Every year during the month of April, the city of Milan lights up for the famous Salone del Mobile (an event which is one of the highlights regarding Furniture Design for operators, clients, and diehard Design fans) that typically runs for 6 days.
This year the event was moved up to the first week of April in such a way as to let the poor souls decanter and head on out toward the Easter break which is an important Holiday break here in Italy. For me, this period typical revolves around a mad rush of getting digital projects out in time such as to highlight and shine the companies I have as clients so the stress level is quite crazy.
Once the projects are delivered I do get a chance to go out and visit installations that I did find of interest and which I would like to highlight below:
1. Invisible Outlines by Nendo
I was lucky enough to be able to see this fantastic exhibition by the designer Nendo even if the lines were running around 45 minutes to get in. In conjunction with the Jill Sanders showroom in Milan, space was transformed into a white oasis with an emphasis on the sharing a new way of envisioning objects. My favorite piece in the space was the Jellyfish Vases which consisted of transparent silicon vases inside a tank that oscillated and reacted to wave movements from inside a pump. Super proud to have my friend Tim Power involved in this exhibit.
Dezeen website account of the project
Short video from the installation
2. The Skin of the Architecture by PiuArch
In October of last year, I moved my studio towards the Brera area of town and I now have the pleasure of being next door neighbors with this creative studio that decided to cover the facade of the full-length wall with hanging flowers. This along with an exhibition of their works inside the studio created a flow of traffic in our courtyard which was a marvel to witness. Bravi!
3. Foundation from Forma Fantasma
A wonderful play of reflections from very elegant lamp structures was another of my favorites at the Fuori Salone in Milan. This talented team from Amsterdam took over the Krizia Fashion showroom (which usually was reserved for Ingo Maurer and Ron Arad in past editions) and presented an elegant and surreal play with reflections.
In a nutshell my favorites!
Last week we were in the wonderful city of Bologna since Nazim had some work related issues and I decided to come along for the weekend. During the Christmas Holiday while doing some brainstorming regarding interesting content that we would love to offer our blog visitors we came across the idea of doing highlights of our favorite Italian cities from the main center or so the so-called Piazza.
Since the center of each Italian town is the essence of which derives history, art and culture we came up with the name Casa Chiesi City Belly, (sounds like “siti belli” which in Italian means “beautiful places”, quite a funny coincidence.)
So here goes the first pilot which we did on Facebook Live and now available also on our YouTube channel:
Hope you like it and please drop your comments and suggestions for the future shows!
Grazie Betti and Nazim
Due to the fact that Nazim was involved in the Bologna Arte Fiera project, we were happy to have VIP access to this year’s manifestation. The Bologna Arte Fiera is one of Europes most important Art Fair which this year under the direction of Angela Vettese sees an updated edition (the 41st).
Together with our host and friend Mariah we spent a lovely day partaking of the worldwide art galleries proposals. Nazim wanted to purchase some Brian Eno artwork but the 21,000 Euro price tag was a bit too much. Above you can see the artwork that captured our attention this year.
Betti and Nazim
For more info visit the Bologna Arte Fiera at this link: http://www.artefiera.it/
So during the Holidays, we did a lot of brainstorming regarding what we would love to do in 2017 as new features for Casa Chiesi.
As you all probably know we love to do and have been doing Livestreams for Casa Chiesi from diverse locations in Italy.
Well now comes a new Show concept that we are introducing with a test pilot run this Sunday: Casa Chiesi City Belly, a live stream which revolves from the center piazza (square) of our favorite Italian cities.
In this 20 minute format we will give you a 360° (hint…) view and analysis of the Italian city we are visiting from the center of each one (from here comes the reference to the Belly!) We would love for you to join us this Sunday at 9 am EST where we will be highlighting the wonderful city of Bologna and provide some feedback of the things that you would love for us to highlight.
These Livestreams are visible on our Facebook Page at this link
and we will also be featured on this website and YouTube channel
Kinda like bring the town center to your Living Room!
Betti and Nazim
Cappon magro is an elaborate and rich Genoese salad of seafood and vegetables over hard tack arranged into a decorative pyramid and dressed with a rich sauce.
The foundation of a cappon magro is a layer of hard tack biscuits (“gallette”) rubbed with garlic and soaked in seawater and vinegar. Then a pyramid is built up layer by layer.
Each layer may consist of one or many vegetables, fishes, or seafood. All recipes include boiled white fish, a lobster, green beans, celery, carrots, beets, and potatoes. Some authorities insist that black salsify is essential. Other seafood and vegetables may also be included. Each ingredient is boiled separately, cut up, and seasoned with oil and vinegar. Each layer is dressed with a sort of cross between salsa verde and mayonnaise; it consists of parsley, garlic, capers, anchovies, the yolks of hard-boiled eggs, and green olives ground together in a mortar with olive oil and vinegar. The pyramid is topped with a lobster capped with its coral. The sides of the pyramid are garnished with green olives, botargo, capers, anchovy filets, crayfish, artichokes, and quartered hard-boiled eggs
Since we are visiting friends in Rome, we decided to do this quick video to thank everyone for your support in 2016 and wishing everybody a great 2017!
Love Nazim and Betti!
One thing we love of our dear friends in Italy is that on the whim of a moment an invitation gets extended and we find ourselves catapulted in beautiful Umbria. Since we tend to spend Christmas in Camogli with the whole family we wanted to be able to take a break somewhere else for a change and Renato, Paola and their son Carlos (who is the photographer behind these blog post photos) came to the rescue.
Renato’s parents have a beautiful country house in Umbria (which is close to Todi, to be featured in a Casa Chiesi article soon) roughly 4 hours and 20 minutes away from Camogli, so yesterday we embarked on a nice drive between occasional fog and bright sunshine arriving at destination at 5 pm.
On our arrival, we found out that the country mice (or rats in this case) had eaten through the plastic tubing of the brand new heating system and the house was as cold as ice (love the Foreigner song reference). Our guest had arrived two hours before so we had the installers figuring out what was needed to fix the unit and get the house heated. They will be back today.
No big deal since we made a nice fire, bundled up, wine and cold cuts along with great conversation heated up our souls. That and a nice visit to the local trattoria for a wonderful evening with friends.
Happy Holidays greetings from Casa Chiesi!
We are closing out the year with happiness and joy for the progress that we are doing with our Italian Blog (mainly thanks to the support of some great folks around the world. Again THANK YOU and let’s continue together in 2017 with the same push of these last two years!
Love Nazim and Betti!
On of the mysteries of life that I encountered upon my arrival in Italy in 1992 was a phenomenon which is alien to folks that come from Florida or at least Miami, my previous hometown prior to moving to Milan.
Yes… You got it…. The dreaded fog! Bear in mind that I hate driving especially during the nighttime or when there is a typical downpour (which in Miami was a standard due to the tropical nature of the place!). But nothing prepared me towards the encounter with a dense fog that engulfs your car as you are driving on an Italian highway.
This morning we decided to drive down to Genoa (where I work as a consultant) and then on to Camogli where Betti’s mom lives. It had been years since I came across the banks of fog that are typical of the Italian “pianura”.
One thing that has always surprised me is the amount of folks that drive in the fog way above the speed limit with a total trust that the fog is of a consistent nature. When I mean consistent I am referring to a distance that from which you can at least see the red headlights of the car in front of you (roughly 50 meters away). When I first encountered this meteorological wonder I would freak out since the visibility between banks of the stuff would vary from 6 meters till practically 20 inches off my windshield forcing me to stick my head out the window and follow the white stripe painted on the asphalt!
Luckily this morning the density was way better than that of around 20 years ago (blame it on global warming?) so we were able to make it down to Genoa safe and sound….but boy I hate driving in the fog!
After spending more than 23 years commuting between Milan and Genoa due to work I was always fascinated by the old tales of the traditional “tripperias” that existed in this magical city which is Genoa.
For those who might be a bit nervous of Tripe as food to consider bear in mind that it is a typical staple in traditional Italian cuisine although it is a bit of an acquired taste since we are basically talking about the inside of the cow’s stomach.
Obviously after so many years and with the thought that such a long, long tradition had faded with the wind it takes somebody like Betti to come over one afternoon, pick me up at the office and surprise me with a quick visit to one of the last one’s still existing barely 3 blocks away from my office: Tripperia La Casana
A place stuck in time which dates back to 200 years ago run by Francesco Pissani and Gabriela Colombo we proceeded to stock up on fresh cuts of tripe to take back to Milan and put in the fridge for the coming winter season which is when this staple gives out its best. Look for a future recipe from Betti in the coming months.
If in Genova they are located at:
Tripperia La Casana
Vico della Casana, 16123 Genova
Telephone: +0039 010 247 4357