Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Modern Kitchen Design

The Marchi Group offers high quality, hand-made, fitted kitchen concepts and design. I happen upon them perusing and browsing my way through the emerald forest otherwise known at the Internet.

Aside from the excellent kitchen concepts, this piece in their 'History' tab caught my eye:

"The history of our company goes back almost 40 years. A period which has seen a radical change in customs, taste and life-style not only in Italy, but throughout the whole world. 1977: the year we began the great adventure of setting up our company. This was the year of the first episode of "Star Wars", the world fell in love with a young star called John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever". It was the year I sat and listened to a mythical Pink Floyd at the Hallenstadion in Zurich. The Shuttle made its first test flight in space…from that moment on, the world began to evolve at a momentous pace."

The thing I've observed among contemporary Italian art and design is the reverence it holds for American (even British) culture and history - Americana if you will. 

The exotic pull of foreign ideas swings both ways of course. While there's no shortage of Italian companies opting for Americanized names, North American companies, for their part, sometimes like using Italian names.

The other thing is the poor English grammar. But we won't hold it against them. If I could convince companies I've featured here to clean up their English text, I'd have a nice side business going.


I have no idea what this blog is about but it seems interesting enough (enigmatic titles like 'The syndrome of Influence of Italian Design'  help in that vain) and the pictures are cool.

The Perfection That Is Italian Marble

A friend of mine is in the hotel renovations business and has visited Italy's marble quarries. In his view, there's no question Italy produces the finest marble on earth. When his clients ask for the best marble, they mean Italian. 

For him, it all comes to attention to detail and technology of which Italy possesses in bunches.

Nice explanation here:

"Italian marble has earned its reputation primarily because the quarries in Italy have access to some of the best raw material in the world. Secondly, Italian quarries have set the highest standards for quality control and everything from selecting and cutting the blocks to packaging and shipping is done with precision."

Other marble producing countries include (in no particular order) the United States, India, Germany, China, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Turkey (which ranks second in production to Italy).

Pic: Carrara quarry in Tuscany.

Carrara marble was used by famous artists including Michelangelo and Donatello to create their magnificent sculptures.

Italians Dominate Kart Engineering

To our left is a Parilla motorcycle. Parilla operates under the Italian American Motor Engineering (IAME - The Heart of Kart) company. It is the largest manufacturing of kart engines in the world located in Bergamo, Italy.

Italians excel at the Karting World Championships.

Other Italian chassis constructors include engineering company Tecno (Bologna) which also entered Formula One in the early 1970s, CRG (pictured below),  Birel (Milan),  and Tony Kart (Brescia).

Mechanic Dino Chiesa - associated with CRG -  is known as the world's best kart mechanic.

Parilla pic courtesy of

CRG pic from

My U-Boat Watch

It's a big one - 52mm. It took some getting used to but in the right attire it's a sharp watch. I like the clean look - very much in the art-deco spirit.  
I tried to get a close-up but I couldn't get the glare out or into proper focus. This ain't my Nikon I was using!