Let the closing summer credits roll!

This period of the year is always something of a crossover. The sun is still at a right angle, yet defining events of the year are already taking place and cast much longer (and far more interesting) shadows. The 79th Venice International Film Festival opens next Wednesday, 31st August. But even though it’s 90 years … Read more

That darn August

Extended periods of respite have existed since the dawn of time; the Romans used to call them Feriae Augusti. Probably because by the time we reach the eighth month of the year, we feel somewhat the worse for wear – and definitely in need of some invisible darning. One of our most natural desires is … Read more

An indelible brand

Multiple stories over the centuries have turned the Colosseum, with its multiple storeys, into an economic marker, as well as an urban landmark. Pillaging of the amphitheatre, built in 1st century A.D., was always, alas, the name of the game whenever construction materials were required. That is what happened in Late Antiquity, for example, when … Read more

A design i-cone

The ice cream cone first appeared on the scene in 1896 thanks to the genius of an Italian, Italo Marchioni, who used to push an ice cream cart up and down Wall Street. It was imperative for him to find a means of transport for that frozen mousse, and to avoid having to wash, carry … Read more

The importance of being in the pink

Flamingos are birds that are perfectly at home wherever there is sea-salt or chlorine in the air – and they turn into inflatable beach (or pool) toys for our carefree moments. Indeed, they seem the epitome of a relaxed existence: they balance with ease on one leg and the more shrimp they eat, the lovelier … Read more

Summer is a coming in!

“In the summertime, when the weather is hot…” what cheerier way of celebrating the carefree days of summer than the famous Mungo Jerry song? A myriad of fine weather activities are mentioned: from fishing to parties, from swimming in the sea, to meals out. The rhythm makes us think of an old steam train chuff-chuffing … Read more

Let’s take a closer look

“Art and Sensuality in the Houses of Pompei”, an exhibition currently staged at Pompeii, aims to prove that the erotic imagery, so ubiquitous in homes all over that Roman city, is not only (as indicated in the title) “art”, but is also depictive of something quite natural and which can, therefore, be viewed by adults … Read more

Ready for an electrifying week?

Even comfort, and getting cosy, are a matter of design. Think, for instance, of the relationship we enter into with the Pratone armchair as we sink into it as if we were settling down on a grassy meadow (as per the armchair’s name), its inviting polyurethane foam promising a comfy hug. The Salone del Mobile … Read more

The redrawing of a country

The form of government that Italy was to assume from that day onwards was drawn up on 2 June 1946, and this was also partly thanks to “the May King”, as Umberto II came to be nicknamed. He was to rule but a few days because, earlier that same year, in March, he had signed … Read more

Now is the month of Maying

How loudly is Europe resonating this week? The 12 gold stars on its flag take their rightful place “in the blue, painted in blue”. The reference to the lyrics of Domenico Modugno’s ultra-famous Italian song Volare is apt: in composing what was to become an icon of “Italianness”, the songster drew his inspiration from the … Read more