Mikaela Bandini's insider Italy http://urbanitaly.com The travel guide to contemporary Italy Wed, 24 Aug 2016 17:50:45 +0000 en-EN hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 Palermo | BB22http://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/palermo-bb22.html http://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/palermo-bb22.html#comments Wed, 24 Aug 2016 17:49:19 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=5161 Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 19.36.24Anyone for Sicily? If so, this could be just the accommodation you need in feisty Palermo. And that’s not quite as pretentious as it sounds, since BB22 means a choice of boutique hotel, sumptuous self-catering apartments or any (or indeed all) of the rooms in a plush residence, all in the central Castellammare district of town.  Let’s start with …]]> Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 19.36.24

Anyone for Sicily? If so, this could be just the accommodation you need in feisty Palermo. And that’s not quite as pretentious as it sounds, since BB22 means a choice of boutique hotel, sumptuous self-catering apartments or any (or indeed all) of the rooms in a plush residence, all in the central Castellammare district of town. 

Let’s start with BB22 Palace the commodious apartment on two floors, upscale contemporary but nothing flashy, with all the comforts and accessories you’d find at home and then some. The three rooms on the upper floor give onto a common terrace. Another shares the lower floor with an ample sitting and dining area where breakfast is served, and there are two more in an annex. All this housed in Palazzo Moncada, magnificent example of an eighteenth-century townhouse overlooking Piazza San Domenico.

Across the piazza and a few steps down the road are the Luxury Apartments: similar décor but self-contained. Which doesn’t mean you can’t still pick and choose from a host of BB22 extras including customised guided tours and boat excursions, personal trainer and massages, personal shopper, baby sitter, cleaning and laundry services, and even breakfast if self-catering didn’t quite work out…

But it’s the gorgeous little guesthouse on the same street that has real charm. Seven rooms from a suite down to a standard, each generously and distinctly fitted out with a quirky mix of design elements, antique pieces and pure flair. Some have balconies. All mod cons are present and correct, of course. Boutique BB22 has its own breakfast room but also a self-service bar area and a little terrace, the better to enjoy a glass or two of excellent Sicilian wine as the sun sets.

None better or more local, by the way, than Feudo Disisa‘s Chara 2015, best of 2700 whites at Vinitaly 2016, made in Palermo.

Then set out for a night on this unique, brash, heady and complex city, teeming with exoticism on Europe’s southern edge.

BB22 Charming Rooms and Apartments
Via Pantelleria 22
90133 Palermo
+39 091 326214  /  +39 335 7908733
info@bb22.it

 

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Turin | Dash Kitchenhttp://urbanitaly.com/architecture/contemporary/turin-dash-kitchen.html http://urbanitaly.com/architecture/contemporary/turin-dash-kitchen.html#comments Wed, 17 Aug 2016 14:00:14 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=5033 Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 16.08.16Dash Kitchen surely cuts the most striking figure among a host of new nightlife venues in Turin. And many of those are in the same central neighbourhood, sandwiched between Porta Nuova station and the riverside Parco Valentino, historical, multicultural and positively pulsing with energy these days: San Salvario. If Dash Kitchen owes a deal of its …]]> Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 16.08.16

Dash Kitchen surely cuts the most striking figure among a host of new nightlife venues in Turin.

And many of those are in the same central neighbourhood, sandwiched between Porta Nuova station and the riverside Parco Valentino, historical, multicultural and positively pulsing with energy these days: San Salvario.

If Dash Kitchen owes a deal of its pull to good food and an impressive array of craft beers on tap, its handsome interior design certainly doesn’t do it any harm. It’s the product of the artful conversion of an abandoned print shop by local architect and designer Fabio Fantolino, and another fine feather in his cap.

It’s a biggish place with a variety of swank bar, lounge and eating areas. The rugged charm of an industrial framework is preserved in exposed brick and stone, arched supports, concrete flooring, original metal-frame windows, etc. Grafted onto that is a contemporary sort of 1970s metropolitan cast, all high sophistication and plushy warmth. No orange shag-pile rugs for your delectation, but there is a screen of chrome tubes defining the bar and a fine medley of retro upholstered seating, covered in black leather or velvet and Alcantara in reds and earthy tones. Most impressive is the lineup of stunning lighting solutions. Interiors with vintage attitude, thriving on contrasts. 

All this bounty from the finest Italian manufacturers: wooden fittings by Falegnameria Fiore, other furniture by Nube and lighting by Tom Dixon, Biffi, Fabbian, Delta Light and Phanto – the latter being, in effect, Fabio Fantolino’s own design icon brand. 

Massimo de Cristofaro is the man behind Dash Kitchen. He’s inspired by a passion for microbrews and the culture thereof, and cool Dash is where he shares it, over an aperitif, dinner or during events. Cocktails, especially of the gin-based variety, are the alternative to beer. The menu‘s contemporary, more fine pub food than haute cuisine, as befits. 

Dash Kitchen
Largo Saluzzo 34/c
10125 Torino
+39 011 6698270
info@dashkitchen.it

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Milan | Lanierihttp://urbanitaly.com/shopping/clothes/milan-lanieri.html http://urbanitaly.com/shopping/clothes/milan-lanieri.html#comments Wed, 10 Aug 2016 17:49:09 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=5138 151016_post-blog_ATELIERThat fabled Made-in-Italy sartorial excellence, tailored to order, online? Click here.  Lanieri today is the immensely successful evolution of an e-commerce startup founded by a couple of Italian business students just 4 years ago. Their idea was to make the superior textiles, styling and craftsmanship of bespoke Italian tailoring available to polished gents the world over (we’re talking …]]> 151016_post-blog_ATELIER

That fabled Made-in-Italy sartorial excellence, tailored to order, online? Click here

Lanieri today is the immensely successful evolution of an e-commerce startup founded by a couple of Italian business students just 4 years ago. Their idea was to make the superior textiles, styling and craftsmanship of bespoke Italian tailoring available to polished gents the world over (we’re talking strictly menswear here), applying digital technology to deal with design preferences and those fussy measuring and fitting stages. 

How does it work? Let’s say your heart desires a seriously sleek suit (but it could be trousers, a blazer, shirts and/or accessories). First choose an exclusive fabric from well over a hundred illustrated online, all produced by venerable blue-chip textile giants like Reda (which threw its weight behind the brand new start-up in 2012), Cerruti, Loro PianaZegnaVitale Barberis Canonico etc. If your shortlist won’t get shorter, send for swatches, five of them for a small fee to be deducted from the price of your order.

That sorted, create your style. There are collections online to inspire you – but only that. For this is where you get to play with the online configurator, to personalise your garment down to the finest detail: down to the number of buttons on your jacket sleeve, the colour of the stitching where the lining meets the shell, or the application or not of buttons for your braces/suspenders, for example. See as you go. It’s such fun you should beware of getting carried away.

Then, of course, they need your vital statistics. No use cheating. First your height, weight and age. Then there’s an engaging video tutorial which patiently dispenses instructions on how to wield your tape measure correctly and waits for you to feed in all the numbers, step by step, until you’ve created your profile, once and for all or until you need to change it. If something jars, they’ll let you know. If you need to ask, there’s an online chat.

A click or two more and your customised suit is ordered. Then you only need follow its progress back there on your profile until it’s delivered to your door. With the Lanieri promises of free shipping planet-wide, 100% Made in Italy, and if the fit isn’t perfect it’s their fault and they’ll sort it one way or another. Magic!

Simone Maggi and Riccardo Schiavotto have never looked back. And looking forward? You’ll never guess. They went offline. Or rather – beg your pardon - omnichannel. That is, they began opening ateliers, physical sartorial workshops-cum-showrooms with real live people in them called style advisors. Perhaps to convince those doubters who still need the human touch, at least for their first Lanieri. After testing the water with the temporary variety, they opened the first material atelier in Milan last year, 120 square metres at the top end of Brera. There you can see, feel, smell, all but taste the fabrics, configure your garment with the expert assistance of a warm-blooded consultant, and get your measurements done professionally.

Or just get 3D-scanned in a dressing room. No kidding.

Between that first in Milan and the latest, still wet behind the ears, in Munich, Lanieri has opened in Rome, Turin, Bologna and Zurich. Paris should be next. Make an appointment – online – for the full, and personal, bespoke treatment. 

Atelier Lanieri
Via Palermo 8
20121 Milano
+39 377 4010928

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Seggiano | Il Giardino di Daniel Spoerrihttp://urbanitaly.com/art-design/seggiano-il-giardino-di-daniel-spoerri.html http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/seggiano-il-giardino-di-daniel-spoerri.html#comments Wed, 03 Aug 2016 16:04:04 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=1602 spoerri2 bronze headFar 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 …]]> spoerri2 bronze head

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 slopes of Monte Amiata, about 80 km south of Siena. He started it in the early 1990s and opened to the public in 1997 so it’s hardly news, and yet new pieces are added every year and Spoerri never tires in his research here – or elsewhere.

The park, Il Giardino di Daniel Spoerri, which he refers to as the Garden of Eden (it was apparently marked Il Paradiso on old maps), now boasts over a hundred sculptures and land art installations by more than fifty internationally acclaimed artists including himself, most if not all donated to the Foundation Spoerri set up. Here‘s the full list of those artists and their profiles. 

It’s a gorgeously remote and tranquil place, reached via winding country roads sometimes impassable during the winter months (the Garden is open from Easter to October), and an extraordinary experience. You might just wander and be amazed and enchanted by what you come across, or follow the map and seek out, like a treasure hunt, the olive grove where three giant drummers are herding a huge flock of geese, the druidic-type circle on a hilltop overlooking the village of Seggiano, grass-covered armchairs, a crescent of bronze heads on columns, or the eerily convincing plane crash scene in the middle of the woods. Take the kids, take a picnic, and take a whole day.

Daniel Spoerri’s life story is international, chaotic and far too long to retell here. Suffice it to say he became known as a visual artist, in the vanguard of several major artistic movements as well as creating unique genres (e.g. Eat Art), after working professionally as a classical dancer and choreographer (back in the 1950s), that he has staged drama, written poetry and opened his own restaurant, and founded a museum in the small Austrian town of Hadersdorf am Kamp as well as the Tuscan sculpture park. He continues to develop totally new projects (jewellery design and textile collages among the more recent) as well as extending existing ones: the Seggiano Foundation has educational goals and recently added botanical research to its repertoire.

See here for directions, opening hours, etcetera.

It won’t hurt to mention that there happens to be a Michelin-starred restaurant just up the road (and the mountain), Il Silene, or that its exuberant chef-patron Roberto Rossi and his team actually run Il Giardino on a day-to-day-basis as well as the bistrot – Non Solo Eat Art – and some accommodation options within the park. Same telephone number for all.

Il Giardino di Daniel Spoerri
58038 Seggiano (GR)
+39 0564 950805        
ilgiardino@ilsilene.it 

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Montegiorgio | Casa San Ruffinohttp://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/montegiorgio-casa-san-ruffino.html http://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/montegiorgio-casa-san-ruffino.html#comments Wed, 27 Jul 2016 09:35:28 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=5093 Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 18.36.09When summer’s sultry dog days set in, don’t you just feel like taking a break from metropolitan bustle in favour of somewhere peaceful and bucolic? Try this for size: back-to-basics boutique accommodation in an imposing farmhouse atop its own hill, with sweeping views over the arcadian countryside of Le Marche and distant mountains. Otherwise known as Casa …]]> Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 18.36.09

When summer’s sultry dog days set in, don’t you just feel like taking a break from metropolitan bustle in favour of somewhere peaceful and bucolic? Try this for size: back-to-basics boutique accommodation in an imposing farmhouse atop its own hill, with sweeping views over the arcadian countryside of Le Marche and distant mountains. Otherwise known as Casa San Ruffino.

The setting really is idyllic. This part of The Marches region is all verdant valleys and rolling hills capped with medieval villages. The old buildings of Casa San Ruffino are typical of the area, in pale clay brick, austere and unadorned, respectfully restored and surrounded by grass and hardy plants.

But if the look is rustic and hospitality also of a no-frills variety, don’t believe for a minute it’s lacking in comforts. It’s just that Claire and Ray Gorman prefer the simple pleasures of life to a load of showy gadgetry. They’d rather you enjoyed a five-star mattress and superior linens. They have put in air conditioning, albeit reluctantly, and they do have a delightful outdoor pool.  Beyond that, they want you to try out the best local eateries. They’ll suggest you take a look at where some great if lesser-known wines are made. They know you’d probably like to check out some of those top fashion-brand factory stores lurking improbably in the area. Isn’t that why you’d come to this neck of the woods?

Now don’t all rush there at once: Casa San Ruffino has just four rooms. They’re named after nearby villages, are simply but tastefully furnished, have private patio areas and – this may count as a frill but it’s such a lovely touch that all is forgiven – Molton Brown products in the old-fashioned bathrooms. Come morning, fresh and homemade fare is served in a plain breakfast room or on your patio. 

Not too far from the Adriatic coast nor from the Monti Sibillini in the opposite direction, Montegiorgio sits at just over 400 metres ASL, enough to be blessed with a cooling breeze most summer evenings. But Casa San Ruffino isn’t only for the dog days: it’s open all year round – and heated when necessary.

Claire and Ray Gorman, you might have guessed, are British. They came here from The City, from the world of high finance. They are where they are and do what they do now because they love it and it shows: they’re exquisite hosts. 

Casa San Ruffino
Contrada Montese 13
63833 Montegiorgio (FM)
+39 0734 962753
info@casasanruffino.com

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Deruta | Grazia Maiolichehttp://urbanitaly.com/art-design/deruta-grazia-maioliche.html http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/deruta-grazia-maioliche.html#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2016 18:02:14 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=5105 Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 12.57.36Fine 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. …]]> Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 12.57.36

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 this, but the oldest family-owned majolica enterprise in the whole wide world is right there in Deruta (said The Economist in 2009, apparently, and they should know). That would be Grazia Maioliche, established circa 1500. Ever on the ball in adjusting to five centuries of business-climate change, the Grazia family pottery hasn’t budged an inch on artisanal excellence. 

The clay is still sourced locally, and every single step in the subsequent production of superb artistic ceramics is carried out by hand, on the premises, by skilled craftspeople and artists, just like it always used to be. The whole process is explained in fascinating detail here

So they owe an awful lot to tradition, and that goes for designs too. Venerable Renaissance forms and decorative styles are revered and still prevail among the Grazia lines, revisited perhaps but universally recognisable. But scroll through the Collections for some interesting Art Nouveau and 1920s variations, and modern designs created in collaboration with contemporary artists and designers. 

If Grazia Maioliche isn’t exactly a household name in the English-speaking world, nor is it a new entry. The company currently run by Ubaldo Grazia has been bolstered by ever-increasing and increasingly prestigious exports to high-end stores in the US for over a century, and a piece made by his grandfather and namesake is displayed in the British Museum. Commissioned works with the Grazia trademark are owned by Andy Garcia, Francis Ford Coppola, Mel Gibson, Paul Simon, George Clooney…

But there’s nothing like shopping at the source, maybe after browsing the factory museum. Plan for extra luggage weight on your way home.

Grazia Maioliche
Via Tiberina 181
06053 Deruta (PG)
+39 075 9710201
ubaldograzia@ubaldograzia.com

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Florence | La Ménagèrehttp://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/florence-la-menagere.html http://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/florence-la-menagere.html#comments Wed, 13 Jul 2016 15:08:09 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=4920 Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 17.27.34Things are looking up in San Lorenzo. Not long ago, the run-down central Florentine neighbourhood amounted to a tremendous tourist-targeted street market by day and was best avoided at night. That began to change when the original covered market, a beautiful iron and glass building erected in 1874 to a design by the very same …]]> Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 17.27.34

Things are looking up in San Lorenzo.

Not long ago, the run-down central Florentine neighbourhood amounted to a tremendous tourist-targeted street market by day and was best avoided at night. That began to change when the original covered market, a beautiful iron and glass building erected in 1874 to a design by the very same Giuseppe Mengoni who did Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, reopened after a spectacular makeover a couple of years ago, upcycled as a high-end food hall. A spate of other new ventures, many of them gastronomically inclined, has followed in its wake: La Ménagère is a notable case in point.

It’s a big place and an ambitious one, a great many things all rolled into one concept: a restaurant for sure, a coffee shop and bistrot-style eatery in what is also, at the appropriate time of day (or not), a cocktail bar, and a venue for live music events. Then there’s an area dedicated to flowers and plants (for sale) and another where you can browse for design kitchen- and tableware.

The latter, while perfectly in keeping with the current concept, is also an allusion to the previous occupant of the meandering old premises: the former La Ménagère, historic purveyor of fine household goods. 

The multiple spaces (for a total of 1500 square metres on two floors), under vaulted ceilings of various heights, are a happy, eclectic mix of ancient building materials shabbily exposed, industrial-style fittings, plus retro, recycled and contemporary furnishings and finishings. Luca & Marco Baldini of Florentine architecture and interiors studio q-bic are accountable for this stylish renovation, in which one zone blends into another but each has its own character and distinctive lighting – all from Karman. It’s earned them a place on the shortlist for this year’s intermational Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.

The restaurant with open kitchen boasts a seasonal menu of traditional flavours revisited and refined. In the bar/bistrot they serve lighter bites prepared according to similar criteria, coffee blends from meticulously selected micro-producers, and professional cocktails with gourmet tapas. None of this comes cheap, but then La Ménagère is new, unorthodox and very trendy. And offers live music (jazz and performers from the singer-songwriter tradition) every Friday and Saturday night.

La Ménagère
Via de’ Ginori 8r
50123 Firenze
+39 055 0750600
info@lamenagere.it 

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Ostuni | La Sommitàhttp://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/ostuni-la-sommita.html http://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/ostuni-la-sommita.html#comments Wed, 06 Jul 2016 10:21:34 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=5045 Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 16.14.03Anyone looking for boutique hospitality in the whitewashed hill towns of Apulia is likely already spoilt for choice, but here’s another outstanding candidate for top of the list. La Sommità indulges all the senses in its 15 design-furnished rooms, luxury spa and Michelin-starred restaurant. It nestles inside a historic complex in the oldest and highest part of …]]> Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 16.14.03

Anyone looking for boutique hospitality in the whitewashed hill towns of Apulia is likely already spoilt for choice, but here’s another outstanding candidate for top of the list.

La Sommità indulges all the senses in its 15 design-furnished rooms, luxury spa and Michelin-starred restaurant. It nestles inside a historic complex in the oldest and highest part of dazzling Ostuni, with spectacular views over endless olive groves and down to the sea from a gorgeous terrace.

Need I go on? Well ok, a bit more detail.

Concealed behind a stately portal in the vicinity of the cathedral, and extending through a warren of 16th-century buildings linked by flights of steps, walkways and sundry charming nooks (in the manner of such mansions in these parts), La Sommità isn’t obviously a hotel from the outside, still less a swank 5-star establishment. But then that just makes it more exclusive. 

Each room or suite is necessarily unique in its original structure and so also in the bespoke minimalist interiors. What they all have in common are the mellow, creamy tones of age-old masonry exposed, contemporary but natural stone flooring, pale wood and luxury linens. Deluxe rooms are just that while others have more fetching views or terraces; larger suites include a lounge area sometimes on a different level. One has the remains of an ancient fresco, another an original fireplace; some feel cave-like while the Master suite conserves its ached doorway. Bathrooms, then, are just as niftily fashioned in venerable spaces and beautifully appointed. 

Ostuni itself is a jewel. Its traditional whitewashed houses fairly glow in the sunlight, a gem of a cathedral set in their midst. It abounds in cool bars and fine restaurants and lies just south of the Valle d’Itria and trulli-land, barely 8 kilometres from the closest Adriatic beaches and within easy reach of all the Salento promises.

Follow a day out with some blissful pampering under the stone vaults of La Sommità‘s spa and wellness centre. Gratification’s guaranteed by an abundance of treatments and massages using high-end products and the lights, sounds and fragrances of a polished ambiance, as well as highly professional staff who formulate a personalised programme for each guest.

After which, why not just stay in-house for wine-tasting in the cellar bar or a sundowner on the hotel’s panoramic terrace? And/or dinner at Cielo restaurant: prize-winning Apulian cuisine in an artful combination of seasonal-traditional and creative-contemporary by emerging talent Andrea Cannalire, with tables outside in a lovely Spanish garden.

La Sommità is Apulia in a stunning 5-star nutshell.

La Sommità Relais
Via Scipione Petrarolo 7
72017 Ostuni (BR)

+39 0831 305925
info@lasommita.it

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Turin | Organismihttp://urbanitaly.com/art-design/turin-organismi.html http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/turin-organismi.html#comments Wed, 29 Jun 2016 10:06:54 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=5031 Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 12.14.13If 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 …]]> Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 12.14.13

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. The thread, in this case, is natural organisms, and it connects art nouveau to contemporary thinking on sustainability in a heady crossover of art and design, photography, science, architecture and food. 

Organismi, subtitled From the Art Nouveau of Émile Gallé to Bioarchitecture, proceeds in chronological order, at least.

It starts out with the ethereal and exquisite organic designs in glassware and furniture by Galléstudent of botany and then celebrated protagonist of the Art Nouveau movement in France. From the same period, more or less, are drawings by Italian architect Raimondo d’Aronco, a favourite here after he designed the pavilions for the First International Expo of Modern Decorative Arts held in Turin in 1902, and some of the scientific illustrations of Spanish neuroscientist and Nobel laureate Santiago Ramòn y Cajal, no less. 

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. 

               Frank Lloyd Wright

Fast forward (through halls in which works in the Gallery’s permanent collection are woven into the leitmotif of the event) to the turn of the subsequent century, and the exhibition delves into ecosystems in contemporary art, vertical gardens, sustainable building and biodiversity in agriculture.

French artist Pierre Huyghe‘s living systems are represented by several aquaria. Another Frenchman Patrick Blanc, the visionary botanist-cum-artist who’s been called to create green walls the world over since his first, at Paris’s Museum of Science and Industry, in 1988, also looms large.

Then come the ideas of Bologna architect Mario Cucinella who defines his vision of sustainable architecture as creative empathy: while technology and performance can save energy and reduce pollution, he believes, buildings should also be in harmony with the landscape, climate and culture surrounding them. And drawings by Marcos Lutyens, the British artist working in the US whose practice is centred on the use of hypnosis. 

To conclude – bearing in mind this isn’t an exhaustive catalogue of the show – a record of the history of the Slow Food movement dedicated to ethical and sustainable food production, and a testimonial of its Granaries of Memory project, from founder Carlo Petrini

If it sounds a bit of a hotchpotch, that is also known as a multidisciplinary approach. The thread holds.

Organismi is curated by the GAM’s new director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and conservator Virginia Bertone, with exhibition design by above-mentioned Mario Cucinella Architects. It runs until November 6th 2016.

Organismi - From the Art Nouveau of Émile Gallé to Bioarchitecture at
GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Torino
Via Magenta 31
10128 Torino
+39 011 4429518
gam@fondazionetorinomusei.it

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Modena | Susanna Martinihttp://urbanitaly.com/art-design/modena-susanna-martini.html http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/modena-susanna-martini.html#comments Wed, 22 Jun 2016 10:22:50 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=4908 Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 18.25.38For 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 …]]> Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 18.25.38

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 diminutive workshop-cum-showroom on Via Cesare Battisti: the effect is mesmerising. Watch her plying her craft in the alcove that serves as atelier and you’ll be really spellbound.

A piece of jewellery is original not because it is unique but because what it communicates and reflects is unique

     Susanna Martini

The ancient technique she uses is known traditionally as lampworking, more correctly nowadays as flameworking or torchworking. It consists in softening a semi-finished glass rod or tube in the heat of a horizontal flame, then modelling the molten piece using a blowpipe and/or small tools. She learned it in Murano, of course. And went on to apply it with the dedication of a true artist.

Susanna Martini has developed a series of collections inspired by the planets, by stone, by those spiral patterns found in so many ancient cultures, by the energy of pure colour. She fills them with larger-than-life necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings, and sandals – simple thong flats made stunning by the addition of vivid glass baubles. Each piece is a one-off, hand-made by the artist herself.

If you’re passing through – and there are no end of reasons to do so – you’ll find all this brilliant bounty in a side-street almost exactly halfway between Modena‘s most impressive squares: Piazza Roma of the stately Ducal Palace, and UNESCO-listed Piazza Grande. If not, you can always look, and buy, online.

Susanna Martini – gioielli in vetro
Via Cesare Battisti 38
41121 Modena
+39 059 8756488
info@susannamartini.com

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