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La Grande Bellezza

Alessandra de Nitto

November 15, 2019

La Grande Bellezza - The Dream Factory

Contemporary patrons in Milan, for the love of Italy

I officially “saw the light” in Milan with the launch of the new contemporary patronage project in support of Italian haute craftsmanship by Starhotels.

In the setting of the Rosa Grand Milano - Starhotels Collezione hotel in piazza Fontana, the press, dignitaries and personalities from Milan’s art and culture scene gathered for the unveiling of this important and original initiative, which supports Italy’s finest artisanship: the extraordinary wealth of expertise, experience and beauty, plus the artistic and cultural heritage that makes Italy unique worldwide.

This is why one of Italy’s leading hotel groups has launched such a campaign, given its stature as a successful business and symbol of exceptional taste and hospitality that the entire world covets.

La Grande Bellezza. The Dream Factory derives from a partnership between Starhotels, OMA-Osservatorio dei Mestieri d’Arte di Firenze, Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte and Gruppo Editoriale. Elisabetta Fabri, President of Starhotels, who called for and supports the project personally, calls it a dream come true. “Our extraordinary craftsmanship has always inspired and fascinated me. I had the privilege to grow up in Florence, the cradle of beauty, art and artisanship. Traveling all the time around Italy, I’ve had the opportunity to admire all the incredible beauty that this astonishing country offers, which I love and represent.”  

Elisabetta Fabri

The project includes several initiatives in support of the sector through active and tangible patronage: the involvement of leading artistic experts at meetings and events promoted by Starhotels in its hotels; the creation of haute craftsmanship product lines under the guidance of famous designers, in partnership with leading Italian artisans; the introduction of a biennial award for artisans who produce works for the contests centred on hospitality (the awards ceremony will be held during Venice’s prestigious Homo Faber 2020 showcase); several campaigns to support and sponsor specific initiatives associated with the haute craftsmanship segment and its personalities. The project’s leading figures spoke fervently at the Rosa Grand: Elisabetta Fabri; Ettore Mocchetti, architect and editor of AD, an established champion of haute craftsmanship; Franco Cologni, a visionary with his well-known foundation for masters of art for 25 years; Luciano Barsotti, President of historic Florentine institution, Associazione OMA; Matteo Parigi Bini, publisher of Gruppo Editoriale; and Sara Ricciardi, the talented young designer chosen by Starhotels as the project’s art director. An eclectic and experienced creative and connoisseur of Italian craftsmanship, she designs products for companies as well as original pieces for galleries, performances, interiors and installations.

Sara Ricciardi (ph. Luca Rotondo)

The Triennale Milano was one of the highlights of Sara’s success, with the exhibition Women in Design, in 2017. At the Rosa Grand, Sara delighted the public with a special installation (cover photo Luca Rotondo), a rhapsody of elegance, refinement and sensuality in the library, which has been transformed for the occasion until the end of January 2020. The designer has turned the room into art, presenting some of her most significant creations made with artisans as an example of a productive and dazzling dialogue between the ethos of the project and haute craftsmanship. On their arrival in the hotel lobby, guests can also gaze at another important installation, a symbolic masterpiece of Milanese artisanship: the magnificent Arbor Vitae, a five-metre wrought-iron tree crafted by the famous Fucina di Efesto, the impressive result of years of research and experimentation with metal sculptures.

Arbor Vitae by Fucina di Efesto (ph. Luca Rotondo)

By providing Italian artisans with important commissions and extraordinary showcases in its most beautiful locations, Starhotels has become a patron of the arts, the enlightened role that has protected and preserved Italy’s art and high craftsmanship through the centuries. Awareness and enthusiasm echo in Elisabetta Fabri’s words: “We always hear people talk about excellence, craftsmanship and Made in Italy. Yes, it’s important to talk about these aspects, but it’s more important to do something, and to do it well. As an entrepreneur, I feel a deep responsibility to do something for the common good. An entrepreneur’s life should always aspire to excellence. That means working with passion and commitment, a sense of responsibility, dedication to work and active participation in the country’s economic, social and civic life. It means investing in a country, supporting the development of creative talent and cultivating a spirit of solidarity. We must show that we have good interests at heart, the capacity to look beyond ourselves and to be committed to working concretely for the future generations. That’s the meaning of La Grande Bellezza. A commitment to Italy and its myriad intelligent hands. We have a duty to support this unique heritage.”

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