Urban Italy is my own personal, highly subjective, totally un-democratic website-cum-blog. After ten years of travelling off the beaten track around Italy, following my passions for architecture, food, marketing and pathological modernist furniture-collecting, I have a whole heritage of secret addresses and insider information. Regularly updated. A sort of 2.0 version of my Moleskines, places to go to and things to do, the kind of stuff I wish someone had shared with me ages ago.
I mean, there are thousands, tens of thousands of archinauts and design junkies who couldn’t care less where the Hard Rock Café is. People like me who are constantly on the lookout for inspiration, be it in the form of cutting edge interiors, the latest design districts, second hand Saarinen furniture at flea markets or the best Droog design deals. And that’s not stuff that you’re going to find in a guide book off the shelf.
Italy is not just any boot. It’s a hand-crafted made-to-fit calf-skin boot with special trimmings.
I use my spare time on long-haul flights and in badly-decorated airport lounges around the world to put this stuff down in e-ink. And I’ve made up a list of friends and friends-of-friends, a cast of architects, designers, journalists, and generally creative-minded souls to work on the project, so read on and you’ll discover where urban travellers like us choose to go, eat, shop, sleep and just hang out in Italy.
From the handmade trimmings on top to the genuine leather sole down south.
So if you’re planning a design shopping spree to furnish your new apartment at a fraction of the price, a tour taking in modernist masterpieces and contemporary food design, or a holiday to just chill out in one of the most breathtaking settings in Europe, check out our behind-the-scenes ideas on Italian lifestyle and design. Wherever you like to sleep, be it the latest, cutting-edge design hotel or the three-room boutique B&B run by an interior-designer friend of mine, Urban Italy shows you the way. Like the restaurants, hotspots, events and people you’re going to get to know with us, they’re all selected to showcase the best of made-in-Italy.
Oh, and Urban Italy is obviously i-friendly, with graphics and settings optimized for your i-phone and i-pad.
On my list of all-time Italian design favourites, the deck of Neapolitan cards is certainly way up there in the top ten. With the retro colour scheme and Fornasetti style print on the rear, for me they remain one of the cult items in Italian design, on my list somewhere between the Bialetti espresso maker and Sottsass’s red Valentine typewriter. They are intrinsic symbols of Italian style that have been there ever since I can remember, travelling around the country as a kid with my parents. I decided on the Ace of Clubs for the logo: it’s vintage, decidedly kitch and speaks English with a thick Italian accent. I just love the idea that my two cents’ worth can be the ace up your sleeve when travelling around Italy.
A huge thank you to Judith Edge for making sense of it all!