Il Foulard – The Italian Scarf – A Hidden Treasure of Italy

Joanne Natale Spigonardo

October 5, 2022

Joanne’s Collection of Scarves

The silk scarf or foulard is probably one of the most beautiful Italian accessory. As we all know the Italians have great style and their accessories are high end and meticulously selected to enhance any wardrobe that will outlast trends. Designers have had their own wonderful scarves that are signature creations and are truly art-forms in their own right. Some of the most gorgeous scarves have been designed by Gucci, Prada, Valentino, Versace, Ferragamo, Laura Biagiotti, and countless other fashion houses.

Italian silk is probably the most exquisite in the world. Lake Como is also known as Silk City because if its many factories and family-owned businesses. Ludivico Sforza, who was the Duke of Milan in 1400 cultivated mulberry trees in Lake Como to feed the silkworms. This was the beginning of the silk industry in Italy. For the following centuries silk manufacturing has been prevalent throughout Italy. Italy is renowned for the Made in Italy fashion brand because of its silk industry, as well as, many other impeccable fashion items.

Perhaps the first scarf dates back to Egyptian times, when Nefertiti wore magnificent head and neck coverings that adorned her clothing. The Romans utilized neck coverings for warmth and practicality, while the French invented the cravat in the 17th century. Queen Victoria was a fashion icon in her time, with beautiful English lace scarves and neck pieces. It was actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly that brought the scarf to more modern times. Who could forget Audrey in her chic outfit with a fashionable scarf in Roman Holiday. A scarf can transform any outfit. Grace Kelly always a timeless beauty, was even more beautiful in her many head scarves throughout her career as an actress. Princess Grace inspired the famous Gucci Flora Scarf that was especially designed for her. The Gucci Flora Scarf is a true art form and still popular today after 7 decades.

Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday
Grace Kelly in The Country Girl
Gucci Flora Scarf

Like all things Italian, quality and not quantity is the mantra for everything, and also when accessorizing. It is not unreasonable to drop several hundred dollars on a scarf, but it is an investment that will last a lifetime. It is a luxury item that can be a family heirloom, the same as jewelry or art. A scarf is an accessory for all seasons. Italian women and men wear scarves as a little extra something, a thing of beauty that identifies their special brand and personality.

About the Author:

Joanne Natale Spigonardo

Joanne has many years of experience in travel to Italy, Italian art, literature, film, history, wine, and cuisine. She is a lover of nature and beauty.  She is an advocate for Italian immigrant women, and the author of White Widow, which is available on Amazon.  For more information about Joanne please visit her LinkedIn page:

Published by spigonaj

Joanne Spigonardo Business Development Consultant Specializing in Sustainability, Higher Education, Career Management, and Public Relations In her former roles, Joanne served as Senior Associate Director at the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) at Wharton. Joanne was also part of the Communications Office. She held positions as business manager of the Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists and for the Wharton Alumni Magazine. Joanne also served as the media relations coordinator. When with Alitalia Airlines, Joanne worked as a sales representative. Joanne graduated from The University of Pennsylvania with a BA and later graduated from the Wharton Aresty Institute of Executive Education. She has a strong background in development, management, marketing, and Italian language and culture. As a Wharton Mentor, she coached new employees on professional development, and is active in Penn’s Grievance panels. Joanne was on the board of governors for the University Club. Joanne is chair of the Delaware County Penn Alumni Interview Program and oversees alumni volunteers. As an alum of Penn and Wharton, and also a parent of two Penn graduates, she is a strong advocate in promoting Penn. At Wharton IGEL, Joanne had been in partnership with GreenBiz, Sustainable Brands, the Ethical Corporation, Pira Packaging International, Public Relations Society of America, the Green Sports Alliance, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, the Italian Consulate, the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Sonoma County Winegrowers Association, and the Nature Conservancy, as well as, many other NGO and government offices. She has brokered hundreds of corporate relationships for Wharton. Joanne is the author of her book, White Widow, published on Kindle and Amazon. The book is a fictional novel about 19th-20th Century Italian immigrants.

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