Based in Milan, the 150 year-old Maglia Umbrella Company is one of three companies still making umbrellas entirely by hand, and it supplies the other two with parts, making Francesco arguably the dean of the world's remaining umbrella makers. But whether he is or is not is less important than his umbrellas. And those are deserving of attention, being beautifully made from traditional materials. I ended up ordering one with a whangee (bamboo) handle like the one in the top photo and a midnight blue cover (this despite my statement of a year ago that only black was appropriate for a man's umbrella). The other famous handle is one of Malacca, that being a brown cane from Malaysia, but the dark chestnut with the rind still on is also quite good looking.
The one drawback to whangee is that unlike the hardwoods it does not lend itself to a one piece umbrella shaft, but that is not a drawback when it is used for a travel umbrella. Unlike those short things that women carry, the classic travel umbrella looks like any other. The secret is shown in the second photo - it is made in three parts, with a tip and a handle that unscrew so that the pieces fit in a not terribly large suitcase.
And that is an umbrella for travel.
Photos: Maglia Umbrella Company