The connoisseur: Vicente Castellano
Luxury British luggage label Globe-Trotter has been perfecting the art of travel cases since 1897. This month, High Life talks to the brand’s executive chairman about his most memorable trips and why Lake Maggiore is underrated
The best way to get a feel for a new city is to go solo and immerse yourself in the local culture. I love art, so the one thing I always organise is a visit to an exhibition. It’s a great way to understand the culture and learn something new about the destination you’re visiting.
The best souvenir I have ever brought home is a set of ceramics from Japan. I purchased them more than ten years ago, but they’re pieces that I still treasure today. I’ve brought home a lot of things while travelling, but these have stayed with me, wherever I go.
To switch off on holiday I split my trip into two different weeks. Week one is all about doing nothing, like sunbathing on a nice beach, reading and enjoying the laziness. Week two is all about exploring and discovering new things. When you hear people say: “Now I have to have a holiday to get over the holiday”, I think right, OK, this is exactly what I don’t need!
The most inspiring place I’ve visited is Asolo in Italy. I was staying at the Hotel Villa Cipriani, and I remember sitting by the swimming pool and admiring the view and set-up there. It was very difficult for me not to get inspired by that incredible place.
My greatest travel companion is my Globe-Trotter suitcase. Even before I got involved with the brand, they were part of my life. As you can imagine, today I have several cases and a variety of options to choose from, so for me it’s all about deciding which trunk is going to come with me on my next trip. Also, I always tend to bring along a pair of running shoes. Whenever I’m away for business or leisure, I like to go running. I’m not a great runner, but I enjoy getting to know the city and its surroundings that way. When I have the time, I love to run through Tokyo’s Palace Gardens and Central Park in New York.
My favourite place to appreciate art is the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea. While the museum and the city are amazing, the art, too, is unique. The other incredible thing is that you can learn so much about Korean art here, which (at least for me) I’m not very familiar with.
I can’t wait to go back to Japan. Outside of Europe and New York, it’s the place I’ve been to the most in my life. I’ve always felt super engaged with the culture, the place, the food, and the people. While the rest of Europe is edging towards ‘normality’, Japan is still out of touch at the moment, which is what makes it so attractive right now. It’s true what they say, you always want what you can’t have! For Globe-Trotter especially, Japan is our biggest market, so from a business perspective, I’m desperate to get out there and sit down with the team in person. Usually, I would visit two or three times a year, so I miss it a lot!
The most underrated destination is Lake Maggiore in Italy. There’s much more to it than people realise. The lake is amazing, the sightseeing is incredible, and I think it’s somewhere that’s full of opportunities. I discovered it four years ago and instantly fell in love with the hotels, the food, and the wonderful restaurants there. The one place I’d recommend visiting is La Rampolina. It’s a fantastic local restaurant (so don’t expect anything fancy) that serves authentic Italian cuisine by a local chef.
If I could live anywhere in the world, I’d have to choose between London, Madrid and Milan. Ideally, I would love to spend four months in London and Madrid as they are both such great cities. Then, for the last four months of the year, I’d travel all over the world!
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