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Art + Design

Milan | Laboratorio Paravicini

If anyone's still not convinced that excellent craftsmanship survives and indeed thrives all over Italy, here's another sublime example. Actually, this is craftswomanship, white earthenware production to be precise, and of the very highest order, as accomplished by Costanza Paravicini. She's been at it for more than 20 years, in her own backyard in the heart of old Milan, creating ...

Bologna | Alex Angi at Orea Malià

Bologna claims its annual due as Italy's capital city of art. Arte Fiera is back, at the Bologna Exhibition Centre this year from January 29 to February 1, the biggest modern and contemporary art fair in southern Europe, and the oldest at a venerable 40 years with this edition. That's for committed collectors and professionals, mostly. What's much more fun for ...

Giussano | Molteni Museum

The Molteni group, an Italian success story if ever there was one, celebrated its 80th birthday in 2015. It commemorated the occasion in typically restrained style: first with an exhibition at Milan's Galleria d'Arte Moderna and then with the opening of its own museum. The Molteni Museum, inaugurated a couple of months ago (20 November 2015) at the Lombard furniture company's historic HQ in Giussano, ...

Taranto | Coworking Ulmo

Ambling in the alleys of historic Taranto a few weeks ago, I happened on a spruced-up courtyard with some well-tended greenery and red letters spelling out the words co-working ulmo. This was too intriguing to ignore. And so it was I met Marcus Briegel and friends. Coworking Ulmo is an amazing, spartan space on the lower floors of a townhouse ...

Naples | Hart

New in Naples, in a spectacular reincarnation of the old Ambasciatori cinema, a polished culture club dispensing a heady mix of art-house films, food, live music and shows. Hart is the name, in centralissimo Via Francesco Crispi, and it seems to have hit the headlines less for the listings than for some exceptionally comfortable seating: a place in the stalls at this movie theatre means ...

Milan | E63 and Lem

If the 1960s produced an exuberance of flair in Italian design, Umberto Riva was one of its most brilliant exponents. Mentored by Carlo Scarpa at the Venice school of architecture, class of '59, he began his professional career back home in Milan a year later and quietly proceeded to design memorable buildings, landscapes, interiors, furniture and objects mostly but not ...

Caltagirone | Pètra

Didn't think we'd be back in Caltagirone quite so soon, but something new and rather lovely caught my eye and it hails from that neck of the woods, mostly. It's a jug, needless to say a ceramic jug, but quite unlike any other. It's sort of shapeless, like a blob, or a very large pebble. And there we have it: a ...

Milan | Arts & Foods

As Expo Milan 2015 turns into the final straight, its high time to break a lance in favour of the one pavilion not out at the ad hoc Expo site but in the heart of the city. It's the one tracking the fascinating relationship between food, Expo 2015's overriding theme, and art. And, all being as it should be, the ...

Plan de Corones | Messner Mountain Museum

Italy has a new museum in the sky - and underground. It's a high-altitude museum, a mountaineering museum, a Zaha Hadid museum, a very impressive museum. The Messner Mountain Museum Corones opened just a few weeks ago, the last of six interconnected MMMs scattered among the peaks of the South Tyrol and the next-door province of Belluno. All dedicated, in ...

Caltagirone | Sicilian Ceramics

Try as you might, it's hard to identify a truly distinctive pottery among so many in Caltagirone. There are small workshops-cum-stores in which a single craftsperson plies his or her trade, and larger-scale producers with ample showrooms and an international mailing list. There are those offering ceramics of simple charm and those whose art is fine; those who play safe ...

Tradate | Museo Fisogni

A new museum, a singular theme, a private collection: meet the Museo Fisogni, where petrol pumps are finally admitted to the noble order of industrial design.  An 18th-century country house in Tradate, between Varese and Milan, is now home to a museum of petroliana. Now that's a new one on me, but it appears collecting old fuel dispensers, enamel signs, globes, oil cans, pourers ...

Milan | Galleria Antonia Jannone

Not the latest Milanese gallery by any means. Quite a classic in fact, and still a landmark on the Italian art scene more than 35 years after Antonia Jannone first opened its doors. She was following a suggestion made by new friends in Milan (Jo Pomodoro, Andrea Cascella and Emilio Tadini among them, no one we'd know...), and her gallery was ...
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