Gio Ponti’s Parco Dei Principi

Parco Dei Principi

Design destinations are often a little disappointing. As the years go by structures are re-purposed or the inhabitants want something new. So it’s rare to see a place left just as the architect wished it to be. Gio Ponti’s Parco dei Principe Hotel in Sorrento is true to the vision of the master.
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Carlo Scarpa’s Castelvecchio Museum

Castelvecchio

On November 21st, The New York Times reported a robbery at the Castelveccchio, museum in Verona Italy. Seventeen masterpieces by Tintoretto, Mantegna and Peter Paul Rubens were taken. The incredibly amateurish robbers, after demanding the keys to the car of the single museum guard on duty, used it to make their getaway. Italy has long suffered from inadequate funds to protect it’s treasures. Often I’ve found myself alone in rooms full of priceless masterpieces wondering, “where’s the security?” The museum, itself a masterpiece, designed by Carlo Scarpa,(1906 Venice-1978), is quite frankly exquisite. Everything there, including the architecture and display are pure Scarpa.
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A Dealer’s ‘Glamorous’ Life

It’s cold and damp in Milan. A colleague wants to introduce me to a new dealer.

I’m bundled up in hood and gloves, inside the new dealer’s basement storage, a warren of small spaces, and still freezing.  Piles of furniture and lighting are hidden under plastic sheeting and stacked to the ceiling. It’s impossible to see anything. We wait politely and shiver, as the dealer opens each room to these ghostly unidentifiable piles.  The dealer apologizes about how difficult it is to see his things. Yet he seems unwilling to unpack his inventory. It turns out to be is a total waste of  time.

This is not exactly what many might think life is like for a dealer, filled with elegance and openings. Most dealers sleep on long flights sitting up and spend hours in cold dirty auction rooms hoping to buy something special that will make them a decent profit.

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