“Made in Italy,” what an intriguing topic indeed! The ingenuity and the creativity of our people, together with their intrinsic capacity to artistically create il bello with everything being made has led us, for centuries, to establish unthinkable models in all fields: the arts, architecture, food, wine, fashion, and automobiles. Modern technologies, however, now require newer and different skills and visions. As the world changes, we are witnessing unexpected evolutions and adaptations of the “Italian style,” to satisfy and challenge the demands of a shrinking world market. Walking around Rome and witnessing so much artistry remains a gift like few others. A look at the Trevi Fountain (fig. 1) should be enough to appreciate the depth and maturity of our creative ability, matched by no other. A classic Fiat 500 (fig. 2) reminds us of the unsurpassed perfection of the Italian auto industry which continues to deliver spectacularly with the Maserati, the Ferrari, the Alfa Romeo, and the new Fiat models finally back on American soil. Much could be said about our food and wine industry (figs. 3,4), always imitated but rarely matched, as well as the fashion world, clearly one of the most desirable facets of Italian productivity. The “Made in Italy” label (figs. 5,6,7) certainly guarantees quality and value.
For years, cinematography has been prominent within Italian cultural circles, dating back to great directors such as Antonioni, De Sica and Fellini, as well as contemporary maestri such as Giuseppe Tornatore, Roberto Benigni and others. The Venice Biennale Art Festival attracts very prominent international artists with the Venice and Rome “Festival del Cinema” being some of the most desirable venues to showcase the latest films (figs. 8,9).
Beauty and style, however, will be found not only in the major cities, but often within the small towns and villages throughout Italy, filled with artisans’ studios and shops (fig. 10) capable of, once again, demonstrating the unusual creativity and visions of the Italian mind. Could it be a divine gift, after all, or simply the acquired capacity to “see” beauty and style?