If there is one thing this community seems to appreciate, it is my articles about contemporary art in Italy. And I can totally understand it, Italy is such a popular destination among travelers from any country and with any budget, but when it comes to planning you only seem to find the same itineraries and information online. It is not always easy to find good and updated information about contemporary art in Italy, especially if you are planning a trip and want to squeeze it into your more traditional sightseeing itinerary.
This is why today I am about to present my new favorite website, Italics. Summer is right around the corner, and if you are planning a trip to Italy, this is a great place to start dreaming about what you will visit.
You know I love creating maps and lists of exhibitions, museums, art centers, and all things contemporary art whenever I am traveling, and Italics is the perfect place to start when it comes to a trip to Italy.
But without any further ado, let’s find out more about Italics and the people behind the project.
What is Italics?
Italics is the first consortium in Italy to bring together more than sixty of the leading contemporary, modern, and ancient art galleries operating throughout the country. Based on an idea by Lorenzo Fiaschi (Galleria Continua) and Pepi Marchetti Franchi (Gagosian), it was first launched in 2020 to promote the culture and beauty of Italy through a national network of gallerists working together and sharing experiences, on and offline, with an international audience of collectors and art lovers.
The underlying aim of Italics is to develop new opportunities for cultural and personal interaction between art enthusiasts (and not only), giving shape to projects that embrace Italy’s cultural heritage and landscape in terms of art and rediscovery. It adopts a multidisciplinary approach and aims to forge profound links with the Italian territory.
And what does Italics do?
This is where the project Italics becomes really interesting in my eyes. You know I am all about “asking a local”, having an expert showing me (and you) what a destination has to offer in terms of contemporary art. And Italics does exactly this, showcasing Italy and its unique features through the eyes of gallery owners.
Through the online platform, Italics highlights Italy, its contemporary art scene, and what makes it extraordinary through the voices of those who made art their profession, the gallerists.
But who are those gallerists?
The group of extraordinary people behind Italics do not just know what you should visit in Italy, they run the best contemporary art galleries in the country.
Together with the two founders, Lorenzo Fiaschi and Pepi Marchetti Franchi, the platform first saw the participation of other seven founding members, Alfonso Artiaco, Ludovica Barbieri (Massimo De Carlo), Massimo Di Carlo (Galleria dello Scudo), Francesca Kaufmann (kaufmann repetto), Massimo Minini, Franco Noero, and Carlo Orsi. Motivated by the wish to create a widespread national network based on cooperation and the sharing of experiences, the nine gallery owners invited other galleries throughout the Italian peninsula and islands to take part in the project. These include some of the most established national and international galleries, as well as emerging and experimental players. Today, Italics is a highly dynamic and constantly evolving group.
Galleries and Friends
Together with the nine founding members, many more have joined Italics. Do you want to know who? They are all listed on the website, on the Galleries page. Which you can also use to compile a first list of must-see galleries, as these are some of the best actors on the Italian scene.
And if you want to expand beyond the contemporary art world, check the Friends of Italics too. This is a group, selected by the gallerists, of Italian manufacturers, businesses, and other cultural entities that together support the project and offer a fresh take on the much appreciated Italian lifestyle and taste.
What you will find on Italics
When I said this is the perfect place to start planning your trip, I meant it. Italics is primarily an online platform. It has various sections, and I can guarantee you will spend far more time than expected on this website.
First of all, Italics has Tips, a whole section where you can browse through destinations recommended by participating gallerists. Are you planning a wine tasting in the Langhe region of Piedmont? Davide Mazzoleni (Mazzoleni Gallery) will introduce you to the Chapel of the Madonna, also called Cappella del Barolo or “Italy’s most colorful church”, with its decorations by David Tremlett and Sol LeWitt.
Or perhaps you are more of a beach person, but you don’t want to visit overcrowded places like Cinqueterre or the Amalfi Coast. Well, Tiziana Di Caro (Galleria Tiziana Di Caro) will introduce you to the beauty and the roughness of the Cilento Coast, south of Salerno.
Whatever the case, you will find some hidden gems and some real treasures among the Tips.
Do you need, like me, to have a clear picture of your itinerary, and where everything is located? Or do you just love maps as much as I do? Then the Map section is for you.
Wander around, or search for a specific area, and all the Tips, Galleries, Friends, and other things you really shouldn’t miss will pop out. On the map you can visually see what the gallerists and friends of Italics recommended, so you won’t miss out on anything during your trip.
Finally, if you like lists, the On View section is everything you need, with all the exhibitions (past and future) easily grouped together. Here you will have a clear idea of the opening dates, where the exhibitions are located, and you are just one click away from the galleries’ websites where you can find all the additional information you crave.
Last but not least, Italics is also an offline and very much in-person project, and it takes the shape and form of an annual exhibition.
Launched in September 2021, the first edition of Panorama, curated by Vincenzo de Bellis, was held on the island of Procida (near Naples), Italian Capital of Culture 2022, as a multi-venue exhibition.
This year, the second edition of Panorama will be held on the Apulian coast south of Bari. From Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 September 2022, Italics is organizing a new itinerary in one of the most fascinating places on the Adriatic coast, the picturesque seaside village of Monopoli, with its narrow streets and amazing sea views. Offering an enriching calendar of special events open to the public, happenings, and side initiatives, Panorama Monopoli will also pay homage to Lisetta Carmi, with the Italics d’Oro award.
I don’t know about you, but Puglia just jumped at the top of my list for my Summer 2022 vacation destinations. If you want to know more, you can find the full press release for Panorama Monopoli here. Ready for some sweet Italian Dolce Far Niente?
Cover image Monopoli (aerial view) | Photo © Gianpaolo Antonucci – Courtesy Italics
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