Off–the–Beaten Path in Lake Como, Italy with cShashona

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Favorite Place to Stay in Lake Como:

As soon as the boat pulls up to the pier @Villa d’Este, or the car enters the driveway and the gates open, the lake’s stunning sapphire blue water shimmers peace and calm, setting it apart from other travels and hotels I have stayed. To be here is to experience heaven on earth. We spent many days relaxing by the pool, complete with colorful umbrellas and lounge chairs, inviting friends and family to rendez-vous over a leisurely three-hour lunch of fresh pasta and fish. With Lake Como serving as the back drop, this is the true meaning of the Art of Living.

What are the sights and sounds that inspire you as an Artist?

There’s a reason @georgeclooney left behind Hollywood for Lake Como. Steeped in history, I’m inspired by Villa d’Este’s 25 acres of enchanted gardens with its gorgeous sculptures and sumptuous flowers, and of course, the magical lake itself which can be enjoyed from the garden terraces. It was originally built in 1568 as the summer home of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, and then became the place for the aristocracy to rejuvenate and retreat in the 1800s.

My travels around the world have always influenced my jewelry designs. I felt so transformed and protected at Villa d’Este that it inspired one of my signature pieces. The cShashona Scared Eye is encrusted with black diamonds and accented with a sapphire, paying a quiet homage to Lake Como. My necklace offers protection and symbolizes strength and empowerment- to obtain higher knowledge.

What did you learn from spending time with the locals?

Actress Sophia Loren best sums up the Italian way of life: “Everything You See I Owe to Spaghetti.”

What’s your go-to signature look while visiting here? 

Lake Como is a sophisticated European enclave, and there’s no shortage of celebrity sightings year-round, so I like to keep my clothing during the day simple and elegant, accented with beautiful silk scarfs, dramatic hats, and my eponymous jewelry collection. Night time is when I go all out with couture like Valentino, Armani, YSL, Alexander McQueen, and of course, Gucci. You never know who you may bump into star gazing on one of the Villa’s terraces, which open to the famous lake at night.


Favorite Memory?

That’s easy. Even though Lake Como is known as a respite there are plenty of romantic day trips. On one special afternoon, we drove to Switzerland, stopping in the nearby town of Bellagio, known for its cobbled streets and architecture. We enjoyed lunch at a local trattoria and then went to see the amazing 18th century terraced gardens at Villa Serbelloni Park. Not surprisingly, there’s a big art scene in Bellagio with the Tower of the Arts, a venue for exhibitions and performances, and the Romanesque San Giacomo Church. One of my favorite stops was the Museum of Navigational Instruments, showcasing the history of sundials and compasses, which I also use in some of my scared jewelry collections.

Stone Trivia:

Sapphires have a long rich history, and in ancient times were worn only by the clergy as the stone symbolized Heaven. It wasn’t until 1981 that sapphires regained prominence when Prince Charles made the sapphire famous with Princess Diana’s engagement ring, which is now worn by Duchess Kate Middleton. The stone originates from the East: Sri Lanka, China, Madagascar, and even Australia.


Did you know the word Confetti originates from the Italian confectionary of the same name? Inspired from my travels to Lake Como, Italy, here’s my recipe for “Confetti,” a healthy and energy boosting snack that I created to be enjoyed morning, noon or night.

What You Need:
1 Large Roasting Pan
1 Cutting Knife
1 Cutting Board

1 Cup of Raw Almonds
1 Cup of Dried Apricots
1 Cup of Dried Mango
1 Cup of Dried Pineapple
1 Cup of Dried Dates

Click the video to see how to prepare cShashona’s Confetti:

Mike SlabyComment