City Seeker, Destinations

Milan’s Navigli District

November 17, 2015 • By

One of the hippest areas of Milan is the Navigli, located around the city’s two canals and lined with a bewildering number of cafes, bars, shops, galleries, pizzerias, gelaterias, book stores and music shops. There are also souvenir vendors, musicians, street art, boat rides, regular flea markets and depending on the time of day, crowds of people.

I’ve spent the last several days getting to know Milan’s Navigli District.  I love the walkability and intimacy of it. I can only fall in love with a place if I can get to know it while walking along narrow streets.

The Navigli District, Milan

The Navigli District, Milan

Milan has grand boulevards, monuments, dramatic architecture and world-class museums of course. But this is my favorite part of the city. Here are some of my favorite spots for eating, shopping and exploring in Milan’s Navigli district.


The Davide Gatto boutique is a little slice of chic heaven. Davide spent the first part of his career working alongside creative directors and craftsmen at some of the major fashion brands but in 2012 he set out on his own.

His boutique is filled with his incredibly-designed purses and luggage, as well as vintage kimonos re-tailored as boho wedding dresses and jackets, vintage eyewear, antique drawings and various objets bizarres set up in creative vignettes in corners and on the floor.

Bags (and Vignette) by Designer Davide Gatto

Bags (and Vignette) by Designer Davide Gatto

Davide himself is friendly and passionate about his work. He reminds me of a younger, sexier Alan Cumming. And his designs are sheer perfection.

Designer Davide Gatto

Designer Davide Gatto

The leather is the softest you will ever feel. Bags, like the one below, are made of one length of hide, with well-thought-out compartments built into the interior. The sides can be folded in or out, depending on how you need to use the bag, and it comes with a cross-body/shoulder strap as well as lady-like handles.

Leather Designs by Davide Gatto

Leather Designs by Davide Gatto

Davide’s pieces are pricey – and worth every single penny. You can see the expert craftsmanship that goes into each piece. In the shop, you can even get a glimpse into his creative process.

Davide Gatto's Leather Designs

Davide Gatto’s Leather Designs

Start saving before you go – because you’re definitely going to want to come home with one of these pieces of fashion art! The shop is located at Alzaia Naviglio Grande 10, right on the canal and in the center of all the action that is Milan’s Navigli District.
Davide Gatto Leather Shop Milan

Across the Canal Grande is a Vintage Clothing shop called Reruns Strascé, which is so overloaded with goodies that everything spills out into the street. You could spend hours browsing here.

Vintage Clothing Shop in the Navigli

Vintage Clothing Shop in the Navigli

And I love this piece of street art. What a welcoming front door!

Street Art in Milan's Canal District, the Navigli

Street Art in Milan’s Canal District, the Navigli

Nearby is Erboteca, a shop where you can buy bulk herbs, essential oils, natural cosmetics and more – and grap a cup of freshly-made tisane to go.

Erboteca del Naviglio

Erboteca del Naviglio

Around the corner and off the canal, you’ll find “I See” – a fabulous optical shop with a current window display in which eyewear has been given names, such as “the intellectual”, “the vegetarian” and more…

Eyewear Shop in Milan's Naviglio

Eyewear Shop in Milan’s Naviglio

There’s also a boutique featuring casual, customizable bags, wooden phone cases and more by a young female design duo. The shop is called “IF” – their website is


And a chic boutique called Garden K is close by as well, but it was sadly closed by the time I got there!

Garden K in Milan

Garden K in Milan

And then there’s this cafe…

I didn’t get the name – but the art on the wall made me laugh as I walked by. “House Music”. I love it!

House Music - artwork just off the Canal Grande in Milan's Naviglio

House Music – artwork just off the Canal Grande in Milan’s Naviglio

Naturally, all this shopping and walking is going to make you hungry and thirsty. There’s a new opportunity for eating and drinking every few yards, so this won’t be a problem.


I enjoyed a long lunch at Officina12, which connects to Gin012, Milan’s first gin bar. I didn’t have gin. I did have a glass of house white wine to accompany my salmon tartare with almonds, berries and citrus creme.  The restaurant is located at Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 12.

Gin012 in Milan's Canal District

Gin012 in Milan’s Canal District

A few blocks away is Tizzy’s NY Bar & Grill. I found this one by mistake. Frankly, I was surprised by how many American-themed restaurants I saw in Milan and I didn’t have an urge to visit one. After five weeks in Italy, I have been thoroughly enjoying eating what I can’t get at home.

But most places close at around 3:00 and don’t reopen until 7:30 or so. I was hungry at the wrong time of day – so I went into Tizzy’s and found that their kitchen was still open. Everything was so delicious, Mr. H and I ended up coming here twice. Tizzy’s has salads, grilled cheese sandwiches, veggie burgers, turkey burgers and a long list of cheeseburgers. The french fries are fabulous!

Tizzy's NY Bar & Grill, Milan

Tizzy’s NY Bar & Grill, Milan

On the same side of the canal is Cioccolati Italiani – and this place is not to be missed. I had a crepe, filled with rich dessert creme and amarena cherries, drizzled with chocolate and folded into an ice cream cone. Unbelievably good!

Go here for dessert! Naviglio, Milano

Go here for dessert! Naviglio, Milano

Around every corner there is something new to look at, buy or eat…







There’s even the Happy Boat, if you want to explore by water…


And as the sun begins to set, the crowds start to come out – and you can expect the party to last until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. during the week, and well into daybreak on the weekends.



If you’re visiting Milan, make time for the Naviglio – its the best part of town!



Exploring the Restaurants, Shops, Bars, Galleries and more of Milan's Navigli District

Exploring the Restaurants, Shops, Bars, Galleries and more of Milan’s Navigli District



Holiday Gift Guide for your Favorite Boho Gypsy

November 13, 2015 • By

I love coming home from my travels with new pieces of art, ethnic textiles or a new dish to add to my collection. I love travel souvenirs that are beautiful and useful – and I love to have a bohemian mix of memories surrounding me.

Some of my friends are wanderers, like me. Some are would-be gypsies that can’t get away as often as they’d like. Still others travel mostly vicariously, but have a brilliant gypset soul.

Those are the people it’s fun to buy for! I love gifting with a boho flair. Do you?

Here are some fun, festive and beautiful items I’ve found that may very well be unwrapped by some special friends in the coming months.  If you’re ready for a few cool gift ideas – or ready to add some items to your own wish list – read on.

What to Buy Your Gypsy Friends!

What to Buy Your Gypsy Friends!

These gifts range fro $15 – $750 – some are for gifting, some for getting and some for dreaming over.


Apartment Crush, Vacation Rentals

Vacation Rental – Venice, Italy

November 11, 2015 • By

It’s been a while since I wrote a Vacation Rental of the Week post while sitting in the apartment I’m writing about. But I’m doing just that right now.

Today’s the day we leave our charming attic apartment in Venice, Italy.

This home stay was everything I had hoped it would be. The selection process started some time ago, and I now know I chose wisely. To be perfectly honest, I felt completely at home here, from the moment I opened the front door and kicked off my shoes…

Rug in My Venetian Vacation Rental

Rug in My Venetian Vacation Rental

The apartment could not be more conveniently located.

When you arrive by boat to the San Samuele dock, you are just steps away from the front door. And while the apartment is on the top floor, there is an elevator that deposits you there easily with all your bags.

We were greeted by our charming hostess, Signora Barbero and READ MORE


Stylish Traveler Tells All – with Gillian Bryce

November 6, 2015 • By

It’s time for another Stylish Traveler interview – and I’m excited.

To celebrate #FollowFriday, I’ll be posting occasional Friday Q&A’s with bloggers, artists, interior designers or other creative types.  This time, I’m interviewing gallery owner Gillian Bryce of Gillian Bryce Fine Art.

Art Dealer Gillian Bryce Talks Travel on Rover@Home

Art Dealer Gillian Bryce Talks Travel on Rover@Home

My friend Kellie and I met Gillian a few years back in Atlanta. Immediately, we knew she was intriguing – with a background full of amusing stories. That sounds like the perfect interview, doesn’t it? Read on…


House Envy, Vacation Rentals

Vacation Rental – Kauai, Hawaii

November 4, 2015 • By

Kauai is one of my favorite Hawaiian Islands. Mr. H and I spent most of our honeymoon on nearby Lanai, but I’ve been to Kauai several times.

Kauai is home to the famous St. Regis Princeville Resort and (at least part of the time) to Pierce Brosnan, Ben Stiller, Bette Midler and a host of other stars. It’s also a favorite getaway for Rob Lowe, Ben Affleck and hunky beach bums in general.

But I’m here to tell you about a charming, upscale surf shack that you can rent for a self-catering holiday.

Just steps from Poipu Beach and Brennecke’s Beach, this bright, colorful and beautifully appointed Kauai vacation rental is so much fun. This is the epitome of laid-back beach style. So grab your board shorts and let’s go.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 9.37.37 PM


Vacation Rentals

8 Places You Can Rent a Castle for Less Than a Hotel

October 30, 2015 • By
16th Century Castle in Trossachs

16th Century Castle in Trossachs

Have you ever wanted to spend the night in a castle? Such over-the-top properties may seem out of reach, but did you know that with a little planning, you can rent a castle for less than a hotel?

I’m serious. You could totally do this.READ MORE