Turkish (De)Lights (Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul)

Istanbul (Turkey). Few minutes only just to share a photograph I found last night in my archive, and which dates back to 2011. It’s the beautiful chandelier at the Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, one of the most beautiful sites in the old town of Sultanahmet.

The mosques’ chandeliers are probably the first thing people notice when they enter into the praying room, and even contemporary mosques such as the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman or the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi have huge chandeliers to impress visitor and worshipers.

Istanbul. Pochi minuti per condividere una fotografia che ho ritrovato ieri sera nel mio archivio, e che risale al 2011. Si tratta del meraviglioso lampadario nella Moschea di Solimano a Istanbul, uno dei siti più belli nella città vecchia di Sultanahmet.

I lampadari delle moschee sono probabilmente la prima cosa che le persone notano entrando nella sala della preghiera, e anche le moschee contemporanee come la Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman o la Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi hanno enormi candelabri per impressionare i visitatori e i fedeli.

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Jorge Mendez Blake – The Castle at the 13th Istanbul Biennial

Istanbul (Turkey). To write this post, I decided to unearth an old photo taken years ago (in 2013) at the 13th Istanbul Biennial – and I did it for two reasons…

The first one, it’s because in these days – after another horrifying terrorist attack, which killed more than 40 people at the Ataturk Airport – I have Istanbul in my heart more than ever. Those who know me (or, at least, those who follow my blog) know how much I love Istanbul, a city where I have lived many years and that completely changed my life (and not only because it was in Istanbul where I discovered my passion for photography, one Sunday afternoon during a walk along the Bosphorus).

The second reason, it’s because I’m more and more convinced that the most efficient (and probably the only) way to fight terrorism, is opening people’s minds to culture; and it’s not a coincidence that one of the activities of terrorist groups is the destruction of cultural heritage (I already wrote some thoughts on it in a post about a night visit at Louvre Museum).

The Jorge Mendez Blake’s work, exhibited at the 13th Istanbul Biennial, was perfectly describing – and it still today describes, without the need of a single word – what I’m trying to explain in this short post. A book, wisely positioned at the base of a wall, shows its destructive force, creating a discontinuity in a tall and solid structure made by little bricks.The metaphor is rather evident: spreading culture will create many of these “discontinuities” and will make walls – built up with terror and hate – collapse.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one….

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The Blue of Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh

Marrakesh (Morocco). If someone one day will ask me “where was the bluest blue you have ever seen in your life?”, the answer can be only one: “It was in Marrakesh, at the Jardin Majorelle”.

Jardin Majorel is a popular attraction in Marrakesh: every day many people visit it and enjoy its quietness, finding here – among cactus and birds – the perfect refugee from the hot, overcrowded and dusty souk in the central city’s Medina.

However, what most probably captures people’s attention is the dominant ultramarine, cobalt blue used to color every structure in the garden: small buildings, railings, fountains etc. This large use of blue, in my opinion, contributes to give the above mentioned sense of calm and freshness and I found its intensity quite impressive. Let me say: it was an experience not only for my eyes, but also for my soul.

According to Ayurvedic Medicine, “Chromotherapy” (or “Color Therapy”) is believed to be able to use light in the form of color to balance “energy” lacking from a person’s body, whether it be on physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental levels; and the color “Blue” is known as able to give “physical and spiritual communication”. It could make sense…

However, you can believe or not to Ayurveda and its theories, it does not matter: Jardin Majorelle is a must-see in Marrakesh and it deserves a long, calm visit.

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Street Decoration (via Ricci Armani)

Pontremoli (Italy). Just another image from a night photo-walk around Pontremoli with a Leica Q camera, shooting at f/1.7 and high ISO values (I must say that this is a wonderful camera with a great lens!).

Well, honestly I don’t have too much to write this time… except that I liked to see how even a simple small plant hung on a wall along a street, can be a nice way to decorate it. So the minute(s) you are saving with a short post to read, can be used to watch the photo longer and maybe to surf more my photo-blog 🙂

Ok, I need a holiday… (few days more!)



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Made in Italy (Fiat 500 at Piazzale Michelangelo)

Florence (Italy). The sentence “Made in Italy” is something very serious, which goes far beyond the simple “marketing announcement”. The Article 16 of the Italian Decree 135/2009 clearly defines what can be considered as authentic Made in Italy: this is the first comma, and it says: “Made in Italy is something which has been fully planned, designed, manufactured and wrapped up in Italy”.

This pretty generic definition is much more restrictive than the one made for German or American products. Made in Germany is based on all essential manufacturing steps, whereas Made in USA includes both all and “virtually” all the necessary steps (and the word “virtually” is pretty large) to produce something.

So, when some days ago I found myself in front of these two examples of Made in Italy – although so distant in terms of historical period for their “planning, design and manufacturing” – I found useful thinking about what is Made in Italy while capturing this photo.

Behind the skyline of Florence, as well as the old legendary Fiat 500, there’s the true and authentic Made in Italy approach. Brunelleschi, Giotto or Arnolfo Di Cambio for the Florentine skyline. Dante Giacosa, Pio Manzù and Giorgietto Giugiaro for the Fiat 500 car.

I think Italians should be more proud and more “protective” of the Made in Italy label; and they should also consider that Made in Italy is not limited only to today’s shoes, design or fashion in general. Made in Italy is part of our heritage, a piece of national DNA. And we all should be its first and most committed promoters…

Firenze. Il termine “Made in Italy” è un qualcosa di molto serio, che va oltre il semplice slogan di marketing. L’articolo 16 della legge 135/2009 al primo comma definisce chiaramente cosa può essere considerato come autentico Made in Italy: “Si intende realizzato interamente in Italia il prodotto o la merce, classificabile come made in Italy ai sensi della normativa vigente, e per il quale il disegno, la progettazione, la lavorazione ed il confezionamento sono compiuti esclusivamente sul territorio italiano“.

Questa definizione piuttosto generica è in realtà molto più restrittiva di quella utilizzata per i prodotti tedeschi o americani. L’etichetta di Made in Germany è basata su tutti i passaggi essenziali della produzione, mentre il Made in USA include i passi necessari (tutti e “virtualmente tutti”) per produrre qualcosa – e il termine “virtualmente” è abbastanza largo.

Per questo, quando alcuni giorni fa mi sono trovato davanti questi due esempi di Made in Italy – sebbene così distanti in termini di periodo storico per il loro “disegno, progettazione e realizzazione” – mentre scattavo questa foto ho ritenuto interessante pensare a cosa sia il Made in Italy.

Dietro la skyline di Firenze, così come dietro la leggendaria vecchia Fiat 500, c’è il vero e autentico approccio Made in Italy. Brunelleschi, Giotto o Arnolfo di Cambio per la skyline di Firenze. Dante Giacosa, Pio Manzù e Giorgetto Giugiaro per la Fiat 500.

Penso che gli Italiani dovrebbero essere più orgogliosi e più “protettivi” dell’etichetta Made in Italy; e dovrebbero inoltre considerare che il Made in Italy non si ferma solo alle scarpe, al design o in generale alla moda di oggi. Made in Italy è parte della nostra storia, un pezzo di DNA nazionale. E tutti noi dobbiamo essere i suoi primi e più convinti promotori…

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Lace by Giopato & Coombes | Fuorisalone @ Milano Design Week 2017

Milan (Italy). Here we are again: one year has passed, and Milan is again the place to be for architects, interior designers, bloggers, design lovers and simple curious – like me. Well, this year I’m a bit beyond the pure curiosity, since I’m completing the renovation of my apartment and I feel myself much more involved than the past year. But this is a personal stuff, and I guess it won’t interest anyone.

The Fuorisalone is the “unplugged” face of the Milan Design Week (the official name is “Salone Internazionale del Mobile”), and it’s a set of events taking places in different parts of Milan, including some prestigious and hidden locations. The list counts almost 1,500 events, scattered all around Milan downtown: Brera, Isola, Università Statale, 5 Vie, Lambrate and Tortona are the most popular and dense of events locations, but more or less every part of the city has something to offer.

Under the tag Fuorisalone 2017 I’m posting my personal way to watch, visit and photograph the many exhibitions, installations, events and any other thing that can be considered as “design”. If you don’t have enough, you can give a look to past editions’ events here (2016) and here (2015).

The image here above shows Lace by Giopato & Coombes, an interesting chandelier made of glass rings forming a very long and complex structure: when light is not only something “to see”, but also “to be seen”.

Milano. Eccoci di nuovo: un anno è passato, e Milano è nuovamente il posto giusto per architetti, disegnatori di interni, blogger, amanti del design e semplici curiosi – come me. A dire il vero, quest’anno sono un po’ oltre la pura curiosità, dal momento che sto terminando la ristrutturazione del mio appartamento e mi sento molto più coinvolto degli anni passati. Ma questa è una facecnda personale, e immagino non interessi a nessuno.

Il Fuorisalone è il lato “non ufficiale” del Salone Internazionale del Mobile, e offre una serie di eventi in diverse parti di Milano, incluse alcuni luoghi prestigiosi o nascosti. La lista conta quasi 1,500 eventi, sparsi in giro per il centro di Milano: Brera, Isola, l’Università Statale, 5 Vie, Lambrate e Tortona sono tra le zone a più famose e con la più alta densità di eventi, ma più o meno ogni parte della città ha qualcosa da offrire.

Sotto al tag Fuorisalone 2017 posto il mio personale sguardo sulle varie mostre, installazioni, eventi e tutto ciò che può essere considerato “design”. Se non ne avete abbastanza, potete anche guardare le foto degli eventi delle passate edizioni qui (2016) e qui (2015).

La foto qui sopra mostra l’interessante lampadario Lace di Giopato & Coombes realizzato con anelli di vetro a formare una lunga e complessa struttura: quando la luce non è solo un qualcosa “per guardare”, ma anche “per essere guardata”.


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