oil are made here, as in all regions of Italy, but not the first thought as they might be in a region like Tuscany (I'm a sucker for those cute little EVOO bottles, too). The industry here is fashion; silks, textile design & production. The mother-ship of fashion outlet malls is just next door in Mendrisio, Switzerland and the capital of Fashion, with a capital F, is just 45 minutes away in Milan. In the lake area we have silk outlets with scarves, ties, dresses, blouses and other silk articles. Lake Como is still where the world's major brands have their silks designed and made. If silks is not your thing, other Italian-chic fashion finds abound! Take a look at the shops listed below.
A mega-mall of top-tier brands like YSL, Valentino, Gucci, Loro Piana, D&G, Fendi.....to brands such as Geox, Guess, Brooks Brothers...but also "regular" names like Nike and Levis. The end of June is a great time to go when the already discounted outlet stores have their annual sales season. This is when the true deals are had. Foxtown is about 15 minutes from Como. Open 7 days a week from 11:00am - 7:00pm. Foxtown.com
A. GI. Emme
Chic shoes & clothing. The three independent boutiques for women, men & kids epitomize the Lake Como locals look. Understated, but rich. There's an Urban shop, too, for things on the sporty side. agiemme.com
With boutiques in Como & Cernobbio, L.E. covers everything you'd need for whatever invitation comes your way. Lots of sandals, sun dresses, gowns, jackets; depending on the season.
A pop-up shop famous for chic, unique prints. Bathing suits, dresses etc.
Elegant clothing for men & women.
Dep Design store
Stylish table top & cookware.
A shop on the grounds of Villa d'Este. Alta moda.
There's a Baby Chic actually for babies, but their womens shop carries the same name. Cool, rock star casual clothes. Think asymmetrical T-shirts, booties.
Great kids shoes, but be prepared to pay for them.
An uninspiring department store in Como's center right near the Duomo. Perfect, though, for finding essentials like your favorite facial cleanser or nail polish color while traveling. Nespresso has a store in the entrance area. They also have a rooftop bar (coffee, apero) with nice views should you find yourself there.
Your Local Mercatino
The weekly outdoor market "mercatino" is really all about fresh fuits & vegetables. But, also present, alongside their temporary food truck like installations are cheese mongers, fish mongers, chicken rotisserie guys, flowers & sometimes half way decent clothing for about 15 euro. In Cernobbio every Wednesday from 7:30am until 12:30/1pm. In Como on Tuesdays & Thursdays in the morning. Saturdays all day.