5 destinations for the design-minded
creative director Anthony D’Argenzio, of Zio & Sons, on his favorite design destinations.
Published Feb 28, 2016 7:00 AM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
Anthony D’Argenzio, the New York City-based creative director of styling and creative company Zio & Sons, is a person with his finger on the pulse, who knows about new spots well before they open (often because he’s styled their opening-night party). He possesses an on-point design aesthetic (just ask recent collaborators West Elm, Pottery Barn, One Kings Lane, and St. Germain). And he continent-jumps multiple times a year (so much so that he was recently named a brand ambassador forTiny Atlas Quarterly magazine). In other words, he’s one of those people you want to ask where he’s been recently—and where he’s headed. So we did.
“I’m always looking for new, emerging destinations,” he says, “but honestly I am also drawn to historic places. There’s just something to those old details that tells such an interesting story.”
Cinque Terre, Italy
“Cinque Terre—’The Five Lands’—is made up of five villages along Italy’s rugged west coast. There are few roads in, so the region is fairly isolated, which makes it a perfect destination for the culture-savvy. One of the towns, Monterosso [above], has rocky beaches covered with colorful striped umbrellas and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. And the charm of another town—Manarola—completely stole my heart. The historic streets with hundreds of stairs are a photographer’s dream. I could have sat for hours taking pictures of all the colorful details. This is the trip you and your friends have been trying to plan together!”
Charleston, South Carolina
“Hands down one of my favorite cities in the U.S., this classic seaside town is rich in history and design. When you’re here, I’d recommend a little house stalking because one of Charleston’s most charming features is its beautiful colonial architecture. Check out Rainbow Row [above], one of the longest clusters of Georgian row houses in the USA, named for their pastel facades. Or you can visit a historic mansion: The Aiken-Rhett House is a stunning 1820 estate with original interiors. Aside from its pretty face, the city also has an amazing culinary and nightlife scene. Eventually you’ll have to head home, so try not to get too used to the Southern hospitality.”
“Love the mix of old and new that’s happening on the west side of Paris. For a fresh take on this classic city, head to the 11th arrondissement. The neighborhood’s evolving food and design scene has become one of our new favorites. A must-visit is Septime Restaurant [above] where the six-course tasting menu is almost as good as the dreamy rustic interiors. If you don’t have time for the full meal, head to their sister wine bar, La Cave, a cozy nook serving tapas, esoteric wines, and good tunes.”
“It doesn’t get better than London! This global city can seem daunting with everything it has to offer, but a long weekend exploring the creative scene on the east side will give you a sense of serenity. When you’re there, stop by The Clove Club, for what’s one of our favorite meals in the UK. Aside from its stunning interior, it serves interesting, often-overlooked British ingredients and produce. But really, east London has so many eclectic vintage shops, historic pubs, and charming English facades like those in Camden Town [above]. We suggest getting a little lost and playing like you’re a local.”
“When it comes to design, Milan does it best. Aside from the rich history, a new generation is evolving. A fresh taste of what’s happening on the scene is the great new Bar Luce [above] at the Fondazione Prada, the spot for an afternoon aperitivo. The interiors, designed by director Wes Anderson, give color blocking a whole new meaning. I can see some retro formica chairs and jukeboxes in my future.”
Anthony D’Argenzio, the creative force behind Zio & Sons (@zioandsons on Spot), answers our quick-fire questionnaire.
You travel for…
The thrill of exploring the unknown.
Your travel style in five words…
Charming, design-savvy, food-focused.
Cuba! To take a step back in time, check out the vintage cars, and sip a cocktail in Old Havana.
Dying to hold an event in…
Hotel Jerome in Aspen, CO. The interiors are cozy and rustic, perfect for a winter event, with stunning old details and an oversize fireplace. It would be great for après-ski—just add an Old-Fashioned.
Location that best embodies the Zio aesthetic…
Currently upstate New York. We recently purchased a 100-year-old home in Hudson that we will transforming into a new kind of travel experience.
Item you always pack…
An extra duffel bag for all my new treasures.
In a new place you always hit…
Local flea markets or antique stores.
Favorite thing to bring back…
Vintage oil paintings. They lay flat, are easy to pack, and make a nice reminder of your travels. Plus, you can never have too much art!
Travel advice you swear by…
Don’t be afraid to get lost!
Coolest discovery in Spot so far…
A few new gems right here in New York: One is Lovely Day in Nolita. Such a great hang and vibe, with cool interiors and delicious Pad Thai, which I can always get down on.
Current favorites on Instagram…
Love keeping up with @andnorth. They have a blog focused on upstate New York that shares all the elements of travel I love most: spaces, places, and food, right in our new neighborhood!
Spot lets you easily find and share cool places in your city and around the world much like you do in real life: pulling from your most in-the-know friends, jet-setting experts, and the kind of tastemakers who are into the same things you are. Get our gorgeous new app for free via Spot.com.