Although a trip to Solomeo is highly recommended, trekking to this idyllic hilltop fortress in Umbria is not required to get a full picture of Brunello Cucinelli’s universe. He perfects and reveals its essential elements through his brand, which began as a fashion enterprise and has since expanded to include home furnishings, décor, olive oil, and even wine. (The latter two are available only to friends and family, at least for now.) This fall, after years—perhaps even decades—of hashing out what Brunello Cucinelli eyewear could, and should, look like, Cucinelli debuts a complete collection done in collaboration with Oliver Peoples. On the occasion, he reveals the key components to the good life. —Ashley Baker
Bedtime: Early enough, but not before smoking a Cuban cigar.
Birthday RITUAL: A small gathering with friends and family.
Breakfast, weekday: Cappuccino and brioche.
Car: A Jaguar E-Type made between 1961 and 1975, in Panama color, with reddish interior.
Cocktail appetizer: Bruschetta with a new bottle of olive oil.
Dinner, weekday: It’s always with my family and my grandchildren. I especially enjoy our dinners in the winter months, when we gather and tell each other many stories sitting around by our fireplace.
Dinner, weekend: I love seeing my lifelong friends for dinner on weekends. I know what they’re thinking just by looking at them. Their smiles are all I need.
Dress: I like the idea of refined, sophisticated elegance—the timeless kind that never goes out of style.
The one that shows firmness yet respect, both at once.
Flaw: Is being too demanding a flaw?
Friend: Those with whom I can share my values and vision.
Good-bye: “May creation light our path.”
Hideaway: The woods behind my home, in Solomeo. It’s the best place to walk my dogs and think.
Mentor: The great philosophers from the past.
Movie: Black-and-white movies from the past are still the best, in my opinion.
PetS: My two female Labradors. One is chocolate, and the other is blonde.
Piece of advice: “Always respect yourself and others.”
PRIME MINISTER: [Mario] Draghi, a respectful man and a great example for us in Italy.
Restaurant: The perfect restaurant is my wife Federica’s home cooking, but if I have to go out, I truly enjoy Pane e Vino in Cortona. It’s a really dear place to me.
Saying: “We are temporary custodians of the world.”
Shoes: Cordovan lace-ups.
Spouse: Federica Benda, my wife of 39 years.
Theme song to your life: “Wish You Were Here,” by Pink Floyd.
Time of day: Really early, right before dawn.
Toast: Bread and prosciutto.
Tree: Cypress. They are majestic, and they remind me of home.
Vacation: Any location where I can regenerate my mind and soul.
VIEW: From my office in the ancient tower in the Castle of Solomeo, which dates back to the 1300s.
Wake-up time: Six a.m., so I have enough time to collect my thoughts and plan for the day ahead.
Work of art: Palladio, and art and architecture from late Gothic period.