Tag Archives: italian art

New Italian Art Calendar
by Mario Fusco

Italian Art Calendar Cover Page

Italian Art Calendar Cover Page

Your 2013 Italian Art Calendar is now available on Zazzle. Lovingly assembled by the artist herself, Angelica Di Chiara, this calendar consists of a series of iconic images of Italy, each image a reproduction of an original work. The spirit of Italy, its architecture and its landscapes, are yours every day of the year in this lovely calendar.

View and purchase the calendar at http://www.zazzle.com/angelica+di+chiara+gifts

Angelica di Chiara, award-winning Italian-born painter, resides in Redwood City, California. Her work can be seen at several venues in the Bay Area and on finestItalian.com


Vino Italiano

Castello di Gradara

Castello di Gradara


Art Classes offered at IEI
by Mario Fusco

IEI is proud to announce the launch of Beginners Acrylic Painting workshops led by Italian-born artist Angelica di Chiara. Angelica is a native of the city of Brindisi, Italy, who has lived in the United States since 1984. She specializes in Italian landscapes and cityscapes, and her preferred medium is acrylic paint.

Angelica matured as an artist in Spokane, Washington, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2010. She is the recipient of several prizes, and was nominated for the Spokane’s Artist of the Year Award for two consecutive years. She has a special affinity for Venetian scenes, and two of her works have been selected for the covers of two detective novels by Timothy Holmes, set in Venice. She has exhibited at many galleries and venues, including the Stanford Art Spaces Exhibit at Stanford University in 2011. She also has several years’ experience teaching her craft to adults and young people.

Many of Angelica’ works adorn the walls of Italian restaurants on the Peninsula, including Donato’s Enoteca in Redwood City. Elsewhere, her works can be seen at the Great American Frame and Gallery in Palo Alto, Flegel’s Home Furnishing & Design in Menlo Park, and at Avenue Gallery in Spokane, WA. To view more complete collections you may visit FinestItalian.com or ItalianArtStudio.com.

Angelica’s workshops in Italian acrylic art will be offered in morning and evening sessions on an occasional basis. Attendance will be limited to ensure that each student receives individualised attention. Detailed schedule and venue information will be available on our website, via Facebook announcements, or through our Meetups. Anyone interested in a workshop is encouraged to contact IEI early to secure a spot in the class

Everything Italian on one site!

Looking for Italian language instruction? Organizing a trip to Italy? What about finding the greatest Italian restaurant in the Bay Area or that ultimate recipe just like your grandma used to make? Or perhaps you spent too much time watching the game (alas!) with your buddies, and need a little Italian bauble to soothe your lovely wife’s ruffled feathers. All of these things you will find on our website. We have consolidated the contents of a couple of earlier sites to provide you with a seamless Italian experience.

Along with the new commercial elements there remains, on this site, the original focus on art, culture, and history. And we intend to grow: the ultimate aim is to provide all Italophiles of the Bay Area, and beyond, a one-stop electronic storefront that will provide intellectual stimulation alongside material possessions for gracious living. Our sister site, finestItalian.com, continues unchanged, though it, too, is slated for some enhancements.

So please come visit often, drop us a line, let us know how you feel. Buy some Italian art once in a while, or an Italian pendant for your sweetheart, or a gorgeous ceramics bowl for your holiday table. But even if you don’t, we hope to hear from you.




Of Roman origins, lying in the foothills of the Apennines, Faenza is a splendid city of art that acquired fame in the Renaissance period for the production of exquisitely made pottery which was exported all over Europe. The very name has become synonymous with ceramics (majolica) in various languages among which French (faïence) and English (faience). From the second half of the first century A. D. the city developed as an independent commune (with inevitable ups and downs), reaching the peak of its splendor under Carlo II Manfredi, in the second half of the 15th century. Subsequently, after a brief period of Venetian rule, Faenza became part of the Papal States until 1797.

Palazzi, porticoed squares and a Cathedral of pure Tuscan forms
Faenza’s outstanding architectural attractions are concentrated in the two contiguous main squares: Piazza del Popolo, lined by two spectacular porticoed wings, and Piazza della Libertà. The Palazzo del Podestà and the Town Hall, both of medieval origin, stand in Piazza del Popolo. Along the east side of Piazza della Libertà one finds the splendid Cathedral. Of clear Tuscan influence, it is one of the highest expressions of Renaissance art in Romagna. Built to Giuliano da Maiano’s design, it was begun in 1474 and completed in 1511. Opposite the Cathedral the open gallery known as the Goldsmith’s Portico, built in the first decade of the 17th century, and the monumental fountain whose bronzes date to the same period, attract the eye. The Clock Tower, in front of the entrance to the Piazza, is a postwar rebuilding of the 17th century tower that stood at the crossroad of the cardo and the decuman gate of the Roman Faventia.

Moto Guzzi – an Italian Story

Moto Guzzi Breva

Moto Guzzi Breva

As promised, I will now tell you the story of Moto Guzzi.  This is the motorcycle that I love and ride at every opportunity (fair weather and minimal luggage.)  It is a Breva 1100 of 2007 vintage, an absolutely gorgeous bike, maneuverable, fast and oozing quality and Italian flair.  It is made in a small town called Mandello, on the shore of the Lago di Como.  The manufacturing facilities were established there in the 1920′ and they have remained there ever since.  In fact, Moto Guzzi is the oldest European motorcycle manufacturer that has maintained uninterrupted production until now.  The company has had many financial ups and downs in its nearly 90 years of existence, and it is now owned by Piaggio, which also makes the Ducati motorcycle and an array of scooters, including the fabled Vespa.

Moto Guzzi was the brainchild of two aircraft pilots and their mechanic, Carlo Guzzi, Giovanni Ravelli, and Giorgio Parodi.   Guzzi was a gifted automotive engineer, Parodi came from a wealthy family able to finance the venture, and Ravelli was already a famous motorcycle race driver who could publicize the new marque through his victories.  This is in fact what happened: Moto Guzzi participated  in Grand Prix racing until 1957, by which time it had logged 3329 official races, 8 World Championships, 6 Constructors’ Championships, and 11 Isle of Man TT victories.

Little-known Italy – RAVENNA

Coat of Arms of the City of Ravenna

Coat of Arms of Ravenna

A few miles south of Venice, in Emilia Romagna, the enterprising traveler will find the city of Ravenna. This city is easily bypassed, it is not on most tourist itineraries nor does it generally host internationally advertised events such La Biennale di Venezia or La Fiera di Milano. It is nevertheless a city of capital importance both artistically and historically. And it offers a glimpse of that urbanely unhurried Italian lifestyle that most people seek when they visit the country.

The beginnings of Ravenna are uncertain, though scholarly opinion inclines towards an Etruscan origin. The city was never conquered by the Romans, rather, it was accepted into the Republic as a federated town. Ravenna was an important outpost during the period of ascendancy of the Western Empire, becoming its capital in its twilight, just before the Empire’s fall to the German foederati chieftain, Odoacer. It was then the capital of the first Kingdom of Italy, and continued in this role after Theodoric slew Odoacer and took over his kingdom. Retaken eventually by the Byzantines, Ravenna became the seat of Byzantine power in Italy (the Exarchate of Ravenna), until the Byzantines’ final expulsion by the Longobards. Ravenna’s distinguished history continued under the popes, until its unification with the newly-minted Kingdom of Italy in 1861.