Categories Archives

Art + Design

Orgosolo | Sardinian Street Art

Perched under cliffs in the mountainous wilds of central Sardinia, an area as far-flung and sparsely populated as any in Europe, is an unlikely hub of street art: the village of Orgosolo.With a resident population of at least 4200 (including infants) a traditional costume in every wardrobe, ongoing practices such as silkworm breeding and tenor choirs dating from time immemorial and ...

Chianti | Art of the Treasure Hunt

Chianti, the domain, is 300 years old. The first ever wine region was delineated by the then Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de’ Medici in late September 1716. He wasn't a particularly nice chap or successful ruler, and he may have been a little biased, hailing as he did from Florence. But we can only assume he'd done his homework (paintings ...

Forlì | Totally Lost 2016

This post should be starred. It's important because you only have a few days left to see an extraordinary architecture exhibition. Totally Lost 2016 belongs to a project of the same name and runs until September 25th (but only over the weekend) in three venues in Romagna. The Totally Lost plan is to map abandoned totalitarian architecture in Europe by means of an ...

Buscoldo | Realizzatori di Idee

Joinery isn't what it used to be, not in Buscoldo. That's where a carpentry business producing fine contemporary fittings for bars and restaurants evolved into a hotbed of creativity  - with the means of production to hand. Brothers Daniele and Davide Barbieri co-founded Realizzatori di Idee in this village about 10 km outside Mantua. Daniele's the master woodworker, skilled in techniques ...

Seggiano | Il Giardino di Daniel Spoerri

Far from the madding crowds at the Uffizi but still unmistakably Tuscan, here’s a wonderful place to see some – indeed a great many - fine contemporary sculptures and enjoy a rural caper at the same time. Venerable and eminent Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri has an extraordinary collection in a densely wooded park covering all of 16 hectares on the ...

Deruta | Grazia Maioliche

Fine ceramics traditions dating back millennia endure all over the boot and positively flourish in a few notable pockets already cited, like Grottaglie in Apulia or Sicily's Caltagirone. Only down south, then? Uh-uh. Take Umbria, and specifically a little hill town maybe 15 km south of Perugia, fewer than 10 000 souls and every one a potter. Deruta. Not many people know ...

Turin | Organismi

If passing through Turin any time soon, bear in mind this curious and fascinating event at the GAM - the city's modern and contemporary art museum. It's one of those concept exhibitions which eschews a single theme or period (so last century) to span eras and disciplines which hang together - at first glance it seems precariously - on a thread. ...

Modena | Susanna Martini

For lovers of bold jewellery, and indeed for anyone longing for a blast of luminous colour to banish the blues and celebrate summer, here's an unmissable address in the heart of historic Modena. It's where Susanna Martini designs, creates and sells dazzling, Murano-glass bijoux. In intense glossy colours and singular, dynamic forms that hint at symbolism, they're displayed against total black in her ...

Lake Iseo | The Floating Piers

Lake Iseo is under the spotlight. The least known of the Lombard lakes is about to be transformed by a work of art, an extraordinary work conceived by a couple of old hands at massive-scale, site-specific, outdoor installations: Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The Floating Piers project is a modular promenade system bobbing on the waves. It's made of 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes loosely ...

Viadana | Abici

Beautiful bicycles, handmade in Italy to perfect vintage designs, technologically state-of-the-art and individually tested for superior quality? Must be Abici. Ten years ago Abici was a start-up, born of a Lambrusco-fuelled idea conceived by three friends over dinner at a local osteria as they thumbed through some 1950s catalogues. The plan developed to replicate those solid bikes with their unembellished forms ...

Milan | XX1T

Probably the most prestigious institution dedicated to the arts in Italy, the Triennale di Milano has finally revived the practice from which it took its name, that of grand triennial international exhibitions. It's been 20 years since the last proper one, a millennium has turned, much has changed in the world, and the theme of the long-awaited, new and improved, 21st ...

Rome | Istanbul. Passion, Joy, Fury

Perhaps there's never been a better time to get a grasp of the Turks. Well, right now you can start at the MAXXI, by taking a good long look at a fascinating exhibition curated by the Museum's Artistic Director Hou Hanru, among others, and entitled Istanbul. Passion, Joy, Fury. Naturally, this being the MAXXI, contemporary Turkey - especially Istanbul - is presented via ...
Keep in touch with Urban Italy!