The Design And Culinary Treasures That Remind Us Why We Love Italy So Much

05/29/2015 02:08 pm ET | Updated May 29, 2015

This is the Italy we love

beautiful italy

The Italian landscape has always been a great attraction. The nature, the masterpieces of art, the enchanting cities. The quality of life is special. To let oneself go is only natural. And the Italians? Stereotypes depict them as outgoing and gallant. Lovers of the “Made in Italy” brand admire their creativity and know-how.

We have decided to introduce our readers to Italian excellence. Entrepreneurs and artisans, fashion designers and connoisseurs, inventors and farmers. We have selected 12 brands from different sectors: fashion, design, food, manufacturing and cars. This is an arbitrary number, of course. In addition to these 12, we could have picked out another 1,000 more examples of why we love Italy. Unique realities are to be found all over our country. Small, big, famous and secret. But we had to make a choice and we decided to choose quality and audacity as our main criteria. Think dynasties that have succeeded with intelligence, realities that have evolved courageously, and individuals who have walked new paths and come out victorious.

We invite you to read on and make your own ideal list of excellences, which we hope you will one day have the opportunity to discover and love.

  • 1 Poliform: Design Furniture As A Lifestyle Project
    Founded in 1970, Poliform is known for the high quality of its production, ranging from modular systems to cabinets, beds and upholstering. A global project whose versatility makes it fitting in any architectural context, it is appreciated by institutions such as AOL Time Warner Center in New York, and the Clinton Presidential Library rooms.
  • 2 Bodrato: Reinventing Chocolate For 40 Years
    Have you ever tasted a Boero? Or the bonbons with a grappa-soaked Vignola cherry in the middle? All Italians have. These exquisite chocolate delicatessen are made by Bodrato, a Piedmont company that started operating in the '40s. Amongst its best-sellers, the famous Nocciolato, mint cubes from Pancalieri and Huehuetenango coffee.
  • 3 Pentole Agnelli: More Than Just Pots -- Chefs' Partners Since 1907
    The prestigious Agnelli brand was created over a century ago from an intuition by its founder Baldassarre: using aluminum, an apparently poor material with extraordinary properties, to create high-end cooking pots. Today, the Agnelli cookery collections are still made in Italy and used by chefs worldwide.
  • 4 Technogym: Gym Equipment That Is Like Your Personal Trainer
    Technogym is in gyms everywhere in the world. And it was the official supplier of the last five Olympic Games. Its products are used by Formula One drivers, footballers and the crew of Luna Rossa. The brand was born in 1983 from an intuition: turning training machines into statements for a new lifestyle, based on physical activity and balanced nutrition.
  • 5 Mezzacrona: Wines From The Heart Of The Dolomites
    The Trentinian brand produces elegant, harmonious and fully flavored wines using only grapes of a pure, single variety (and holding sustainability issues in great respect). The most well known ones are Pinot Nero and Chardonnay (Mezzacorona is the main Italian producer of this wine) as well as Teroldego, Muller Thurgau, Merlot.
  • 6 Kartell: Plastic -- Elegant And Pop
    In the history of plastic, time is measured before and after Kartell. From the invention of the injection chair to the first seat in transparent plastic, the Novedrate brand, founded in 1949, has status dignity to this industrial, cheap material and has used it to create high quality design collections ranging from interiors to lighting to fashion.
  • 7 San Daniele: From Friuli, 13 Months For A Unique Flavor
    Montalban wrote that it should be eaten with enthusiasm and common sense. It’s easy to say ham, but how many people know that genuine San Daniele is only produced in Friuli-Venezia Giulia? And that it must be aged for at least 13 months? The key to recognizing it? Its distinctive guitar shape as well as the trotter and the Consortium brand.
  • 8 Fornasetti
    Eccentric decors are the soul of Fornasetti. Issued from the eclectic genius of Piero Fornasetti, known for his fantasy, transgressive and high-spirited style, the furniture and porcelain items brand still lives up to its name thanks to Barnaba, Piero’s artistic heir.
  • 9 Calvisius
    Agro Ittica’s is a visionary story that started 30 years ago when a steel production plant was turned into a fish farm for salmons and sturgeons. This is how Calvisius (the only Italian caviar exported to Russia) was born. The first inspiration? Sturgeon eggs, given to Beatrice d’Este as a gift by Leonardo and fished in the Ticino river.
  • 10 Flexform
    Subtraction and high quality, performed throughout a mix of industrial and manual knowhow: this is the essence of the Italian home style according to Flexform. By pursuing it through its upholstery, the brand has became world famous (14 flagship stores, 100 shop-in-shop). Flexform works with best international designers under the artistic direction of Antonio Citterio.
  • 11 Amarelli: 200 Years Of History In A Tin (Of Licorice)
    A Calabrian company producing liquorice since 1731 in collectable metal tins, the Amarelli of Rossano family descends from the Knights Templar and from the “lady of liquorice” Pina Mengano Amarelli, still a crucial figure in the enterprise. Today Amarelli exports 30 percent of its production and it is among Eataly’s best-selling products in New York.
  • 12 Il Borgo Del Balsamico
    Can you reinvent a legend? Cristina and Silvia Crotti have successfully picked up the challenge and taken on the family barrels to revamp their vinegar. A fresh packaging and some experimental flavors (mixing chocolate and figs) are some of the features of the new Borgo del Balsamico vinegar.


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