Mikaela Bandini's insider Italy http://urbanitaly.com the travel guide to contemporary Italy Tue, 26 May 2015 07:17:18 +0000 en-EN hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 Milan | Milan Vintage Tourhttp://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-milan-vintage-tour.html http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-milan-vintage-tour.html#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 17:03:20 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=4224 Cavalli e nastriA contemporary urban expedition in a retro state of mind, that’s our Milan Vintage Tour. A  professional guide and design expert will lead you on the insiders’ route through some of the Lombard capital’s coolest neighbourhoods, stopping where nostalgia rules ok and venerable styles have the edge on this year’s models in concept, décor, clothing …]]> Cavalli e nastri

A contemporary urban expedition in a retro state of mind, that’s our Milan Vintage Tour. A  professional guide and design expert will lead you on the insiders’ route through some of the Lombard capital’s coolest neighbourhoods, stopping where nostalgia rules ok and venerable styles have the edge on this year’s models in concept, décor, clothing and accessories.

Now vintage is really at home in those areas that still have an authentic feel. So let’s start on the banks of the Navigli, the old canals south-west of centre, which really start to buzz as the sun sets. There’s a boutique hotel there, in a typical balustrade home with a gorgeous inner courtyard, which sets a benchmark for low-pressure vintage styling. It’s called Maison Borrella and will likely charm you to bits. In the same neighbourhood is a small showroom with a big name: Mauro Bolognesi is well-known to lovers of modern collectables in this neck of the woods, with an inspiring selection of designer furniture much of which hails from northern Europe.

A walk through Vicolo dei Lavandai, where women once did the laundry under a tiled canopy, is a must before leaving the area: it’s now an atmospheric setting for small restaurants and ateliers.

Zona Tortona next, or thereabouts: not far to walk and home to more vintage landmarks. The amazing Nonostante Marras concept store is one of them, a multifunctional space where retro fashions and the new Antonio Marras collections mingle with books, art and food in an eclectic vintage and/or upcycled setting. Then there’s Cavalli e Nastri, vintage clothing heaven and pretty much a classic by now, with three stores in central Milan – one dedicated to menswear – packed with haute couture from the 1900s.

On we go up into the heart of the city, and a couple of retro-interest stops in a labyrinthine old district that’s taken out a new lease of life, the Cinque Vie. The first is Wait and See, tucked away in a former convent in Via Santa Marta: a cosy concept store with a retro aesthetic and vintage pieces in a unique collection of womenswear and accessories sourced the world over by fashion and interiors designer Uberta Zambelletti. The other is Susanna Ausoni’s My Room. Stylist to the Milanese upper crust, she’s the pro to go to when you need the perfect outfit, selected from her own mix of new and vintage.

Pure, certified and exclusive vintage fashion, on the other hand, is what you get at the Vintage Delirium showroom, in a charming courtyard not far from La Scala. Franco Jacassi hails from the art world, and collecting is a habit. He has a stunning range of haute couture, fabrics and haberdashery dating from the 19th century to the 1980s, and his own collection of accessories exquisitely made up from vintage fabrics and trimmings.

Another exclusive courtyard space – and a must on almost any Milan tour – is Spazio Rossana Orlandi. Rossana is practically a cult figure in Milanese art and design circles. Her gallery-cum-store in a former factory in the Magenta neighbourhood showcases contemporary art and design by emerging creatives from all over the globe as well as fine vintage furnishings.

We should be heading south again for a well-earned aperitif now – but if anyone’s in need of attention in the hairdressing line, we’ll call at Gum, Milan’s coolest salon and barbershop with its perfect US vintage fittings and old-school formula of personal attention.

And the drinks? The Milan Vintage Tour will take you to Fonderie Milanesi, to sip on a classic cocktail in the 250-year-old former metal workshop. Or maybe to The Doping Club back in the Porta Ticinese area, getting trendier by the day: this is the refined, vintage-sports-theme cocktail bar at The Yard hotel. Or even back to the Navigli, where the night could be long at the exclusive 1930 club, hidden at the back of a seemingly ordinary bar, clearly inspired by the speakeasies of the era of prohibition.

Inspired? Contact mikaela(at)urbanitaly.com for more information and your bespoke Milan Vintage Tour.

]]>
http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-milan-vintage-tour.html/feed 0
Siena | Osteria Il Vinaiohttp://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/siena-osteria-il-vinaio.html http://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/siena-osteria-il-vinaio.html#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 15:05:03 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=1766 Vinaio-0066-IMG_4217As Siena revs up for the Palio, serious devotees of the Contrada Sovrana dell‘Istrice - the Porcupine quarter – can be found enjoying a light breakfast of salted cod, anchovies in pesto or tripe – quite possibly all three – at Osteria Il Vinaio in Via di Camollia. Such is their tradition. Il Vinaio is one of those …]]> Vinaio-0066-IMG_4217

As Siena revs up for the Palio, serious devotees of the Contrada Sovrana dellIstrice - the Porcupine quarter – can be found enjoying a light breakfast of salted cod, anchovies in pesto or tripe – quite possibly all three – at Osteria Il Vinaio in Via di Camollia. Such is their tradition.

Il Vinaio is one of those wonderful taverns Tuscany does so well, where they shun refinement and stick to their traditional guns with good simple food, a merry mood and rudimentary décor. Neither shabby nor chic, just honest-to-goodness.

Brothers Bobbe and Davide Porciatti opened here a couple of years ago, after a glorious experience running a smaller but historic Siena eatery. This one’s roomier, with counter space enough for a full deli service. If not smack in the town centre, it’s still within the medieval walls, tucked beneath the brickwork vaults of one of the ancient buildings which once housed craftsmen and labourers on the historic Via Francigena pilgrim route. 

So the location changed, but not the winning style, or indeed the winged-pig logo.

Dishes at Bobbe and Davide’s osteria are as Tuscan as they come, traditional country recipes made up with genuine, organic ingredients, locally sourced and certified when not actually home-grown. Excellent wholesome crostiniminestre, sausages, meatballs, tongue and other such no-nonsense fare. And then the specialities: the cheeses, cured meats and pickles crowding the counter, from selected local producers. All washed down with a grand house red – their red – or a craft beer.

They’re open all day Monday to Saturday, 10am to10pm, for whatever kind of meal or snack. The mood is invariably jovial, irreverent. You can see it as you watch them, Bobbe, Davide and the rest of their ‘dream team’, enjoying hard work and principled fun. 

You won’t be dazzled by design, but you’ll likely come away feeling replete and warm inside with all that honest-to-goodness goodness.

Osteria Il Vinaio
Via di Camollia 167
53100 Siena
+39 0577 49615
info@osteriailvinaio.it

]]>
http://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/siena-osteria-il-vinaio.html/feed 0
Turin | Turin Contemporary Architecture Tourhttp://urbanitaly.com/architecture/contemporary/turin-turin-contemporary-architecture-tour.html http://urbanitaly.com/architecture/contemporary/turin-turin-contemporary-architecture-tour.html#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 20:46:40 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=4151 Norman FosterAnother Urban Italy architour guided by professionals. This one takes you through one of the most fascinating urban reconstruction projects in Europe involving an entire city. Twentieth-century Turin was known as a one-company town. Turin was Fiat and Fiat was Turin. When that all-encompassing power began to wane, the city became a case study in …]]> Norman Foster

Another Urban Italy architour guided by professionals. This one takes you through one of the most fascinating urban reconstruction projects in Europe involving an entire city.

Twentieth-century Turin was known as a one-company town. Turin was Fiat and Fiat was Turin. When that all-encompassing power began to wane, the city became a case study in post-industrial rehabilitation. An original masterplan drawn up by Vittorio Gregotti in 1995 set the tone with its Spina Centrale, a futuristic, 6km north-south axis taking the place of the railway (which was to go underground). The Spina Centrale itself, development of the surrounding areas prosaically known as Spina 1,2,3 and 4, infrastructures for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games and celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy in 2011 are all steps in the ongoing process of making-over Turin.

Our tour follows the north-south axis too, starting with the post-industrial park planned and partly completed up in the Spina 3 area: Parco Dora. Modelled on similar situations in Germany’s Ruhr valley, the park by Latz and Partner sees green areas embrace industrial remains and exhumes the river from which it takes its name.

Nearby is another park, green in spirit as well as architecture. Envipark (2005) is an urban complex providing research, development and other services to businesses with eco-friendly plans, and is itself an ambitious green architecture project by Emilio Ambasz, transforming a former industrial site into a built landscape. Bordering on Parco Dora and unmissable is Mario Botta’s 2006 Chiesa del Santo Volto which pays visible and ample homage to the area’s industrial heritage.

Before hitting the centre, we could veer to the east for a passing look at Cineporto, a business centre for the film world inaugurated in 2008 and designed by local firm Baietto Battiato Bianco, and some of the new university buildings by Norman Foster (2013 with a membrane canopy roof), Camerana & Partners (2012) and Luciano Pia (2007) among others.

And then on to the new Porta Susa station, destined to be Turin’s main rail hub. From the outside, a glass and steel tunnel 385 metres long with a big dent. It was designed by Silvio D’Ascia collaborating with Arep and Agostino Magnaghi and inaugurated in early 2013. In the same Spina 2 zone but vertically arranged is the skyscraper (just short of 170 metres tall) by Renzo Piano for the Intesa Sanpaolo banking group, largely completed by 2013.

This brings us to the heart of the Spina Centrale axis, the earliest part as designed by Vittorio Gregotti and completed in 2001, where we stop to look at the impressive Officine Grandi Riparazioni. A massive industrial complex of around 200,000 square metres built at the end of the 19th century to produce and maintain rolling stock, much of it is now restored and converted as the city’s Politecnico university campus. Architects involved include Gregotti AssociatiStudio Valle, Baietto Battiato Bianco and Stefano Seita. The ambitious project isn’t yet finished, and other spaces are destined for the arts.

Still heading south past the famous igloo fountain by Mario Merz, with perhaps a detour to take in the Fondazione Sandretto and Fondazione Merz buildings included in our Turin Contemporary Art Tour, we reach the facilities designed for the 2006 Olympics. You could see the main sports hall or PalaOlimpico by Arata Isozaki; the Area Internazionale and athletes’ village by Camerana & Partners, Diener & Diener, Steidle,  Albert Constantin and others; the Palasport Tazzoli by Studio Lee and De Ferrari; the Arch by Hugh Dutton and the Oval by Hok. And more.

And this brings us down to the Lingotto, the extraordinary 1920s Fiat factory transformed by Renzo Piano into a public space housing a theatre, concert halls, a museum, a convention centre, shopping arcades, hotels and the Automotive Engineering School of the Politecnico. Practically next door is Italy’s first Eataly (Negozio Blu, 2007).

And a couple of blocks away, if you still have the energy, the all-new, aluminium-clad M.Au.To., the automobile museum designed by Cino Zucchi inaugurated in 2011; the Palavela made over for the Olympics by Gae Aulenti; and lastly another archistar skyscraper, the new Piedmont Regional HQ by Massimiliano Fuksas, still under construction.

That’s probably more than enough for one day.  And yet… if you’re an architecture lover, you really shouldn’t leave Turin without checking out the legendary works of Pier Luigi Nervi  and the genius of Carlo Mollino, both 20th century. Maybe they even deserve an itinerary of their own…

Contact mikaela(at)urbanitaly.com for more information or to arrange an exclusive, customised tour.

]]>
http://urbanitaly.com/architecture/contemporary/turin-turin-contemporary-architecture-tour.html/feed 0
Praiano | Casa Angelinahttp://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/praiano-casa-angelina.html http://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/praiano-casa-angelina.html#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 14:36:50 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=4174 casa angelina fiFor unadulterated luxury on the Amalfi Coast, it’s hard to beat Casa Angelina. It’s a world apart: superbly appointed, unbelievably immaculate, utterly contemporary. And the views are simply and literally breathtaking. With 39 rooms or suites it’s hardly a boutique hotel, but Casa Angelina is small and discreet enough to feel intimate. It wears all five …]]> casa angelina fi

For unadulterated luxury on the Amalfi Coast, it’s hard to beat Casa Angelina. It’s a world apart: superbly appointed, unbelievably immaculate, utterly contemporary. And the views are simply and literally breathtaking.

With 39 rooms or suites it’s hardly a boutique hotel, but Casa Angelina is small and discreet enough to feel intimate. It wears all five stars with nonchalance, so that being there isn’t about being seen there: the concept is beachside and low-pressure. 

White prevails throughout and gives way only to natural hues and wooden flooring in the common areas and the splashes of colour of original artworks. So all windows become picture windows: white frames for endless blue sea, green vegetation and the rocky coastline stretching into a misty distance: beautifully contrived. Almost anything else would detract, so the design furnishing is minimalist.

Rooms in the main building, perched on the mountainside above Praiano, range from spacious signature suites on the uppermost floor, each with its own huge panoramic terrace and more hi-tech gadgets than you’ll be bothered to use, to classic doubles still with balconies and sea views.

Down below and almost on the beach, accessed via the lift and a fair number of steps, are four more gorgeous rooms in what used to be fishermen’s cottages: just a touch of their rustic charm is retained in patches of exposed rock. (They’re named, by the way, after the Sirens and other females characters in Homer’s Odyssey – I can’t resist this – and staying there is the EAUDESEA Experience…!) They’re potentially independent of the rest, having their own little eatery and staff for breakfasts and other light meals cooked to order.

The hotel bar with its cliff-edge terrace is perfect for sundowners. And Casa Angelina has its own gourmet restaurant, Un Piano nel Cielo, where chef Vincenzo Vanacore sources the freshest produce – including lots of fish and seafood – locally. It’s on the top floor of the hotel and faces west, so whether you’re inside or out on the ample terrace, you dine watching the sun set over the Tyrrhenian Sea. They know their wines too. 

The outdoor pool has a sundeck flanked by yet another restaurant serving light meals and snacks, while the indoor pool is among the stylish spa-treatment and cutting-edge gym facilities. Even these have sea views!

And yet there is more to the Amalfi Coast. And you have only to request concierge services and the hotel’s private boat to relish it all.

Pure luxury, as I said.

Casa Angelina
Via Capriglione 147
84010 Praiano
+39 089 8131333
info@casangelina.com

 

]]>
http://urbanitaly.com/sleeping-around/praiano-casa-angelina.html/feed 0
Milan | Milan Tortona Tourhttp://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-milan-tortona-tour.html http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-milan-tortona-tour.html#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 15:39:48 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=4118 zonatortona_salonedelmobileAn Urban Italy walking tour in the former industrial area south-west of central Milan. Industry is back, and how, but now it’s all about creative energy. Zona Tortona has become one of the city’s trendiest neighbourhoods, where architects strut their stuff in real-estate conversions and boundless talent is liberally applied to fashion and design. Zona …]]> zonatortona_salonedelmobile

An Urban Italy walking tour in the former industrial area south-west of central Milan. Industry is back, and how, but now it’s all about creative energy. Zona Tortona has become one of the city’s trendiest neighbourhoods, where architects strut their stuff in real-estate conversions and boundless talent is liberally applied to fashion and design.

Zona Tortona climaxes every year during Milano Design Week’s Fuorisalone, when a swarm of global visionaries and design junkies descend to show or soak up what’s new, network and party in some of the most fascinating locations. Still, the area buzzes all year round with the vibes from art studios, design workshops, showrooms, stores and multifunctional spaces. Our expert guide guarantees an insider experience of architecture and design hotspots and introduces you to some of the protagonists.

We start out at the Design Library in Via Savona, now a veritable institution of the design scene in Milan (plus branches in Shanghai and Istanbul too) with its multimedia library, cosmopolitan café and regular events featuring eminent architects and designers. No better place for a briefing on the area and its history.

A stone’s throw away, in Via Bergognone, we’d take a passing look at the former Post Office buildings reworked by Mario Cucinella Architects for Hines in 2004, now the Milanese offices of Deloitte. And then stop, just a few doors along, at Teatro Armani, commissioned by Giorgio Armani in 2000 to host his fashion shows and just about any other event. Tadao Ando was the architect called in to makeover the former Nestlé factory: he came up with 3400 square metres of minimalist elegance featuring bare concrete, water and light.

On to mega-venue complex Superstudio Più in Via Tortona, created from the former Milanese HQ of General Electric by renovating existing volumes and adding new ones, the work of Flavio Lucchini of the original Superstudio and architects Giorgio Longoni and Marco Sironi. 10,000 square metres in all, with variously-sized spaces and facilities needed for exhibitions, fairs, performances, conventions and studios in all the creative disciplines. It boasts innovative concepts such as MyOwnGallery, a concept gallery for contemporary art events, and two design eateries: the Dada Café with interiors by Slide and panel sculptures by Flavio Lucchini himself, and the Superstudio Café from a project by Michele De Lucchi.

Enclosed by Via Borgognone, Via Tortona and Via Stendhal is the fascinating and historic former Ansaldo engineering works – all of 70,000 square metres, taken over by the Municipality in the 1990s as a generic space for the arts. Area Ex Ansaldo is variously occupied by cultural associations, the Teatro alla Scala and as a unique venue for Design Week and Fashion Week. It’s now also the site of the brand new MUDEC, the Museum of Cultures designed by David Chipperfield. Now that’s worth a look.

Another brief stroll brings us to Tortona 37, or one of the liveliest hubs of fashion and design in Europe. Five new blocks of 6 floors surrounding a courtyard garden were completed in 2009 on another ex-industrial site to plans by Matteo Thun and Partners including avant-garde measures for energy efficiency and environmental impact. It offers lofts, showrooms, workshops, offices and all the services required for temporary venues.

And right next door is the Nhow Hotel, opened in 2006 but still a design landmark with interiors by Matteo Thun brimming with cult pieces. It’s as much a gallery as a hotel, celebrating art and design in ever-changing exhibitions and hosting showrooms and studios. We take you inside.

Via Stendhal and Via Savona are favoured by the big fashion houses, with the showrooms of Diesel, Allegri, Fendi (a recent makeover by Marco Costanzi Architects in premises previously occupied by the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro), Ermenegildo Zegna, Hogan and Stone Island, among others. But there’s also Roda furnishings, arts publisher Corraini’s 121+ bookshop, and more.

Just around the corner, back in Via Bergognone, is a roomy exhibition space dedicated to architecture: Spazio FMG. We can call in to check out their current show.

Our last stop would be another hotel – with a difference. Magna Pars Suites, hi-tech and eco-friendly,  is also a fragrance hotel, the first of its kind when it opened in 2013. Designed by Luciano Colombo, its luxury suites are each inspired by a different essence, while furnishings are by the top, all-Italian brands or locally crafted ad hoc. No better way to round off the Milan Tortona Tour than with glass in hand at the elegant hotel bar Liquidambar.

Pick and mix for a customised tour. Contact mikaela(at)urbanitaly.com for more information.

]]>
http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-milan-tortona-tour.html/feed 0
Foligno | Osteria Dodici Rondinihttp://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/foligno-osteria-dodici-rondini.html http://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/foligno-osteria-dodici-rondini.html#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 15:31:51 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=4086 O12R Damiano for fiFoligno may not be everyone’s first Italian travel destination, though spectacular monuments abound, the hills and mountains around are Umbrian after all, and for various arcane reasons it seriously considers itself the centre of the world. What’s more (getting to the point here), it has a wine bar-cum-restaurant my gourmet friends are utterly smitten with, called Osteria …]]> O12R Damiano for fi

Foligno may not be everyone’s first Italian travel destination, though spectacular monuments abound, the hills and mountains around are Umbrian after all, and for various arcane reasons it seriously considers itself the centre of the world. What’s more (getting to the point here), it has a wine bar-cum-restaurant my gourmet friends are utterly smitten with, called Osteria Dodici Rondini.

The defining feature of said Osteria – so say all - is its oste, thine host, the innkeeper, one Damiano Lunghi. With no disrespect to the sterling chef, Damiano is the highly professional heart and soul of the place: the originator of its relaxed décor and breezy, low-pressure atmosphere; true lover and connoisseur of fine foods and wines; amiable master of the art of hospitality.

Everyone’s smitten with Damiano (and with his tattoos), in fact.

But not only. Eating is quite an experience at the Osteria Dodici Rondini, and a superior one according to those epicureans mentioned above. The hand-written menu reflects the best, seasonal, local products available on any given day, adeptly selected. Most dishes have traditional regional flavours and origins, but the creative streak runs right through the kitchen too and yields some distinctive and delectable results. Likewise drinking: choose from an impressive and unique list of wines made by small producers, mostly of organic or biodynamic inspiration (this is one of Damiano’s things), and craft beers.

Accessed via the portal of a 16th-century palazzo in the ancient heart of the town, the interiors are low-key and cosy under the vaulted brick ceilings and arches of various intimate spaces. Live music and colourful art on the walls aren’t unusual, and regular events featuring small wineries or food themes keep the place buzzing.

The concept states ‘Mangiare Bere Pensare’. The music, the books, the mood and Damiano all suggest sharing ideas and even tables. Come summer, a jaunty row of extra tables appears in the narrow alley alongside the palazzo. It’s all very easy at the Osteria, and that, considering the quality, includes the bill.

With thanks to my good friend Valentina Dalla Costa.

Osteria Dodici Rondini
Piazza XX Settembre 1
06034 Foligno (PG)

+39 0742 352100
osteriadodicirondini@gmail.com

]]>
http://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/foligno-osteria-dodici-rondini.html/feed 0
Milan | Milano Design Week – 5VIEhttp://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-milano-design-week-5vie.html http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-milano-design-week-5vie.html#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 10:52:04 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=4129 5 vie fi ex in seatingIf we’re posting more about Milan recently than all the rest of Italy put together, that’s because everything in the dynamic Lombard capital is glowing in the limelight of Expo Milano 2015, opening on May 1st. Milano Design Week is no exception, though its promise is always bigger and headier than the previous edition.  From April 14 …]]> 5 vie fi ex in seating

If we’re posting more about Milan recently than all the rest of Italy put together, that’s because everything in the dynamic Lombard capital is glowing in the limelight of Expo Milano 2015opening on May 1st. Milano Design Week is no exception, though its promise is always bigger and headier than the previous edition. 

From April 14 to 19, the serious business of the Salone del Mobile takes place at its usual Rho Exhibition Centre venue. The Fuorisalone, meanwhile, animates the city with events, temporary showrooms and parties where creativity runs amok – much more fun! What began spontaneously in the early 1980s now has established design districts, and is still creatively contaminating new spaces, new streets and whole new areas every year. 

5VIE is one of the new itineraries. It actually made its debut last year. Sandwiched between Fuorisalone giants Brera and Tortona, it’s a smallish but fascinating zone taking its name from five streets that cross in the very heart of old Milan: Via Santa Maria Podone, Via Santa Maria Fulcorina, Via Bocchetto, Via del Bollo and Via Santa Marta. A kind of Milanese Marais, packed with historic hidden treasures and with a profusion of traditional and contemporary workshops, galleries and stores, bars and restaurants gathered under the umbrella of the 5VIE Art + Design marketing project. 

Needless to say, there’s a full calendar of remarkable events taking place in the 5VIE during Design Week 2015, involving a host of artists and designers showing and performing in stunning venues that range from monumental palazzi to craft workshops and from small stores to leafy private courtyards. See the full programme here

An idea of what’s going on? Well, don’t miss Exercises in Seating by Max Lamb at the post-industrial Garage Sanremo, for one. Smaller and sweeter, Funky Table tableware design store in Via Santa Marta is hosting a kind of live show entitled Natural Invasion, in which architect Marco Bay, designer Caterina Chiara Gobbi and ceramics decorator Marta Dosi are inspired by nature on and around the dining table. Then there’s the 5VIE Party, on Wednesday 15th from 6 until 10pm, with a special invitation from offbeat fashion and accessories store Wait and See, again in Via Santa Marta: there’ll be music, unknown excitement from eccentric visual artists Traslochi Emotivi and eats by Gnambox. And Piazza Affari becomes a milonga after dark, when 5VIE sponsors the spontaneous phenomenon of dancing the tango around Maurizio Cattelan‘s defiant middle finger outside the stock exchange, with street food by Carlo Cracco

Milan is turbocharged for Design Week 2015. And for six whole months from May 1st with Expo 2015.

]]>
http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-milano-design-week-5vie.html/feed 0
Rome | Rome 21st-Century Architecture Tourhttp://urbanitaly.com/architecture/contemporary/rome-rome-21st-century-architecture-tour.html http://urbanitaly.com/architecture/contemporary/rome-rome-21st-century-architecture-tour.html#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 16:46:25 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=4075 R21CAT SMP by Nemesi fiWhen in Rome, take a break from the ruins of colossal public buildings, lavishly ornamented palaces, triumphal arches and ceremonial gateways. Leave those magnificent banks of columns sprouting Corinthian capitals behind for a day, and fast-forward through the ages on an Urban Italy 21st-Century Architecture Tour led by one of our resident expert-guides. There’s no …]]> R21CAT SMP by Nemesi fi

When in Rome, take a break from the ruins of colossal public buildings, lavishly ornamented palaces, triumphal arches and ceremonial gateways. Leave those magnificent banks of columns sprouting Corinthian capitals behind for a day, and fast-forward through the ages on an Urban Italy 21st-Century Architecture Tour led by one of our resident expert-guides.

There’s no better place to start than Richard Meier’s elegant Ara Pacis Museum, an architectural gem completed in 2006 to enclose the ancient sacrificial altar. It’s a long, single-storey, glazed loggia, an understated contemporary container for the Ara, and a non-barrier between the monumental mausoleum of Augustus and the bank of the Tiber.

A stroll across the Villa Borghese park brings us, in total contrast, to the MACRO, Rome’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Nothing understated here, at least not in the most recent makeover finished in 2010, which is all at one with its dark and dazzling architect Odile Decq: bright red for the central structure and black all around, but pure white for the exhibition spaces and a glass roof over which water flows.

The Flaminio neighbourhood a little to the north holds a small cluster of attractions. One is Rome’s other archistar museum, the MAXXI or Museum of 21st-Century Arts by Zaha Hadid, again completed in 2010. A cavernous atrium, curving walls, complex volumes and intersecting levels make for a breathtaking sequence of public spaces mostly illuminated by natural light. Then comes the capital’s principal concert hall, or halls: a complex covering around 50,000 square metres entirely dedicated to music and appropriately called Auditorium Parco della Musica. Built to a plan by Renzo Piano and inaugurated in 2002, it consists of three main halls of conspicuously curvy, sound-box forms, a central outdoor theatre and various other spaces, studios and gardens. Hard by and worth a look is the Flaminio Footbridge or Ponte della Musica, designed jointly by British Powell-Williams Architects and BuroHappold and opened in 2011. And if it’s the right time of day for a drink or a bite to eat, we’re within shouting distance of Duke’s, bar and casual fine-dining restaurant of international inspiration by Nemesi Studio completed in 1999.

Leaving the Flaminio district for Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, there’s a wonderful contemporary surprise hidden away in the solemn historic buildings: it’s the 2009 library of the Pontifical Lateran University, with renovation of existing structures too, by local studio King Roselli Architetti.

To celebrate the turn of the millennium, Rome’s religious authorities commissioned 50 new churches or parish complexes to serve the city’s suburbs. The most striking of these are Santa Maria della Presentazione by Nemesi Studio again (2002), a jaw-dropping structure in the frankly seedy north-western Quartaccio district, and Richard Meier’s 2003 Chiesa del Dio Padre Misericordioso, which transformed the anonymous eastern suburb of Tor Tre Teste into an attraction for architecture lovers and faithful tourists.

From an urban planning perspective, the whole Testaccio-Ostiense-Marconi area south of the city centre makes an interesting study. Vibrant, traditionally working-class, industrial and once the site of the slaughterhouse and the city’s wholesale markets, it’s in line for some hefty redevelopment. Coming up are new premises for the Roma Tre university and a museum of photography among other cultural facilities, while already established are the Musei Capitolini annexe in the old Montemartini power station, Eataly in the ex-Air Terminal at Ostiense station, and a branch of the MACRO in part of the former abattoir, while a six-lane road bridge over the railway tracks, designed by Francesco del Tosto and opened in 2012, makes for faster connections.

Lastly, even if it doesn’t quite qualify as 21st-century, the great Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre by Paolo Portoghesi in the verdant Parioli neighbourhood, the biggest in Europe, is a truly extraordinary thing.

Contact mikaela(at)urbanitaly.com for more information and tours tailor-made to your needs and interests. Play mix-and-match with our suggestions here, never forgetting that Rome also has a remarkable heritage of 20th-century architecture: more about that soon.

]]>
http://urbanitaly.com/architecture/contemporary/rome-rome-21st-century-architecture-tour.html/feed 0
Milan | Galleria Antonia Jannonehttp://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-galleria-antonia-jannone.html http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-galleria-antonia-jannone.html#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:32:03 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=4091 GAJ B&B Michele De LucchiNot 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 …]]> GAJ B&B Michele De Lucchi

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 to be dedicated to drawings by architects exhibited as a distinct and more poetic, even playful, artform. Elegant as ever and by now a supreme authority on contemporary architecture, design and art, she’s still Artistic Director of the gallery.

Since then, her biggest projects have been the results of close collaboration with names of global eminence such as Ettore SottsassAldo Rossi, Vittorio Gregotti, Alvaro SizaAndrea BranziMichele De LucchiUgo La Pietra, Mario Botta, Alessandro Mendini and Aldo Cibic. Later and in between, she’s added other exhibitions and events dedicated to contemporary design, photography, sculpture and painting, always selecting for innovative language and/or purpose.

Galleria Antonia Jannone is smack in the city centre, in Corso Garibaldi, and opens onto a secret garden, one of those typically leafy, hidden courtyards.

There’s still time, just, to see the sheds and huts created during 2014 by Michele de Lucchi (also a protagonist of this year’s Salone del Mobile, by the way: April 14-19 at its usual Rho Exhibition Centre venue) and a series of drawings thereof: Baracche e Baracchette is the name of the latest exhibition at the Galleria Antonia Jannone, which runs until April 4.

Galleria Antonia Jannone
Corso Garibaldi 125
20121 Milano
+39 02 29002930
info@antoniajannone.it 

]]>
http://urbanitaly.com/art-design/milan-galleria-antonia-jannone.html/feed 0
Milan | Milan Bar-Hopping Tourhttp://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/milan-milan-bar-hopping-tour.html http://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/milan-milan-bar-hopping-tour.html#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:19:39 +0000 http://urbanitaly.com/?p=4065 MBHT fi DopingThe only problem with designing a Milan Bar-Hopping Tour is where – and when – to stop. We could suggest several undiluted experiences and never cross the same threshold twice. Still, tell us what your poison is and our resident aperitif therapist will take you on a unique, custom-tailored tour of some of the city’s coolest hot …]]> MBHT fi Doping

The only problem with designing a Milan Bar-Hopping Tour is where – and when – to stop. We could suggest several undiluted experiences and never cross the same threshold twice. Still, tell us what your poison is and our resident aperitif therapist will take you on a unique, custom-tailored tour of some of the city’s coolest hot spots. For example…

Terrazza Aperol, a racy classic, designed ad hoc with a hefty nod to the retro origins, the colour and even the bubbles of a spritz made with the evergreen, ever-orange, all-Italian aperitif. Its enduring popularity may owe something to the location: the terrace, at the entrance to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, has a magnificent view over Piazza Duomo.

A few blocks north in trendy Brera, our favourites of the moment are Dry, where Guglielmo Miriello’s team of professionals serves up some of the headiest cocktails in town in an ex-industrial ambiance with perfect lighting (and great pizzas), and the contemporary Café at Marc by Marc Jacobs, all lit-up in vibrant blue and pink and spilling out onto Piazza del Carmine to accommodate a mob of fashionistas. If you’re a wine buff, though, N’Ombra de Vin could be just up your Brera street: it boasts professional sommeliers and a jaw-dropping wine list for tastings around the huge table in an atmospheric 15th century basement.

Heading a little north of the city centre into neighbourhoods all astir with renovation and redevelopment, Ceresio 7 is a sight to behold. This is the rooftop restaurant with pools and American bar opened by Dsquared2 twins Dean and Dan Caten to crown their new HQ. The interiors are all retro-modernist; the drinks American vintage with a potent local twist.

Superbly designed like a theatre set by art director Tanja Solci in what was once the family sawmill, Carlo e Camilla in Segheria, just south of the city centre this time, became the high-end cocktail and dining destination in 2014. And with Filippo Sisti at the bar, no one’s tiring of the cocktails any time soon.

Have we mentioned The Doping Club yet? More retro style and a British/US sporting theme with lots of intimate leather, rosewood, steel and jazz. A couple of moustachioed mixologists concoct the stimulants, among the best and most original in town. Concealed in a lovely Milanese courtyard at Porta Ticinese, trendy The Doping Club belongs to small, similarly-themed hotel The Yard.

And then of course, within spitting distance of The Doping Club but right on the Naviglio Grande, there’s more of that speakeasy atmosphere at Ugo: avant-garde drinks and delectable nibbles. Or, a little further down the canal, Pinch, with that blind tiger décor again and a barman-patron with a penchant for mixing Italian liqueurs and vermouths, revisiting old-time classics with contemporary flair.

Now there’s an appetizer if ever there was one. Contact mikaela(at)urbanitaly.com for more information and exclusive, bespoke hops – for their own sake or to round off any other Milan tour in glory.

]]>
http://urbanitaly.com/food-wine/hot-spots/milan-milan-bar-hopping-tour.html/feed 0