Milano: Day 4

Another early morning start with a long day of exploring ahead of us. Despite the gloominess appearance outside, we were all eager to finally embark upon our day trip to Como. Before reaching our final destination, we stopped at the Mantero silk company for our very first company visit. This company does everything from designing to making silk for several different high end brands so they can go on and finish their collections with this material. I was pleasantly surprised with the tour and didn’t expect to be seeing so many familiar designer brands being printed right before our eyes. We were able to see prints for designers such as: Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and so many more. One of the difficulties that was stressed to us throughout the tour was the importance of getting the colors exactly right. I didn’t even think about how much of an impact a slightly different shade could have on the collection. However, it was explained to us that if certain products were already designed and made out of different materials the silk would have to exactly match that in order to successfully create a cohesive collection.

When comparing Mantero to companies back in the U.S. there seemed to be several differences, mostly regarding safety regulations. At home before going on a tour like we did today, we typically would have to sign some sort of consent form in case anything were to happen during our time on the company’s property. Today we had to do no such thing. Another thing I found interesting was how close they let us get to their machinery while it was operating and to the products they were producing in general. Some other differences laid in the worker’s dress code in which they didn’t have to wear gloves or ear plugs to protect them from the machinery they were working with. The most interesting part of the trip to me was probably gaining the knowledge of what goes into making these silks and how they are actually produced. The most surprising part was having the opportunity to see some of my favorite brands like Louis Vuitton being produced right in front of me.

After our site visit we got back onto the bus to reach our final destination of Lake Como. Unfortunately we had a pretty rainy experience there, nonetheless, the views were still mesmerizing. We ate lunch at one of my favorite pizza places so far on this trip and then hopped on a boat to get a tour of Lake Como on the water. All in all it was a great experience and I would definitely hope to someday return to this area to get to explore it a little more in depth. Ciao for now!

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