tag archives: italy

 

do you believe in coincidence?  or, in connectivity?  such as, six degrees of separation, the theory that social distance is composed of six or fewer social network connections?

 

consider the following connections:

connection number one (numero uno):  a book

entryways of milan (ingressi di milano), an outstanding book about 20th century milanese architecture.  featuring the entrances of 144 residential buildings built during the 1920’s through the 1970’s.

 

entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) | edited and directed by karl kobitz

photo via taschen

 

connection number two (numero due):  two windows

i discovered entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) while researching leaded glass window designs for an innerspace interior design project.

most of the buildings in the book were designed by renowned architects, including giovanni muzio (1893-1982), giuseppe martinenghi (1894-1970), piero portaluppi (1888-1967), or giovanni (gio) ponti (1891-1979).  most of the entrances retain their original materials, fittings, and artwork, designed by the architects.  or, by industrial designers, such as angelo mangiarotti (1921-2012) or vico magistretti (1920-2006).  or, by artists, such as lucio fontana (1899-1968) or gio pomodoro (1930-2002).  most of their designs were fabricated by local artisans using local materials, including glass, stone, mosaics, ceramics, or metal.  and, most of the entrances retain their original lighting fixtures.  lighting designers or manufacturers include artimede, fontana arte, gino sarfatti (1912-1985), stilnovo, or venini.

the book could be considered a reference for 20th century italian design.  not only, because of the visually stunning photography.  but also, because of the captions, which document the location; the date; the architect, designer, or artist; and the materials, fittings, or artworks.  the index even includes a map.

entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) is the most outstanding design book that i have discovered recently.

the book became the inspiration for the window designs.  and, the inspiration for a walking tour of entryways the next time that my husband, bob, and i visit milan.

in addition to considering many inspirations from the book, my clients and i considered the artistic and technical expertise of theodore ellison designs, who is now developing the design concepts and the technical drawings.  and then, constructing the leaded glass windows.

 

via mario giuriati 5 | designed by giovanni muzio | 1930-1931

entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) | edited and directed by karl kobitz | page 10

photography by delfino sisto legnani

 

conceptual leaded glass window design | lisa walsh | innerspace

 

viale regina giovanna 32 | designed by giuseppe martinenghi | 1936-1938

entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) | edited and directed by karl kobitz | pages 48-49

photography by matthew billings

 

conceptual leaded glass window design | lisa walsh | innerspace

 

via raimondo franchetti 3 | designed by domenico poloni | 1937-1939

entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) | edited and directed by karl kobitz | pages 134-135

photography by paola pansini

 

conceptual leaded glass window design | lisa walsh | innerspace

 

connection number three (numero tre):  a handbag

as promoted on instagram.  one of the book’s photographers, delfino sisto legnani, also collaborates with milanese luxury leather brand, valextra.  their latest collaboration is a limited edition collection for valextra x extramilano.  eleven variations of iconic valextra handbags, inspired by entryways of milan (ingressi di milano).

 

corso sempione 33 | palazzo ina | designed by piero bottoni | 1953-1957

entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) | edited and directed by karl kobitz | pages 276-277

photography by delfino sisto legnani via valextra

 

valextra x extramilano | tric trac bag

photo credit valextra

 

via plinio 54

entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) | edited and directed by karl kobitz | page 80

photography by delfino sisto legnani via valextra

 

valextra x extramilano | brera top handle medium bag

photo credit valextra

 

corso italia 9 | designed by gio ponti | 1934

entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) | edited and directed by karl kobitz | page 264

photography by delfino sisto legnani via valextra

 

valextra x extramilano | series s mini bag

photo credit valextra

 

via morozzo della rocco 10 | designed by mario ugge | 1935-1937

entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) | edited and directed by karl kobitz | page 362

photography by delfino sisto legnani

 

valextra x extramilano | iside medium bag

photo credit valextra

 

via privata cesare mangili 6 | ca’ brutta | designed by giovanni muzio, pier fausto barelli, and vittorino colonnese | 1919-1923

entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) | edited and directed by karl kobitz | page 215

photography by delfino sisto legnani

 

valextra x extramilano | iside mini bag

photo credit valextra

 

via amatore sciesa 24

entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) | edited and directed by karl kobitz | page 233

photography by delfino sisto legnani

 

valextra x extramilano | iside medium bag

photo credit valextra

 

valextra is one of my favorite italian brands.  i love shopping with martina at the valextra flagship boutique on via manzoni in milan.  i especially love their white (pergamena) handbags.

i am now looking forward to the arrival of my new entryways of milan (ingressi di milano) inspired iside bag.

 

when you think of puglia (apulia), you may envision the distinctive whitewashed stone huts with conical roofs in alberobello.

trulli | alberobello | BA | italy

foreground | view of the rione monti district from the rione aia piccola district

background | chiesa sant’antonio da padova (church of saint anthony of padua)

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

there are over 1600 trulli of alberobello (trulli di alberobello) in the unesco world heritage site.

maps via unesco and geoplan.it

 

1030 trulli are concentrated in the rione monti district.

and, another 590 trulli are located in the rione aia piccola district.

trulli | alberobello | BA | italy

view of the rione monti district from piazza giangirolamo

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

trulli | alberobello | BA | italy

view of the rione aia piccola district from via cristoforo colombo

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

the trulli are built using a prehistoric method of dry stone construction that is unique to the region of the itria valley (valle d’itria).

more complex than the stone age construction process of the cave dwellings of matera (sassi di matera), which are simply enclosed by building an exterior wall of excavated stones.

section via italiansindc

 

even though they have conical roofs, trulli are rectangular buildings.

their double faced stone walls, which have rubble cores, are constructed from collected or excavated boulders or stones without using masonry mortar.

the eaves at the corners of the building channel water into an underground cistern.

the internal layer of the double faced roof is structurally supported by squinches (corner arches).  and, the external layer of the conical roof is constructed from corbelled stone shingles.

isometric drawing via the mind of architecture

 

the pinnacles on the roofs of the trulli, as well as the symbols that are painted on the shingles of the roofs with white ash,

are believed to have apotropaic power that wards off evil and misfortune.

trulli | alberobello | BA | italy

apotropaic pinnacles and symbols on the roofs

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

piazza d’annunzio | rione monti | alberobello | BA | italy

tenuta girolamo | piazza d’annunzio | rione monti | alberobello | BA | italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

casa lippolis | piazza pagano | rione aia piccola | alberobello | BA | italy

18th century | two story | built using masonry mortar

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

casa museo trullo sovrano | piazza sacramento | alberobello | BA | italy

18th century | two story with a staircase | built without using masonry mortar

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

many of the citta bianche (white cities), including alberobello, locorotondo, martina franca, cisternino, ceglie messapica, and ostuni, are located in the valle d’itria, which runs between putignano and martina franca.

map via zeemaps

 

my husband, bob, and i stopped in putignano for lunch at angelo sabatelli ristorante.

angelo sabatelli ristorante | via santa chiara | putignano | BA | italy

melanzane arrosto, pomodorini, basilico e burrata di angelo sabatelli (roasted eggplant, tomatoes, basil and burrata by angelo sabatelli)

click here for the ricette (recipe)

photos via great italian chefs and  great italian chefs

 

pranzo (lunch) was molto buono (very good). actually, delicious.

and, the valle d’itria is molta bella (very beautiful).

vineyards.  olive orchards.  and, trulli, trulli, and more trulli…

trulli | valle d’itria (itria valley) | near ceglie messapica | BR | italy

trulli | valle d’itria (itria valley) | near locorotondo | BA | italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

did you know that apulia produces about 33% of italian olive oil?

trulli | valle d’itria (itria valley) | near locorotondo | BA | italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

sadly, the olive orchards in southern apulia are now infested by xylella fastidosa, a bacterium spread by the spittlebug (sputacchina), an insect related to the sharpshooter, which last infested california wine country during the 1990’s.

as a result, about 10% of italy’s olive oil production has been lost during the past year.

click here to read a financial times (ft) article about the infestation.

from this:  healthy olive orchard | carovigno (near ostuni) | BR | italy

to that:  diseased olive orchard | surbo (near lecce) | LE | italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

fortunately, the centenary olive trees in the sculpture garden at la fiermontina, our hotel in lecce, remain healthy.

the sculptures are by rené letourneur (1898-1990) and jacques zwobada (1900-1967), two french artists who both loved the owners’ grandmother, antonia fiermonte (1914-1956), and were both loved by her.

 

the sculpture garden | la fiermontina | lecce | LE | italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

la fiermontina is a restored masseria (fortified farmhouse) in the centro storico (historic city center) of lecce.  the baroque architecture in lecce is comparable to the baroque architecture in sicily.

our room featured a drawing of antonia fiermonte by jacques zwobada.

jacques zwobada | antonia de dos | 1943

photo credit la fiermontina

 

and, a honey colored lecce limestone vaulted ceiling.

 

junior suite number 1 | la fiermontina | lecce | LE | italy

photo via  tripadvisor

 

bella (beautiful)!

 

my husband, bob, and i could now consider ourselves cave dwellers.*

for two nights, at il palazzotto, our hotel in matera, italy.

 suite number 3 | il palazzotto residence & winery | matera | MT | italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

matera is located in the basilicata region of italy (the ‘arch’ of the italian ‘boot’).

west of puglia (the ‘heel’ of the italian ‘boot’).

maps via unesco and isassidimatera.com

 

il palazzotto is located in the historic city center (centro storico) of matera, in the sasso barisano district.

the cave dwellings in the sasso barisano and sasso caveoso districts of matera, which have been continuously occupied since the stone age, are part of the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the mediterranean region.

in addition to the sassi di matera (stones of matera), the unesco world heritage site includes the parco delle chiese rupestri di materano (park of the rock churches of matera), which also dates to the palaeolithic period.  the rock churches are located across the gravina di matera (ravine of matera) that separates the sasso caveoso from the murgia plateau.  so, the national park is also known as the parco della murgia materana (the park of the murgia of matera).

the entire troglodyte settlement covers an area of 1016 hectares (approximately 2500 acres), and includes about 1000 cave dwellings and around 150 rock churches.

the civita district in the centro storico of matera, which dates to the 13th century, is also part of the unesco world heritage site.

view of matera

foreground | il palazzoto in the sasso barisano district
background | the piazza duomo, the duomo (cathedral), and the campanile (bell tower) in the civita district
photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

views of the sasso barisano district

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

views of the sasso caveoso district

left | the (unfinished) castello tramontano
center | the campanile in the piazza duomo
right | the rock churches of san giovanni in monterrone and santa maria de idris
photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

in the sasso caveoso district, there are more cave dwellings.

while, in the sasso barisano district, there are more palaces and houses.

 

before and after.

cave dwellings in the sasso caveoso district

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

matera is also a popular movie location.

while we were visiting, they were filming the new james bond movie, no time to die starring daniel craig.

piazza san pietro caveoso

the film crew was just finishing their 11:00 am gelato break
photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

a rope bridge crosses the ravine that separates the sasso caveoso district from the parco della murgia materana.

chiuso (closed).

views of the parco della murgia materana

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

most of the rock churches in the national park are also closed.

nine of them can be visited via guided tour.  three of them are visible through protective grills.

map via ceamatera.it

 

so, we decided that the rock churches and the grottoes in the national park were best appreciated from the sasso caveoso side of the ravine.

views of the grottoes and the belvedere in the parco della murgia materana from sasso caveoso

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

from the belvedere in the national park, the views of the sassi di matera are supposedly spectacular.

but, we decided that we preferred to explore the centro storico on foot.

 

from the piazza duomo in the civita district, the views of the sassi di matera are also spectacular.

views of the sassi di matera from the piazza duomo in the civita district

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

 

*fortunately, bob and i didn’t dine like cave dwellers.

we paid chef nicola popolizio at ristorante ego our highest compliment.

 ego reminded us of joia, our long time favorite restaurant in milano, when chef pietro leemann was still cooking full time.

talented, passionate, creative, playful, and friendly…

gli autumn della mia giovinezza (the autumns of my youth)

photo credit egogourmet

 

ristorante ego-enoteca gourmet origini | via stigliani | matera | MT | italy

photo credit egogourmet

 

my husband, bob, and i arrived in milan on the final day of the osvaldo borsani retrospective at la triennale di milano design museum.

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

the retrospective was designed and curated by the norman foster foundation and l’archivio osvaldo borsani (the osvaldo borsani archive), in partnership with the museum.

the design of the exhibition was exceptional.  over 300 objects were organized chronologically from 1925-1985, and installed along opposite walls of the U-shaped gallery.  archival materials, including drawings, documents, and photographs, hung opposite furniture and objects displayed on a cubic grid system inspired by american artist, sol lewitt.

the exhibition was also exceptionally well curated.  the documents corresponded with the objects.  so, it was easy to understand the creative context.

osvaldo borsani | 16 may-15 september | la triennale di milano | milan, italy

photo credit (c) agostino osio via tomoarchitects

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985) was not only a visionary twentieth century architect, designer, and industrial designer, but also the co-founder of the contract furniture brand, tecno.  however, as a residential interior designer, i was most interested in the furniture that he designed during the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s for arredamenti borsani varedo (borsani varedo furnishings) (abv), his family’s furniture business.

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bar | travertine, walnut wood, parchment, glass, brass | abv | 1940’s | dimore gallery collection

sofa | wood, mahogany wood, velvet fabric | abv | 1935 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / interni / casa m | photographs 4 and 8, rendering 9

table | maple wood, glass | abv | 1939 | private collection

table | black lacquered wood, gilding, glass | abv | 1939 | nicolas kilner gallery collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bar | maple wood, mirror, lighting | abv | 1939 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’40 | rendering 2

desk | walnut wood | abv | 1947 | atelier automobili amos collection

armchairs | wood, fabric | abv | 1948 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photograph 31

table | walnut wood, glass | abv | 1939 | jochum rodgers collection, berlin

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

wardrobe | maple wood | abv | 1940 | private collection

dresser | maple wood, mirror, brass | abv | private collection

table | walnut wood, silvered glass, lighting | abv | 1940 ) galleria michela cattai collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 79

side chairs | walnut wood, fabric | abv | 1940 | galleria michela cattai collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’40 | drawing 15

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bed | wood | abv | 1938 | private collection

cabinet | wood, glass, lighting | abv | 1941 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 99

armchairs | wood, velvet fabric | 1944 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bar | white lacquered wood | abv | 1939 | jochum rodgers collection, berlin

mirror with shelf | wood, glass, lighting | abv | 1948 | fragile collection

card table | wood, inlay | abv | 1942 | private collection

desk | wood, | abv, later tecno | 1953 | private collection

side chairs | wood, fabric | abv | 1938 | britt moran and emiliano salci collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’30 | renderings 23 and 27

l’archivio di varedo / interni / casa m | photograph 3

bar | wood, leather, velvet, murano glass | abv | 1940 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

mirror and shelf | gilded wood, marble, optional lighting | abv | 1950 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 118

console | white lacquered wood, brass | abv | 1940’s | private collection, turin

armchair | wood, fabric | abv | 1941 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photographs 73 and 82

table | brass, wood or glass top | abv | 1948 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photographs 124 and 125

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photograph 26

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

sideboard | rosewood, bronze | abv | 1945 | private collection

table | brass, wood | abv | 1949 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’50 | rendering 21

console | gilded wood, marble | abv | 1947 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 143

table | brass, marble | abv | 1941 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’50 | rendering 16

table | brass, wood or glass top | 1950 | abv | private collection

armchair | wood, velvet fabric | 1945 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

sideboard | walnut wood, inlay | abv | 1943 | private collection

console | maple wood | abv | 1945 | private collection

table | wood, marble or glass top | abv | 1947 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 121

floor lamp | coated metal | abv | 1945 | private collection

table | wood, glass | abv | 1947 | private collection

armchair | walnut wood, fabric | abv | 1946 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

console | mahogany wood, glass | abv | 1949 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 138

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photograph 39

sideboard | rosewood, bronze | abv | 1945 | private collection

armchairs | wood, wood or bakelite armrests, fabric | abv, later tecno | 1946-1953 | private collection, and prada collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’40 | rendering 36

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photographs 115, 116, 135, and 142

table | rosewood, glass  | abv | 1947 | private collection

table | maple wood, engraved glass | abv | 1946 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 119

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photograph 5

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

console | mahogany wood, white granite | abv | presented at the IX trienniale | 1951 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 137

sofa | abv, later tecno | 1952 | private collection

armchairs | wood, wood or bakelite armrests, fabric | abv, later tecno | 1953 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’50 | drawing 24

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 144

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photographs 25 and 38

l’archivio di varedo | interni | casa n | photograph 3

table | wood, onyx | abv, later tecno | 1953 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bar | mahogany wood, bronze | handles designed by lucio fontana | abv | 1949 | dimore gallery collection

console | wood, marble | abv | 1944 | private collection

triennale side chairs | wood, fabric | abv | presented at the IX triennale | 1951 | dimore gallery collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 136

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

are you inspired to begin collecting borsani furniture from the 1930’s, 1940’s, or 1950’s?

if so, you could consider bidding on the triennale table and chairs offered in the italian design auction at christie’s in london on 17 october 2018.

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985) | a ‘triennale’ dining suite, designed 1951 | estimate GBP 12,000.00-18,000.00

thinking italian design | sale 16017 | lot 17 | christie’s london | 17 october 2018

photo credit christies

 

or, maybe on the tables offered in the important design auction at phillips in london on 18 october 2018.

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985) | pair of side tables | circa 1948 | estimate GBP 5000.00-7000.00

important design | sale uk050318 | lot 30 | phillips london | 18 october 2018

photo credit phillips

 

last year, umbrellas (ombrelli).

september 2017

via mazzini and via garibaldi | pietrasanta, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

this year, butterflies (farfalle).

september 2018

via mazzini and via garibaldi | pietrasanta, italy

viale versilia | marina di pietrasanta, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

or actually, mariposas.  after a sculpture by spanish artist, manolo valdés.  from manolo valdés: poetica della traduzione (the poetics of intrepretation), the annual summer art exhibition sponsored by the comune di pietrasanta (town of pietrasanta) from 16 june-4 november 2018.

manolo valdés | mariposas | aluminum | 2015

manolo valdés: poetica della traduzione (the poetics of intrepretation) | pietrasanta, italy | 16 june-4 november 2018

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

valdés’ works are contemporary interpretations of classic works with art historical importance, by masters such as velázquez (1599-1660), rembrandt (1606-1669), or matisse (1869-1954).

henri matisse (1869-1954) | femme au chapeau (woman with a hat) | 1905 | san francisco musuem of modern art (sfmoma) | san francisco, ca

photo credit sfmoma

manolo valdés | retrato (portrait) | oil on burlap | 2017 | opera gallery | dubai, united arab emirates

photo credit opera gallery

manolo valdés | pamela | aluminum | 2015

manolo valdés: poetica della traduzione (the poetics of intrepretation) | pontile di tonfano (tonfano pier) | marina di pietrasanta, italy | 16 june-4 november 2018

photo credit contini galleria d’arte via facebook

foreground: manolo valdés | irene | bronze | 2006

background: manolo valdés | caballero | bronze | 2005

manolo valdés: poetica della traduzione (the poetics of intrepretation) | pietrasanta, italy | 16 june-4 november 2018

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

manolo valdés | double imogen | marble and steel | 2016

manolo valdés: poetica della traduzione (the poetics of intrepretation) | pietrasanta, italy | 16 june-4 november 2018

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

manolo valdés | clio dorada | brass and steel | 2017

manolo valdés: poetica della traduzione (the poetics of intrepretation) | pietrasanta, italy | 16 june-4 november 2018

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

manolo valdés | regina II | bronze | 2005

manolo valdés: poetica della traduzione (the poetics of intrepretation) | pietrasanta, italy | 16 june-4 november 2018

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

piazza del duomo | pietrasanta, italy

manolo valdés: poetica della traduzione (the poetics of intrepretation) | pietrasanta, italy | 16 june-4 november 2018

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

click here to read my previous post about the pietrasanta contemporary sculpture park.