Why Solo Travel Is Intrinsic to This London Jewellery Designer’s Success

Alighieri jewellery has made a mark in the fashion world
Alighieri jewellery has made a mark in the fashion world | Courtesy of Rosh Mahtani/Alighieri

Rosh Mahtani is the designer behind Alighieri. Inspired by the work of Dante Alighieri and his native Florence, her collection of would-be modern heirlooms has made Alighieri one of the fashion world’s favourite jewellery brands. Once a year, Mahtani books a solo trip. A time to reset, reflect and explore, her adventures inspire new designs.

Every January, Rosh Mahtani, the designer behind cult jewellery label Alighieri, escapes London alone to explore a new corner of the world. Armed with her trusty Pentax camera and an open mind, she goes in search of trinkets and keepsakes – inspiration for unique seasonal collections.

To Mahtani, jewellery itself tells a story. “It feels like a safety blanket. I think it’s because you wear it on your skin. It means the same no matter what country you’re from or what culture you’ve been brought up in,” she says.

Mahtani’s jewellery is inspired by Florence

Now 30 years old, Mahtani relishes her lone escapades, but this hasn’t always been the case. Her 20s were a turbulent time, and she admits to booking trips as a form of escapism, running from her lack of a life plan or career path – both things she felt her contemporaries had mastered with ease. And yet it was just that lack of structure that provided the answers she was seeking.

“You can do incredible things when you don’t have a plan,” she says. “It took me a long time to realise that, and it’s the story that I want to tell through my work.”

Travel has long been at the heart of Mahtani’s artistic curiosities. She remembers her first family holiday: “The first thing I saw when we landed in Malawi … was a white beach. I remember thinking, ‘I’m going to collect so many shells. I need to start my collection.’ I still love the idea of discovering treasure from around the world now.”

The brand takes its name from Dante Alighieri, author of ‘Purgatory’

Studying art history in Florence, she was introduced to the work of Dante Alighieri, specifically his epic work Divine Comedy. It was the starting point of a cultural awakening, and although she has spent equally long periods of time in Paris, Australia and Africa plus made shorter visits to Colombia, Iceland and China, Italy’s charm keeps pulling her back. “The year I spent there was informative,” she says. “It was when I first learnt about Dante. Florence is so full of character. The people are passionate and fiery, and I find that invigorating.”

It was here that she found the inspiration for one of the original and most popular pieces in her collection – a 24-carat-gold-plated bronze lion medallion strung on a long drop chain. Stumbled upon in a food market, it reminded her of Dante’s story about courage. “I decided to recast the coin and wear it around my neck as a reminder of this message,” she says. “It’s a piece that has really resonated with people, and I’ve heard so many incredible personal stories since launching it. This is the epitome of what the brand is about.”

Italy’s charm is a font of inspiration for Mahtani

Thought-provoking and beautiful, each Alighieri item aims to become an heirloom that represents more than just a pretty keepsake. It’s the reason Mahtani continues to book her solo trips. Scheduled just ahead of her birthday in January each year, Mahtani’s adventures mark the start of a new chapter, a new calendar and a new collection.

“It’s when I am at my best,” she says. “It’s my time to think. It’s just me and my Pentax camera, and it’s a trip that will always mean something to me.”

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article