Mikaela Bandini's insider Italy http://urbanitaly.com the travel guide to contemporary Italy Fri, 30 Jan 2015 17:55:46 +0000 en-EN hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 Milan | Milan Retail Tourhttp://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-milan-retail-tour.html http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-milan-retail-tour.html#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:35:40 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=3974
MJ for fi
Vibrant and innovative, Italy’s design capital is retail heaven. So packed with the flagships of international labels, stunning concept spaces and entire districts of design and/or vintage chic, you could easily miss one of the current highlights. But not if your Milan experience takes the form of a walking tour masterfully guided by our resident …

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MJ for fi

Vibrant and innovative, Italy’s design capital is retail heaven. So packed with the flagships of international labels, stunning concept spaces and entire districts of design and/or vintage chic, you could easily miss one of the current highlights. But not if your Milan experience takes the form of a walking tour masterfully guided by our resident coolhunter, uniquely qualified to pick out those leading-edge boutiques and hybrid spaces which are revolutionizing the whole retail model. 

We suggest starting out in Brera, the city’s stylish heart, and more precisely in Piazza del Carmine now dominated by the new Marc Jacobs store. Brazenly chromatic, it carries the whole amazing range of clothing-bags-shoes-and-accessories for the delight of global fashionistas, who invariably meet up afterwards at the Café, part of the concept that spills out onto the square.

JV Store, a Milan exclusive in the Porta Venezia quarter, is a mandatory stopover for any design lover. Three storeys brilliantly planned by the Janelli brothers themselves for Janelli & Volpi, brimming not only with their trademark wallpapers (printed to your own design too), wall-coverings and furnishing fabrics but also with extraordinary objects and accessories by internationally acclaimed designers.

And we couldn’t fail to show you Danese in Porta Romana, the legendary international design showroom frequented by the likes of Bruno Munari, Yves Behar and Enzo Mari over the years. It’s still as dynamic and innovative as ever, and we can take you behind the scenes.

Unmissable in Tortona-town is Sardinian designer Antonio Marras’ concept store. Accessed from a leafy yard in Via Cola di Rienzo, it’s housed in a stunning ex-industrial space all kitted out in perfect shabby chic. Alongside Marras’ latest extravagant collections are a tower of books, sundry artworks and comfy corners where you can linger over a coffee and some Sardinian sweetmeats from the bar.

No serious shopping tour could pass over the exclusive space created by Rossana Orlandi, practically a cult figure in Milanese art and design circles. On two floors and structured around a typical leafy courtyard in the Magenta neighbourhood in the city centre, it is both gallery and store, and showcases superior vintage furnishings along with original contemporary art and design from young creatives the world over.

And last stop of your insider shopping experience could well be vintage clothing paradise Cavalli e Nastri, with its incredible and unique collection of haute couture from the 1900s in one of two locations in central Milan. 

At this point and still in a vintage state of mind, we’d close the tour with an aperitif and a stunning view from Giacomo’s, the restaurant in the lovely Museo del ‘900 on Piazza Duomo.

Design junkies of the world, how’s that for a Milan retail tour? 

For more information, exclusive tailor-made tours and reservations, contact mikaela@urbanitaly.com.

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Pisa | De Bondthttp://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/pisa-de-bondt.html http://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/pisa-de-bondt.html#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:25:40 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=3940
De Bondt fi
De Bondt is one of the Super Tuscans, chocolately-speaking. Up there with Amedei and La Molina, say, in that handful of extraordinary, rigourously artisanal chocolatiers that materialised around Pisa, Prato, Pistoia and the like a short generation ago, never to look back. The legendary Chantal Coady herself classified the newly established De Bondt brand among the global top 15 …

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De Bondt fi

De Bondt is one of the Super Tuscans, chocolately-speaking. Up there with Amedei and La Molina, say, in that handful of extraordinary, rigourously artisanal chocolatiers that materialised around Pisa, Prato, Pistoia and the like a short generation ago, never to look back.

The legendary Chantal Coady herself classified the newly established De Bondt brand among the global top 15 twenty years ago. Tirelessly testing and tasting varieties of the prime ingredient and variants on choice pairings in their workshop near Pisa, founders Paul De Bondt and Cecilia Iacobelli have since attained and maintained a reliable record in the top 10, collecting a plethora of other national and international accolades along the way. You can’t argue with that.

What’s new, then? San Martino 82 is what. Well, actually, the new Casa De Bondt – chocolate factory and pâtisserie, café and store – opened last May but I only stumbled across it one very chilly afternoon it a few weeks ago, when a warm place and – coincidentally – hot chocolate were just what I had in mind.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Via San Martino. Right in the centre of town, running parallel to the River Arno, it used to be full of restorers’ workshops and antiques sellers alternating with the imposing portals of historic palazzi. Well, no more: but at least it now has this, a truly superior confectioner’s, at number 82.

To buy or try are coffees roasted by local expert Andrea Trinci; over 200 types of tea and infusions selected, imported, blended and/or flavoured by De Bondt; hot and cold chocolate drinks according to the season and various other beverages concocted on the spot. Cakes, pastries and desserts, as well as all the De Bondt chocolate and chocolates in multiple forms and flavours, are prepared on the premises, behind the glass wall of the kitchen at the back of the store in fact. And the rest of the ample shelf-space is filled with special spices (hundreds of them from every corner of the globe), sundry other sweet stuffs, and all the paraphernalia for making and serving tea and such like.

San Martino 82 occupies one of those ground floor shop-premises in a grand old building. It’s adorned with some fine frescoes but the rest of the décor is unpretentious-contemporary. The whole is light, airy and spacious enough to host courses, tastings and even events and parties in line with the concept that customers be treated as guests. 

Right now, with winter upon us, don’t miss the chance to cup your cold hands around a mug of hot De Bondt chocolate, flavoured to order. 

San Martino 82
Via San Martino 82
56125 Pisa
+39 050 2200285
debondt@mayasrl.eu

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Naples | Naples Art&Design Tourhttp://urbanitaly.com/art-design/naples-naples-artdesign-tour.html http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/naples-naples-artdesign-tour.html#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 22:25:52 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=3949
Naples ADT Toledo fi
If you thought Naples didn’t have a lot to offer in the way of contemporary art, it’s time to think again – and take a walk in the company of our professional guide. The place is actually in a state of artistic fermentation second to none in Europe, with the public sector amazingly leading the …

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Naples ADT Toledo fi

If you thought Naples didn’t have a lot to offer in the way of contemporary art, it’s time to think again – and take a walk in the company of our professional guide. The place is actually in a state of artistic fermentation second to none in Europe, with the public sector amazingly leading the way.

In Naples, you see, the underground art scene is an expression with a quite literal meaning. Something like 15 Subway stations are stazioni d’arte: not daubed with the gothic fantasies of perennially dissatisfied youth but designed by archistars (among whom Dominique Perrault and Oscar Tusquets Blanca, just to drop a name or two…) around stunning installations such as those by Karim Rashid at the Università station, Joseph Kosuth and Jannis Kounellis at DanteFranco Scognamiglio and Maria Cristina Crespo at Augusto, Sol LeWitt at Materdeiand so on. It’s a far-reaching project initiated some 15 years ago and still ongoing. See to believe.

Now that’s an awful lot of art, and we haven’t even started on the museums. Take the Madre, three whole floors of a grand 19th-century palazzo in the heart of historic Naples, redesigned by Alvaro Siza and devoted to contemporary arts. And another having the same calling, the Museo Nitsch. The Plart is one we’ve already had good reason to write about on Urban Italy. Avant-garde only at The Fondazione Morra Greco. And then there’s a mercurial exhibition space utterly transformed by whichever artist is showing: the Museo Apparente. And if you can take any more, there’s always the contemporary collection at the Capodimonte national museum.

On to the galleries? Naples has some of the finest spaces, owners and dealers in the art business. Lia Rumma is a legendary Milanese gallerista who chose to open her second space right here. And of course Studio Trisorio with traditional and new media on the Riviera di Chiaia; Alfonso Artiaco where Jannis Kounellis, Sol LeWitt and Carl André have exhibited; Casamadre gallery; La Casaforte in the Spanish Quarter, a private/public space where where Antonio Sacco, Valeria Borrelli and family live, work and host artists and shows; and others too numerous to list.

And that brings to mind a host of ateliers where we’ll find artists and designers on the job. Michele Iodice is an old friend, unmissable. But you might want to visit interior designer Franco della Femmina and photographers Luciano Ferrara and Luciano Romano. Or you could see installations (video and not) by Marisa Albanese,  the beautiful, recurring-motif panels painted by Sergio Fermariello, wall paintings by Mariangela Levita and just about anything from eclectic artist/designer Riccardo Dalisi. This is not an exhaustive list.

Now if this is beginning to sound exhausting, bear in mind that time-outs and refueling stops are allowed.

Retail downtime on the art&design theme could include checking out Idem for Marietta Tramontano’s gorgeous bags and other accessories, or E. Marinella for the finest neckties and tailoring, strictly Made in Naples. Or taking in fabulous design jewellery by Paola Grande or some home restyling ideas at La Casa Brutta, for example. Just let us know your druthers.

Refreshment with the arts in mind is available at Trip and Spazio Nea, while cooking is an art for Mario Avallone of La Stanza del Gusto. But enough: it’s a given that you’ll eat well in Naples, whatever you fancy, and your Naples Art&Design Tour guide is an expert.

For more information, tailor-made tours and reservations, contact mikaela@urbanitaly.com.

 

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Milan | Palazzo Segretihttp://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/milan-palazzo-segreti.html http://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/milan-palazzo-segreti.html#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 14:33:59 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=3804
Pal Seg fi
It may sound paradoxical, but a period palazzo bang in the bustling heart of Milan harbours what must be its coolest contemporary sanctuary. Palazzo Segreti is within shouting distance of Piazza della Scala. A handsome nineteenth-century building in Via San Tomaso, one imagines its original discreet interiors, elegant rooms and sober décor. And that’s what …

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Pal Seg fi

It may sound paradoxical, but a period palazzo bang in the bustling heart of Milan harbours what must be its coolest contemporary sanctuary.

Palazzo Segreti is within shouting distance of Piazza della Scala. A handsome nineteenth-century building in Via San Tomaso, one imagines its original discreet interiors, elegant rooms and sober décor. And that’s what you get when you stay in this luxury hotel. But the hushed, intimate atmosphere’s been recreated with raw concrete walls, wood plank flooring and lots of gusty iron among the furnishings. Add to those a generous scattering of state-of-the-art design furniture in warm colours that sing but piano, and perfect soft lighting that enhances the mystery of the shadows, and voilà Hotel Palazzo Segreti.

It has 18 rooms, including 3 suites, spread over 4 floors. No two are the same, but they all have clean, simple lines, ultra-modern furnishings, hi-tech fittings, spacious, seductive bathrooms, and again that atmosphere of quiet and secrecy.

And then there’s the lounge-cum-wine bar - complete with art exhibits provided by the Lia Rumma gallery – where the freshest and manically selected organic and craft products make up bounteous sweet and savoury breakfasts and light dinners of cold cuts and cheeses.

Hotel Palazzo Segreti is the dream-turned-reality of Roberta and Francesco Tibaldi (marketing expert and designer respectively), their ideal guest house. They called in architects Antonio Brizzi and Babette Riefenstahl for the renovation.

Palazzo Segreti
Via San Tomaso 8
Milano
+39 02 49529250
info@palazzosegreti.com

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Rome | Palazzo Montemartinihttp://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/rome-palazzo-montemartini.html http://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/rome-palazzo-montemartini.html#comments Mon, 29 Dec 2014 14:01:45 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=3928
Palazzo Montemartini fi
Epicurus himself couldn’t have faulted it, and he’d probably have felt quite at home in the location. Palazzo Montemartini is Rome’s latest, no-holds-barred luxury hotel, practically across the road from the main railway station and, more to the point, within a still-undiscovered mosaic or two of the Baths of Diocletian and practically on top of the …

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Palazzo Montemartini fi

Epicurus himself couldn’t have faulted it, and he’d probably have felt quite at home in the location. Palazzo Montemartini is Rome’s latest, no-holds-barred luxury hotel, practically across the road from the main railway station and, more to the point, within a still-undiscovered mosaic or two of the Baths of Diocletian and practically on top of the 4th-century Servian Wall.

Inspired by the majestic ancient spa next door, Palazzo Montemartini sports a spectacular zen cascade in its restaurant, a water feature in the lobby, and a rival (but of course utterly contemporary) spa of its own: consummately appointed, 600-square-metre ExPure Spa and Beauty, complete with sound therapy and salt room.

Senses restaurant and lounge bar is another bid for the hedonists: a superb Roman-palatial ambiance, sophisticated cuisine which adds eclectic flourishes to Italian traditions, and views over the archaeological treasures mentioned above. 

No boutique hotel, this one, but 5-star sumptuousness and services (including conference facilities) on a grandish scale, where hi-tech and ultra-modern elements commingle with the generous spaces, marbles and stuccos of the late 19th-century palazzo.

If the 82 rooms or suites are all individually furnished and decorated, the general style is contemporary white, blatantly elegant, a tad flat. Some are standards, some come with their own spa and fitness equipment, some are business suites with a meeting room, a couple have a small terrace or winter garden, and lastly there’s a penthouse suite which is actually a sizeable apartment suited for private events.

Palazzo Montemartini opened just a month ago. Our private concierge Valentina went to the eye-popping, jaw-dropping opening and, after getting her eyes and jaw under control, took the pictures. 

Palazzo Montemartini 
Largo Giovanni Montemartini
00185 Roma
+39 06 45661 
info@palazzomontemartini.com 

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Milan | Milan Skyline Tourhttp://urbanitaly.com/architecture/contemporary/milan-milan-skyline-tour.html http://urbanitaly.com/architecture/contemporary/milan-milan-skyline-tour.html#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:15:34 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=3916
MSTOUR
An expert-guided walking tour among the stunning skyscrapers, the plush, green infrastructures and the radical retail spaces of one of Europe’s most impressive urban regeneration sites, Porta Nuova. This is Milan’s brand new, ritzy business district, designed by 20 world-class architecture studios from 8 countries and crucially located right between the historic heart of the …

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MSTOUR

An expert-guided walking tour among the stunning skyscrapers, the plush, green infrastructures and the radical retail spaces of one of Europe’s most impressive urban regeneration sites, Porta Nuova.

This is Milan’s brand new, ritzy business district, designed by 20 world-class architecture studios from 8 countries and crucially located right between the historic heart of the city and its central railway station in the Garibaldi, Isola and Varesine neighbourhoods. If the 290,000 square-metre area is still a vast work in progress racing against the Expo 2015 deadline, there’s enough of Porta Nuova up and running to guarantee a fascinating visit. And that’s what you’ll get with the Urban Italy Milan Skyline Tour.

Piazza XXV Aprile is where we start, in the Garibaldi quarter, and the first stop has to be bakery Princi designed by Antonio Citterio. On to Eataly Smeraldo and then more shopping heaven at the Cargo HighTech store, a former ink factory now packed with design objects, fashion accessories and perfumes. We check out Dammann Frères boutique with its incredible selection of teas and herbal infusions, and then head on down Corso Como into the now legendary world of Carla Sozzani, 10 Corso Como, where fashion, art design and cuisine meet in an amazing space designed by Kris Ruhs.

Next calls are the Residenze di Corso Como by architects Muñoz + Albin in collaboration with Milanese Tekne; pedestrian Corso Como District, a fashion, design and culture hub where the Costume National store occupies just one of 50 new spaces; and the 4@1 Home apartments – all you need and desire in just 40 square metres – created by Dolce Vita Homes along with Coima Image and Nauta Yachts.

The tour then hits Piazza Gae Aulenti, already a must-go for its skyscrapers, water features, plays of light and not least its art installations:  Alberto Garutti’s 23 gilded ‘trumpets’ connect the square with underground sounds, while eco-lighting comes courtesy of a Solar Tree designed by Ross Lovegrove and given to the city of Milan by Artemide.

Here it’s wise to halt while we do a little star-gazing, architecturally speaking, to take in the full spectacle of the spanking-new Hines complex, including the Piuarch Porta Nuova building and the unmissable Unicredit tower (Italy’s tallest at 230m) designed by Cesar Pelli. Silvery-white and sinuous, it houses – just to give you an idea – the Alexander McQueen showroom, the Porta Nuova InfoPoint where you can browse the plans and models for the whole area, the spectacular Nike store and concept bookstore Feltrinelli RED, where RED stands for Read, Eat, Dream and provides the wherewithal for all three.

On we go to see La Corte Verde di Corso Como designed by Cino Zucchi Architetti, and then into Via De Cristoforis to ogle the displays at Y3, passing the Virgin Active Classic gym, the AXA insurers building and the Porta Garibaldi railway station in the shadow of the renovated twin Post Office towers.

We’re now heading into the Isola quarter of Porta Nuova and right up ahead is the Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest), the two residential towers designed by Milanese architect Stefano Boeri for Expo 2015 and hosting around 900 trees on its many terraces. Next door is William McDonough‘s new Google Italia HQ, where Pandora used to be.

In the heart of the Isola quarter, the nerve centre of the city, we stop to visit the Casa della Memoria and then the Fondazione Riccardo Catella, housed in a small art nouveau palazzo. On the ground floor of the same building is Ratanà restaurant, serving contemporary versions of typical Milanese fare. 

LIncubatore per l’Arte in Via De Castillia is our next call, a space devoted to social and cultural happenings and budding crafts enterprises. And then we swing by the covered piazza in Palazzo Lombardia, a zero-emissions skyscraper designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners of New York and Milan’s Caputo Partnership and Sistema Duemila.

We’re into the last stage of our trek now, approaching Porta Nuova Varesine and the three residential towers called Solea, Aria and Solaria deigned by Miami studio Arquitectonica along with Caputo Partnership again, and, in Via Vincenzo Monti, the Porta Nuova Villas in a more traditional residential style as conceived by M2P Associati of Milan. The last stop is at the foot of the steel and glass Diamond Tower, a multifaceted jewel 137 metres tall designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, emblematic of the new Milanese skyline. 

 The Milan Skyline Tour described above lasts around 6 hours and takes advantage of green pedestrian routes that link the parts of Porta Nuova. For more information, tailor-made tours and reservations, contact mikaela@urbanitaly.com.

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Rome | Sora Margheritahttp://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/rome-sora-margherita.html http://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/rome-sora-margherita.html#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:48:33 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=3647
Sora Margherita carciofo
Sora Margherita is one of those places that should be somehow listed, marked as a heritage site, placed under a conservation order by whatever powers be. It is the archetypical Roman eatery of yore, shabby and minimalist by nature rather than design, the antithesis of contemporary style and state-of-the-art hospitality. And yet, unmissable. A standard, battered …

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Sora Margherita carciofo

Sora Margherita is one of those places that should be somehow listed, marked as a heritage site, placed under a conservation order by whatever powers be. It is the archetypical Roman eatery of yore, shabby and minimalist by nature rather than design, the antithesis of contemporary style and state-of-the-art hospitality. And yet, unmissable.

A standard, battered doorway on dilapidated Piazza delle Cinque Scole in the heart of Rome‘s Ghetto quarter is recognisable as the entrance only by a brown-paper sign and a motley array of stickers on the glass. Inside, no more than a dozen paper-covered tables with rickety seating in two small, spartan rooms, And you’ll likely have to share one of those tables with other diners. But then that’s what Sora Margherita is all about these days, along with the menu hand-written (complete with numerous crossings-out and corrections) on that yellow absorbant paper they place fried food on, the offhand if friendly service, the same cutlery from antipasti to dessert and settling the bill in cash: slumming it.

And all those folk don’t go slumming it at Sora Margherita in the ghetto, naturally enough, without good reason. They go for fresh homemade agnolotti cacio e pepe or rigatoni con la pajata; they queue up for l’abbacchio allo scottadito, la coda alla vaccinara or the baccalà fritto. And at the right time of year they’d sell their souls for a true carciofo alla giudìa, the crispy deep-fired artichoke of Roman-Jewish tradition. In short, you have to book because the honest genuine Roman cuisine is out of this world. 

Maybe some still go for the huge portions, a relic of the times when a legendary Sora Margherita herself dished up mastodontic plates of hearty lunchtime fare to local workmen.

Sora Margherita is open in the evenings too nowadays. Though somewhat unpredictably… Another good reason to call and book before heading hungrily in that direction.

No website, no self-referential hype, no press kit, hardly a photo… I’ll take some myself next time.

Sora Margherita
Piazza delle Cinque Scole 30
00186 Roma
+39 06 6874216

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Bologna | La FerramentAhttp://urbanitaly.com/shopping/clothes/bologna-la-ferramenta.html http://urbanitaly.com/shopping/clothes/bologna-la-ferramenta.html#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 15:55:25 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=3805
La Ferramenta FI
Bologna style is not for the faint-hearted, if we’re to take the concept of La FerramentA as a benchmark. A store which, at the first experience, takes a little working out. Ferramenta is the name above the door indicating a hardware retailer, and the only explanation is that the address was once just that. It’s in …

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La Ferramenta FI

Bologna style is not for the faint-hearted, if we’re to take the concept of La FerramentA as a benchmark.

A store which, at the first experience, takes a little working out. Ferramenta is the name above the door indicating a hardware retailer, and the only explanation is that the address was once just that. It’s in the heart of the University district in Via delle Moline and certainly gives off a radical vibe, but nothing about it looks cheap. It’s a clothing store, with shoes and various accessories, but many of the brands are atypical and the style offbeat and plucky. The same goes for a vast array of eyewear: not a classic Ray-Ban or an international-top-designer name in sight but so many stunning, distinctive frames you simply have to try them all on but don’t know where to start.

Though you could start by getting your eyes tested, because there’s at least one licensed optician among the staff of La FerramentA to prescribe and fit the lenses you need. And that is an extraordinary service to find in a clothing store.

All this in a utterly fascinating setting. Parts of the building probably date back to a fourteenth-century church, and a circular room in the basement (now women’s wear) once served to keep foodstuffs in cold storage. The design of the shop sign and the actual vintage – nay, antique – wooden shop fittings are those of the very same ironmongery that occupied the premises for almost 100 years from 1912 – though they had to chase all over  Emilia Romagna to find and bring the latter home.  

They, the guys behind what seemed like a crazy venture to join forces and merge a clothing store with an optician’s just a few years ago, are Pietro Rampa, Paolo Bertacchi, Jacopo Pozzati, Marco Evangelisti, Gianluca Giulietti and Fabio Guerra. The plans for renovation of the spectacular space and the neatest display solutions were all their own; the master carpenters and blacksmiths of Top Assistance in nearby Modena put them into practice.

The store’s in its sixth season – it opened in Spring 2012 – and is a landmark, a touchstone, a must-go store for contemporary hipsters, alternative fashionistas, free spirits with means who don’t mind at all if they stand out in a crowd.

La FerramentA
Via delle Moline 16A
40126 Bologna
+39 051 239346
info@laferramenta.org

 

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Naples | Martin Parrhttp://urbanitaly.com/art-design/naples-martin-parr.html http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/naples-martin-parr.html#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 10:47:48 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=3770
Martin Parr fi
Not the best time of year to visit the Amalfi Coast, perhaps, so why not stay in town (Naples, naturally), wander down to the Riviera di Chiaia, and see what Martin Parr made of it at the height of summer? In a solo exhibition, the great British photographer takes a pitilessly close look at tourists …

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Martin Parr fi

Not the best time of year to visit the Amalfi Coast, perhaps, so why not stay in town (Naples, naturally), wander down to the Riviera di Chiaia, and see what Martin Parr made of it at the height of summer?

In a solo exhibition, the great British photographer takes a pitilessly close look at tourists and how they choose to grace some of Campania’s iconic destinations. Ever a trenchant if ironic critic of the consumer society and the models it engenders, Martin Parr’s shots zoom in on familiar scenes with wry humour, brassy colour and original perspectives and reveal a different slant on how we live and behave socially. This project, unambiguously entitled The Amalfi Coast, is no exception.

Martin Parr sensitises our subconscious

   Thomas Weski

Parr needs little introduction to anyone familiar with the world of photography, but here’s a little one anyway, just because it’s so impressive. His research revolves around the themes of leisure, communication, consumerism. His photos have been exhibited constantly since 1972 in venues which include most if not all of the planet’s prestigious modern art institutions. He willfully mixes up the genres of art, journalism and advertising. Weski has also called him ‘a chronicler of our age’. And this year saw him unanimously elected President of Magnum Photos International, of which he’s been a member for the last 30 years. For all the details, see here.

The Amalfi Coast project was commissioned by Laura Trisorio of the now almost legendary contemporary art gallery Studio Trisorio, and that is where you’ll find the show until the end of February 2015.

Thanks to Carla Celestino, my man in Naples, for another priceless tip-off.

Martin Parr – The Amalfi Coast at
Studio Trisorio
Riviera di Chiaia 215
80121 Napoli
+39 081 414306

 

 

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Modica | Le Lumiehttp://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/modica-le-lumie.html http://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/modica-le-lumie.html#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:59:58 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=3224
le lumie courtyard night
South to Sicily again, and back in breathtaking Baroque Modica for another stunning hospitality option. It’s something they do well down there (and not only). On the hill below the castle and a stone’s throw from the formidable cathedral, Le Lumie, luxury class B&B, has just 3 rooms and a deal of charm. Those three rooms differ in size and colour scheme, …

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le lumie courtyard night

South to Sicily again, and back in breathtaking Baroque Modica for another stunning hospitality option. It’s something they do well down there (and not only). On the hill below the castle and a stone’s throw from the formidable cathedral, Le Lumie, luxury class B&B, has just 3 rooms and a deal of charm.

Those three rooms differ in size and colour scheme, but they all have the same understated contemporary style and a lot of classy design detail between the timbered ceilings and the oak flooring. No shortcuts in the bathrooms, either, with mosaic tiling and some bespoke stone fittings. They all look out over the terracotta roofs of the impressive town centre, one of 8 making up another UNESCO World Heritage site.

There’s a little breakfast area in the entrance hall, and a fine breakfast you’ll get there, complete with delectable local cakes and pastries. But the real treat is to be served outdoors whenever it’s warm enough, on the lovely Mediterranean terrace-cum-garden blessed with those stunning views.

Federica and family are charming and supportive hosts. Facilities include a kitchen area for use by guests, but if they direct you to nearby seafood restaurant Torre d’Oriente it’s not just because they’re behind that worthy venture too: it really is the best. That said, there’s a wealth of gastronomic excellence in town and in the surrounding area to complement the architectural monuments, the museums, some stunning countryside and great coastline.

And then of course there’s the famous Modica chocolate.

B&B Le Lumie
Via Alessandro Grana, 106
97015 Modica (RG)
+39 0932 751439 / 389 1179059
info@lelumie.com

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