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Lifestyle Journal

UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Made In Italy

Italy dominates the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list with some of the greatest treasures the world has to offer. It has forty three locations around Italy that are places of outstanding cultural and historical value: More than any other European country.

Italy’s rich natural heritage combines with cultural traditions are passed down generations all are intimately linked to these World Heritage Sites. They are irreplaceable sources of style and inspiration to this day and for the future.

You could could spend months exploring each site one by one but today we have featured some of the lesser known favourites. These places are unique and diverse, where locals still practice “saper vivere”, the art of living well. Starting from northern mountain peaks, we journey across the rolling hills of Tuscany and finish our expedition on the volcanic islands in Sicily.

The Dolomites

This mountain terrain is both dramatically beautiful and full of secret escapes. The high season in the Dolomite is winter but we head there in early Summer which offers a very different experience: The mountains provide unique hikes or for a more relaxed alternative just take a lift to reach the summit and take in the stunning panoramas.

By contrast the Alto Adige has the long lush valleys and has a vast choice of cold rivers and lakes to take a refreshing swim with the dramatic backdrop everywhere by the pink grey sheer cliffs of the Dolomites, it also offers some fabulous local vineyard to sample the increasingly well regarded wine.


Valdorcia

One of Tuscany’s six World Heritage Sites, Valdorcia is a landscape of gentle rolling hills and countless Renaissance paintings. Situated South East from Siena, this unique area is characterised by soft rolling hills dotted with yellow and red wildflowers, thermal springs, scenic country roads, magnificent vineyards and rows of cypress trees.

You can take the Florence - Rome railway line that passes down the Val di Chiana, leaving at Orcia to to cycle along the deserted country roads. Then nestled amidst this of this wild valley you have a choice of characterful villages of Montalcino and Pienza that are surrounded by olive trees, trattorias with a creative and modern twist where you will find discreet VIPs escaping the city to enjoy the hot summers day


Assisi

Assisi is a medieval hilltop town in the Umbria region that stretches out on the slopes of the Monte Subasio above the plain where the Topino and Chiascio rivers flow. The Sanctuary of Assisi is one of the oldest existing Gothic churches in Italy, you will find striking white-stone buildings including the Basilica and neighbouring friary with endless Romanesque arches.

After visiting the Basilica you stroll down within the town walls along the narrow cobbled streets containing museums, art galleries and boutiques selling unusual sculptures, pottery creations all crafted by artisans.


Matera

Matera is an unique city in the Basilicata region of southern Italy known for its picturesque Sassi districts: A large ravine divided into two parts dotted with cave dwellings and Rupestrian churches dug into the soft limestone or ‘tufa’. The cave houses were inhabited from Paleolithic times until as recently as the 1950’s. Today Sassi districts are a fascinating sight that can be explored on foot and one can even stay in a cave house as revived by Sassi hotel which has preserved this heritage but thankfully added some mod-cons.


Aeolian Islands & Panarea

The final stop on our tour of Italy’s World Heritage Sites takes us to the remarkably beautiful and extremely varied islands of the Aeolian archipelago.

Designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2000, these volcanic origins left a dramatic legacy of black-sand beaches, smouldering craters and rocky coastlines. We island hop amongst Milanese magnates and Sicilian princes around these sparkling jewel like islands. Each has its own individual charms from the spartan conical island of Alicudi, where donkeys are the only form of transport to the international jet-set playground of Panarea.


This season we launch our linen cotton shorts inspired by our travels to the Aeolian island of Panarea. Our light weight linen cotton blend evoke notions of the gentleman traveller, embarking his way through the windswept coastlines, lemon scented trails and plunging down to rocky deserted beaches. The palette is inspired by the volcanic earth tones, wild cacti and the crystalline waters that empower the island.


Italy dominates the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list with some of the greatest treasures the world has to offer. It has forty three locations around Italy that are places of outstanding cultural and historical value: More than any other European country.

Italy’s rich natural heritage combines with cultural traditions are passed down generations all are intimately linked to these World Heritage Sites. They are irreplaceable sources of style and inspiration to this day and for the future.

You could could spend months exploring each site one by one but today we have featured some of the lesser known favourites. These places are unique and diverse, where locals still practice “saper vivere”, the art of living well. Starting from northern mountain peaks, we journey across the rolling hills of Tuscany and finish our expedition on the volcanic islands in Sicily.

The Dolomites

This mountain terrain is both dramatically beautiful and full of secret escapes. The high season in the Dolomite is winter but we head there in early Summer which offers a very different experience: The mountains provide unique hikes or for a more relaxed alternative just take a lift to reach the summit and take in the stunning panoramas.

By contrast the Alto Adige has the long lush valleys and has a vast choice of cold rivers and lakes to take a refreshing swim with the dramatic backdrop everywhere by the pink grey sheer cliffs of the Dolomites, it also offers some fabulous local vineyard to sample the increasingly well regarded wine.


Turin: Residences of the Royal House of Savoy

Turin: Residences of the Royal House of Savoy

The Savoy residence located in the center of Turin and are an amazing blend of artistic, historical and architectural wonders. Built around the XVIII century these structures today are official residences but were once hunting lodges, a favorite activity of the royal family.

The most important building is undoubtedly the Royal Palace, it has already been restored several times and today houses the museum, where numerous centuries-old objects and furnishings are richly adorned by the leading artists of the day. The Residencies are spectacular example of historic craftsmanship in the region.

Turin: Residences of the Royal House of Savoy

Valdorcia

One of Tuscany’s six World Heritage Sites, Valdorcia is a landscape of gentle rolling hills and countless Renaissance paintings. Situated South East from Siena, this unique area is characterised by soft rolling hills dotted with yellow and red wildflowers, thermal springs, scenic country roads, magnificent vineyards and rows of cypress trees.

You can take the Florence - Rome railway line that passes down the Val di Chiana, leaving at Orcia to to cycle along the deserted country roads. Then nestled amidst this of this wild valley you have a choice of characterful villages of Montalcino and Pienza that are surrounded by olive trees, trattorias with a creative and modern twist where you will find discreet VIPs escaping the city to enjoy the hot summers day.


Assisi

Assisi is a medieval hilltop town in the Umbria region that stretches out on the slopes of the Monte Subasio above the plain where the Topino and Chiascio rivers flow. The Sanctuary of Assisi is one of the oldest existing Gothic churches in Italy, you will find striking white-stone buildings including the Basilica and neighbouring friary with endless Romanesque arches.

After visiting the Basilica you stroll down within the town walls along the narrow cobbled streets containing museums, art galleries and boutiques selling unusual sculptures, pottery creations all crafted by artisans.


Matera

Matera is an unique city in the Basilicata region of southern Italy known for its picturesque Sassi districts: A large ravine divided into two parts dotted with cave dwellings and Rupestrian churches dug into the soft limestone or ‘tufa’. The cave houses were inhabited from Paleolithic times until as recently as the 1950’s. Today Sassi districts are a fascinating sight that can be explored on foot and one can even stay in a cave house as revived by Sassi hotel which has preserved this heritage but thankfully added some mod-cons.


Aeolian Islands & Panarea

The final stop on our tour of Italy’s World Heritage Sites takes us to the remarkably beautiful and extremely varied islands of the Aeolian archipelago.

Designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2000, these volcanic origins left a dramatic legacy of black-sand beaches, smouldering craters and rocky coastlines. We island hop amongst Milanese magnates and Sicilian princes around these sparkling jewel like islands. Each has its own individual charms from the spartan conical island of Alicudi, where donkeys are the only form of transport to the international jet-set playground of Panarea.


This season we launch our linen cotton shorts inspired by our travels to the Aeolian island of Panarea. Our light weight linen cotton blend evoke notions of the gentleman traveller, embarking his way through the windswept coastlines, lemon scented trails and plunging down to rocky deserted beaches. The palette is inspired by the volcanic earth tones, wild cacti and the crystalline waters that empower the island.


Hollywood icon, Gary Cooper in a crisp white shirt, on the set of ‘The First Kiss’, 1928

There is perhaps no other item of apparel that defines a man’s style quite like the shirt – they’ve been a staple of men’s wardrobes for as long as anyone can remember and although athleisure types would probably beg to differ, it’s difficult to imagine a world without them.

Like most things that have stood the test of time, the shirt’s evolution was a slow and steady affair over millennia, but there are certain milestones in its development worth taking note of, which we’ve helpfully rounded up here.

An illustration of Ancient Egyptian linen attire from ‘The Costumes of All Nations’, 1882.

3500BC

One of the earliest examples of a shirt, was discovered in an Egyptian tomb by the Egyptologist Sir Flinders Petrie, in 1913. It is made from linen spun from flax fibres – as was nearly all Ancient Egyptian cloth – and dates from around 3500BC. It’s safe to assume that there was more than one example made, so clearly, the shirt goes back a long way. The fact they’re still very much a fixture of men’s wardrobes today, means it’s unlikely they’ll be going off the style agenda anytime soon.

Portrait of a Renaissance man by an unknown Flemish artist, c.1524. The subject wears a linen shirt typical of the day.

1500AD

Throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, shirts were regarded as underwear, providing a washable barrier between the skin and outer garments, which were never laundered – largely due to the labour involved in the weekly wash before the advent of washing machines and also because people weren’t as particular about their personal hygiene as we are now. This idea of the shirt as underwear is still evident today – in certain formal situations, such as black-tie dinners, weddings or race-meetings (think Royal Ascot), it is still considered bad form for a gentleman to remove his jacket and show his shirtsleeves; particularly in the presence of ladies. Back in the day, it was the equivalent of swanning into the office in your boxers and not much else.

At this time, shirts didn’t have buttons either – they were simply slipped over the head and were made of much coarser linen than we would be used to now. Shirts were also viewed as a status symbol on account of their expense – they were so highly prized, in fact, they were sometimes given as wedding dowries in lieu of cash.

A portrait of an artist’, by Michel Martin Drolling, 1819. The subject wears a high-collar regency-era shirt

1827

In 1827, an American housewife by the name of Hannah Montague, became so fed up of scrubbing the grime from her husband’s shirts on a daily basis, that she decided to take a pair of scissors and cut the dirty collars off. Far from being an act of sartorial vandalism, this was a significant moment in the history of menswear. Mrs Montague had invented removable collars – which she could exchange for clean ones, without the need to launder the entire shirt. The detachable collar soon came to be widely adopted and offered the illusion of wearing a fresh shirt every day (which Mr Montague insisted upon), as only the collar would be on show. It also gave the impression of owning more shirts than you actually did, due to the ability to switch collar styles each morning, depending on your mood.

Victorian dandies wearing stiff-collar shirts and cravats of the period, The Gentleman’s magazine, January 1870

1871

Around 1871, the shirt came to take on the form we’re familiar with today. Buttons were incorporated into the design for the first time – with this feature originally patented by London tailor, Brown, Davis and Co. The precursors to modern collars also made their debut around this time.

It’s always been a sign of prestige to wear white shirting, as you would a decent amount of capital to employ staff to keep them looking pristine. It was about this time that the expression ‘white-collar worker’ came into being, denoting someone who was wealthy enough to maintain a clean, respectable appearance and not engage in the sort of dirty manual work which could soil a clean white shirt.

Cluett and Arrow advertisement by J.C. Leyendecker, showing striped shirts with removable collars, 1907.

1900

As we’ve already learnt, the white shirt was always held in high regard by style purists. Printed styles were viewed with suspicion – they could conceal dirt more easily and allowed one’s hygiene standards to slip. By the 1900s however, fashion prevailed and striped and patterned designs began to be more widely accepted. The white shirt still continued to reign supreme in business and formal evening dress, though.

Illustration from Esquire magazine of men’s shirts and accessories, November 1936

1930

By the 1930s, the pace of life was becoming ever faster and the modern world as we know it was beginning to take shape. Men no longer had to time to fiddle with collar studs to attach removable collars (or the funds to employ a manservant to do it for them) and fixed shirt collars became the norm – the blueprint for today’s shirts was bor

John Hamm as Mad Men’s Don Draper,
wearing a 1960s shirt with a chest pocket.

1900

Although they had been around since the 1920s, chest pockets became a more common feature on shirts during the 1960s as the advent of central heating caused a decline in the popularity of the three-piece suit. In the absence of a waistcoat and its many pockets, they provided a little extra storage space.

Luca Faloni linen Portofino shirt in sage green

2014-present

Luca Faloni revamps the linen shirt for the modern man with his signature Portofino design. While still respecting the techniques of traditional shirt making, the brand has added its own touches that make the Portofino style a go-to for the discerning dresser.

Details like its subtle cutaway ‘Paramontura’ collar – which makes it look equally good worn with or without a tie – alongside premium fabric and mother-of-pearl buttons are a testament to the label’s fine Italian craftsmanship.

And the fact it comes in linen, brushed cotton and oxford cotton means it’s a piece for all seasons. In short, it’s the type of shirt the men of yesteryear would have given their right arm to get their hands on – although we might be a tad biased, perhaps.