Yesterday we spent the day in sunny Milan. We had a wander around in the main shopping street which was quite full even for a Tuesday.
For lunch we went to the Brian & Barry Building (again), for a piadina at Eataly on the -1 floor. I had the classic prosciutto, squacquerone cheese & rocket, and it was very good! If you haven’t had a piadina before then I recommend trying one in Italy as it is a nice lighter option to a sandwich. It reminds me a bit of a tortilla, but the difference is that it’s made from flour instead of corn for a softer flavour.
Then we went to Piazza Affari to look at this 13 feet tall sculpture of a massive middle finger in front of the stock exchange. It was designed by Mauritzio Cattelan who pokes fun at popular culture, history, and religion with black humor. The sculpture is called L.O.V.E. which is an acronym of libertà (freedom), odio (hate), vendetta (revenge), and eternità (eternity), but is popularly known as just “The Middle Finger”.
“Officially it’s name is L.O.V. E. – so it stands for love – but everyone can read between the lines and take away the message they see for themselves.” – Maurizio Cattelan
The day ended with a coffee at the Juicebar, a nice place but I might have to go back to try one of their juices next time.
So I’m in Italy again, and the first thing I had to do was to stop for an Aperol Spritz! We discovered this cool and trendy place called Santeria, hidden away in a back alley in Milan. It is like a little community with a bar & restaurant, a little independent shop selling records, books and clothes as well as open space offices for creative people. Very interesting concept and a lovely place to stop for a drink (or two..)
Last week I went to the ‘La Bellezza Quotidiana’ // ‘The Everyday Beauty’, a design exhibition by Triennale Design Museum promoting and enhancing Italian design icons throughout time. It contains a selection of over 200 iconic pieces laid out in chronological order, starting in 1945 and ending up in 2015. It contains designs by the big masters Alessandro Mendini, Andrea Branzi, Gio Ponti, Piero Fornasetti, Franco Albini, Bruno Munari, together with young, new designers such as Lorenzo Damiani, Martino Gamper and Fabio Novembre.
Below is the timeline of all the designs featured in the exhibition, just click on the image to view larger:
It is so fascinating to see the development and innovation that has happened over the years, and very interesting to see how many of these pieces still have a very modern and new feel to them. Italy is seen as being a worldwide trendsetter and leader in design, which you can clearly see in the collection of items displayed at ‘La Bellezza Quotidiana’.
One piece that especially caught my eye was the ‘PRATONE’, designed by Giorgio Ceretti, Pietro Derossi and Riccardo Rosso for Gruppo Strum in 1971. At first glance I had no idea what it could be, it looks like a section of oversized grass and has a pop-art style to it. When getting closer to it and reading the sign saying it was a chair I still felt a bit confused, as it does not resemble anything you would traditionally call a chair. It is primarily a work of art, but also functional and quite comfortable by the looks of it (see here.)
Photo by ingridesign
I also love the quirky ‘Sending Animals’ furnitures, designed by Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba for Seletti. These playful animal-shaped storage units are made from wooden shipping crates, a fun way to display your homeware.
Photo by ingridesign
The exhibition is located in the attic of the Villa Reale in Monza, a stunning location and a must-see if you are ever in the Milan area. It was the summer villa for the Italian royal family up until 1900 and is surrounded by Monza Park, one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe. The villa was recently restored, and is now open to the public as a museum but also hosts temporary exhibitions and events. There is a restaurant area near the entrance that serves lovely food and drinks, and a little book shop where you can have a browse.
Photo by ingridesign
The exhibition design is by Michele De Lucchi, with a minimalistic and organic style. Each item is displayed on untreated wood crates, which works very well with the wood and brick surroundings of the interior space. Each area is divided into a section focusing on the time period nicely displayed on the floor when entering. It is nice as it feels like you are having a walk through the history of Italian design.
Photo by Triennial di Milano
If you do go to the exhibition be sure to check out the amazing photography exhibition ‘Oltre Lo Sguardo’ // ‘Beyond The Look’ by Steve McCurry also located at the villa. The exhibition shows his latest work alongside some of his best-known images. The highlight being the portrait of Sharbat Gula which was on the cover of National Geographic in 1985 and has since become one of the icons of world photography.