Leonardo da Vinci's "La Belle Ferroniere," circa 1496, was included in the exhibition.

The Anecdotal Leonardo da Vinci

I’m often amazed at how serendipity flows through life. This past April, I traveled to Europe to attend the Salone del Mobile in Milan and The Decorative Fair in London, never imagining my tale of these two cities would intertwine within one blog post given the furnishings in Milan were as modern as modern can […]

Exterior Sculpture on the Duomo di Milano

Shelley in Italy

Soon after he embarked upon a four-year Wanderjahr through Italy with his beloved wife Mary—a trip that would turn out to be an end-of-life journey—the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley found himself in Milan. While there, he would make his way to the cathedral in the center of town to sit within its shadowy vaulted interior […]

Study for plate XIV of the Différents vues de Pesto

Love Among the Ruins

How would it feel to spend your life so absorbed by crumbling architecture and disintegrating stone you could bring them vibrantly back to life with chalk and a pen? Giovanni Battista Piranesi knew, his talent for accuracy in imagining the details that flirted at the edge of the decaying world so astute he became the […]

Beautiful hand-painted majolica plate

Poetry and Ceramics in Savona

The 16th-century poetry that sprung from Savona made a strong impression on Thomas William Parsons when he found verses inscribed on a statue of the Madonna near the town’s lighthouse during a tour of Italy in the 19th century. He was so moved, the American poet penned the sonnet “Savona: Vespers on the Shore of the Mediterranean” that […]

Parma Italy's Riserva Palace

Rococo Style in Italy

If I told you the most surprising thing I found in Parma, Italy, was France, would you think I’d lost my mind? I’m not speaking in concrete terms, of course; I know my European geography. I’m referring to a remnant of the French aristocracy tucked into the Riserva Palace on Strada Melloni, one of Parma’s […]