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Shopping

Martina Franca | The Sartorialist

Someone recently asked me where I lived. My answer was somewhere between Matera and 1C. That’s were I spend most of my time nowadays. Luckily for me, 1A has been occupied by some pretty interesting people lately, turning wasted transit time into constructive networking – with some fascinating encounters. On my last Milan – Bari flight I was enlightened at 30 000 feet …

Noviglio | The Culture of Plastics

The night before last I was at a party in Noviglio, just outside Milan, where the Luti family had invited a few people over to present a book: Kartell – The Culture of Plastics. Their book, given that the Lutis are Kartell, particularly in the person of COB Claudio Luti.  Great night. Great organization. Great crowd. Though I must admit there were …

Rome | Mikiway Concept Store

If I happened to have a shop in Rome, it would definitely be a lot like Mikiway. Let me explain. Meet the people: the store is run by Angelo, a Roman gentleman of charm and distinction, and his fabulously creative Romanian wife of many years, Mihaela. She apprenticed in his family’s clothing business but they opened Mikiway just a year ago. Their style is …

Matera | Elisa&Janna

Here’s one of those magical partnerships, a case of – to paraphrase Aristotle –  the whole being undeniably greater than the sum of its nevertheless remarkable parts. When I first met Johanna Curti she was quite rightly floundering in Matera, desperately in need of an outlet for innate creative and business talents to follow a decade in London as a …

Rome | Established 1938

There’s not many people know this, but bang in the centre of today’s Rome there’s still a tiny workshop where the same family has been plying the same skills for nearly 85 years. Only since 1961 at their present address in Via del Leoncino, mind you. The name of the family is Gualdani, and their trade is making lampshades, mostly to …

Venice | Arnoldo & Battois

Last Saturday I was in no mood or condition for shopping. From the waist up I was still wearing part of the outfit I’d put together for a morning conference in Belluno. This was paired with post-conference jeans – but two sizes too big packed by mistake, a Hello Kitty bag my daughter was tired of carrying, and the black-and-blue Inter …

Cesena | Staying on the Treadmill

In a country where everyone’s talking about wellness [wél-nés] and fitness [fi:tnés], few know that one of the top-ranking fitness-equipment manufacturers in the world is based in Emilia Romagna, in Cesena to be precise, about an hour down the road from Bologna. Technogym is the name on the familiar black-and-yellow logo, an emblematic 30-year success story in the business world and …

Salerno | Marsia

Having studied ceramics myself way back in another life in Cape Town, I’m partial to potters. Marsia is one of my latest finds. I stumbled on the studio quite by chance one steamy afternoon last summer, in the laid-back seaside city of Salerno, right opposite the duomo. Mariella Siano, ceramic designer, has a tiny shop filled with fragile bounty in rich …

Genoa | Cashmere Technology

I met Andrea Moretti quite by chance in Genoa, the home town he loves and where he opened the store which showcases his ingenious cashmere product. Moa is the name of the shop, bang in the centre of town, and Moatech the patented textile Andrea dreamed up a few years ago to replace down in quilted clothing. Using the finest …

Verona | Hell’s Kitchen

Marco Lai was fixing a puncture on his bike when he had his eureka moment. It was the inner tube that did it. The young designer with eco-attitude, reluctant to throw the old one in the bin, envisaged a new life for it, a Frog-Prince transformation into something good-looking, functional and long-lasting. City wear. City-proof. And then came the name, Hell’s …

Sesto Fiorentino | On the Shelf

We don’t usually go in for sad news on UI, but the imminent closure of Tuscany‘s own Richard Ginori warrants an exception. Makers of majolica and fine china since 1735 in Doccia and later in nearby Sesto Fiorentino, Richard Ginori attracted some of the best designers, sculptors and decorators to its factory, where top-of-the-range industrial tableware production never eclipsed an exceptional artistic tradition. Gio Ponti …

Turin | This is not an Optional!

When some new technogadget boasts a list of functions as long as your arm, over here they say it even makes the coffee. Well, the new Fiat 500L does just that. Presented in Turin at the beginning of the month, the little crossover model with compact-car efficiency but the feel of an SUV (says Fiat), which actually looks suspiciously like a …

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