My personal style signifier is a vintage waistcoat, not as part of a three-piece suit but co-ordinated with other items such as classic vintage jackets. I like the waistcoat styles of the 1940s and 1950s. I love to learn from the differences in construction and the hidden details of the tailoring traditions of London, Naples and Paris. My favourites are from Caraceni, an old bespoke firm that is still run by family members in Milan. Via Fatebenefratelli 16, 20121 Milan (+3902-655 1972; www.a-caraceni.it).
The last thing I bought and loved is a limited-edition portrait, one of 10, of Joseph Beuys by Robert Lebeck – one of my favourite artists by a photographer whose work I follow. Lebeck is known in Italian as lo sciamano – the shaman – and his pictures have a magical quality. In this one, Beuys’s eyes are so piercing that you wonder what he was thinking. I found it in Lumas, a gallery in Paris. www.lebeck.de. Lumas, 40 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris (+331-4329 1029; www.fr.lumas.com).
And the thing I’m eyeing next is more art, by Maurizio Cattelan, who satirises our institutions in a darkly humorous way; or Liu Bolin, who bridges the gap between photography and performance art, putting himself invisibly in all his pictures. www.liubolinart.com. www.mauriziocattelan.altervista.org.
The latest accessory I added to my wardrobe is a set of cuff links from Bernardini in Milan. I always wear double-cuff shirts and usually vintage cuff links, and this store has the best researched and curated vintage luxury items I have ever seen, from trunks to watches and jewellery, in a setting that’s like the ideal gentleman’s home. I could spend all my money there. Via Caradosso 2, 20123 Milan (+3902-4802 4966; www.bernardinimilano.it). www.talking-heads.nl.
The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a vintage woven leather belt in complex intrecciato work, probably 1950s. I found it at a store in the Paul Bert flea market at Clignancourt in Paris. Sofiane Boukhari, Marché Paul Bert, 96 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 St Ouen (+331-4011 5414; www.paulbert-serpette.com).
The last music I downloaded is Delta Machine by Depeche Mode. I love the energy of 1980s music – anything by Talking Heads or Depeche Mode, and David Bowie is a hero. www.davidbowie.com. www.depechemode.com.
A recent “find” is U Barba, a restaurant in Milan that serves only Ligurian food and has its own pétanque court. It’s a lovely place for a game and a leisurely Sunday lunch – it’s very private with wonderful seafood and pasta, all cooked on the spot. Via Pier Candido Decembrio 33, 20137 Milan (+3902-4548 7032; www.ubarba.it).
The books on my bedside table are several biographies of Gabriele d’Annunzio. He was a completely fascinating character, creative and crazy, a poet, soldier and dandy. My favourite is Vita segreta di Gabriele d’Annunzio (The Secret Life of Gabriele d’Annunzio) by Tom Antongini. For relaxing, reading the work of Erri de Luca makes my imagination fly, particularly Tre Cavalli (Three Horses) and I Pesci non Chiudono gli Occhi (Fish don’t Close their Eyes).
The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing are my barbers at Antica Barbieria Colla in Milan, who look after my hair and beard once a month, and in Paris, Nevena Budimir, a super-inspiring yoga teacher from Belgrade. A visit to Colla is like being in paradise. After shaving, there are steaming-hot towels, a sfumatura a candela haircut [shaded and graduated softly] and wonderful shampoo made from Marseille soap flakes, bitter-almond soap and brandy. Antica Barbieria Colla, Via Gerolamo Morone 3, 20123 Milan (+3902-874 312; www.anticabarbieriacolla.it). Nevena Budimir, email@example.com.
In my fridge you’ll always find fresh burrata cheese, fresh basil and fresh pesto, so that I can make a great basic meal any time. To go with it I always have my favourite red wine, a Barbaresco from La Spinetta. www.la-spinetta.com.
My favourite website is Meravigliapaper, a cool online travel magazine, well researched and beautifully shot, with suggestions for places to go all over the world and interesting interviews, too. www.meravigliapaper.com.