Inspiration – Pratomarmi

Living in Tuscany, walking in a city like Florence or in the countryside is a way to relax and see all the little things that make a difference. Nature and historical cities are really an inspiration for us.

toscana It’s a joy and an inspiration that we collect to think about our works.

palazzo vecchio Piazza_san_giovanni_da_via_cerretani,_firenze Discover more about Pratomarmi

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Tuscany – Quota Collection

Tuscany, our territory.
Very rich in history, art, culture, creativity and “ability to make”.

toscana collina

Its lifestyle is permeated with strong traditions and also a strong sense of belonging to Tuscan community.

palio siena campo siena palazzo

With a unique landscape with its typical colors and signs. With its quality of life and its ecosystem known and appreciated worldwide.

san gimignano

Unique source of inspiration for our work and to transfer good taste, elegance and balance to our products. In addition fantastic handicraft know-how and passion for details.

poltrona quota collection

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Customized design – Samarreda

Which are the products of Samarreda?
All those who can meet the demands of its customers.

Self Habitat Firenze Samarreda

Samarreda customer service is oriented to custom made, or the realization to measure and bespoke, tailoring its production according to the demands and needs of furniture of the customer. The customer has the opportunity to choose among a variety of materials, from the stones, metals, wood in the variants of all possible finishes.

Since April 2015 you can visit Samarreda showroom, at Self Habitat shop in Florence, where the design of the author meets with the custom made.

Self Habitat Firenze Samarreda

It will therefore be possible to have a point of reference in Florence for every kind of furniture that is dictated by the desire to be able to choose according to their own way of living the home and work, finding an availability to the project, the board or at the second their needs for taste and service.

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A very old company with a very young soul – Aurora Cucine

aurora cucine staffAurora Cucine Staff

Instead of word, we want to give you some numbers.

1947-2015
68
age of the Company
48 average age of the staff
25 average years working in the company
23 age when we started working here
3 generations – one after the other – at the guidance of the Company
36 average age of the third generation

A very old company with a very young soul.

aurora-vincent-grigia-02

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Gallo – From Venice to Tuscany

How and when was the company founded?
The Gallo Company has a long tradition as it was founded in Venice in 1910.

gallo company venice venezia
Following centuries of Italian tradition associated with craftsmanship, the founder of the company, Luciano Gallo, started his own activity in the solitude of a small workshop located in the heart of Venice, precisely in Campo San Tomà, one of the hundreds of small squares that compose the uneven and jagged urban area of the city of Venice.
So we are talking of 105 years, but do not ask me if we celebrated the anniversary because we did not: as a rationalist, I suffer from a strange form of superstition!

gallo company toscana

So the origins are in Veneto?
Actually I prefer to say they are in Venice.

What exactly did your great-grandfather?
Although the most typical Venetian artisan tradition is linked to glass, Luciano Gallo was an expert in processing iron and more specifically in making lighting objects for outside use such as lanterns or oil lamps, as shown in the photo on the cover page of our catalogue, in which he can be seen amidst his creations.

gallo company in venice

How did he end up in Tuscany?
Because of the war – after WW1, in 1919, my great-grandfather moved to Tuscany, first to Florence then to Prato (8 km from Florence) with his large family (his wife and 9 children, i.e. 7 sons and 2 daughters) as was usual in those days.

Firenze

The move was necessary because the region of “Tre Venetie” was the Italian front of the First World War, and was devastated in the aftermath. And then who knows: it might be destiny, I wonder? A Venetian artisan who does not work with glass but with bronze and wrought iron ends up in the right place after all, Florence, the Italian land of artistic wrought iron crafts, as is the whole Tuscany region.

It is this very activity, after the move to Prato, that lead him to become a famous “bronze” craftsman in the Florence area, a creator of artistic objects, including for the street furniture sector, such as park benches, street lamps and statues in brass and bronze.
Luciano Gallo passed away in 1933 (not a bad year to leave this world, I reckon!: Hitler’s rise to power in Germany and all the mess that he’ll make afterwards, but this is another story…)

Who continues the activity?
Being able to rely on 9 children, 7 of whom sons, the company did not end with Luciano. Two Gallo brothers, Libero and Dino (my grandfather) took over the business after a forced interruption during the most dramatic phase of WW2, due to the German occupation between 1943 and 1945.

Dino Gallo
1945 is also the year when Aldo Gallo was born, Dino’s son and my father.

Aldo Gallo

We have lost count now – which generation is that?
Third – Aldo is the third generation – not bad I’d say: having lived through two wars, a dictatorship… so we are now in the 1950’s.

And what happened in the 1950’s?
The brothers Libero and Dino Gallo went their separate ways but continued to produce classic-decorative light fittings for internal use. Over those years, each one in his own way, they renewed and reinterpreted the so-called “Florentine style” (which in its most traditional form consists of either iron or wood) and brought some major stylistic innovation such as the use of Venetian and Murano crystal and glass (recalling their Venetian origins).
Both Gallo brothers (Dino and Libero) were really two master craftsmen and guides, in the Florence area, also for all subsequent generations of classic lighting producers over the course of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

It was a good time – full economic boom – how did the company live through it?
Rather well: over the course of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, my father Aldo brought major innovative changed in style and production that lead him to introduce new work processes: not only the use of iron, but also products based on the use of wood, ceramics and china. This further lead him, in particular in the 1970’s, to invent a collection of table lamps that became a commercial and stylistic case in the recent story of the Italian decorative lighting design.

Over the 80’s and 90’s, my father Aldo found new energy and incentive also thanks to the constant and keen presence of his wife and business partner, Beatrice Pacini Gallo, my mother.

Beatrice Pacini Gallo

Thus the company was able to complete its final leap in terms of quality and recognition on foreign markets, including outside Europe (Asia, North America, the Arab Countries).

And you Jacopo, what are your achievements?
To begin with, I was born – in 1972 – and so I represent the fourth generation and I truly hope not to be the last.

Jacopo Gallo

You can well vouch for it after 105 years!
That’s right – we look pretty good for our age!
A century and more of experience is a treasure on which to draw – a cushion on which to sit: artisan background that happily combines iron, glass, wood, bronze and ceramics, as well as a cultural background since I grew up in close contact with a Venetian grandfather who would always crack jokes with me in Venetian dialect (a dialect which in some ways we have kept alive at home, joking with my father). I am also the bearer of a Venetian life style, food wise for instance, (we used to eat “poenta e osei” for Sunday lunch, and I’ m still fond of it, as well as liver with onions of course – what memories!).

This constructive contamination may well be what has allowed us to hand down these skills for more than 100 years; then an innate curiosity and the blending of 2 exceptional cultures and territories that belong to 2 dream cities, Florence and Venice.

Sunset in FlorenceFlorence

venezia

Venice

What was your main objective when you joined the company?
To continue the internationalization process that was started in the 1980’s and 90’s and to expand it to what I like to call the emerging “New World”, namely BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China). This coincided with the time when I joined the company for good, in 2000 (while I was finishing my degree in Architecture in Florence). These emerging countries are very important as they have practically sustained world economy over the last 15 years, so we have invested accordingly there with substantial outcome.

What about the future?
The future of a company like ours will always go hand in hand with a review of the past. This is not a “nostalgic” idea, also because it would be impossible to remain attached to old models when the world order changes every 7-10 years; so we are forced to reinvent and question ourselves – here I am referring not so much to work processes but to the spirit behind them.

To this day we continue designing and producing our items in the name of the tradition that has guided our company through over 100 years and 4 generations. The rich cultural background that has been handed down to me helps me monitor, manage and blend different types of materials and shapes, as clearly shown in our production, which is both a review and an update of the already mentioned “Florentine style”.

105 years of existence are also a clear indication of reliability and professionalism that the various owners have always endeavoured to maintain and foster at large, but also toward their many employees, suppliers and customers over the course of 4 generations.

As a matter of fact our company collaborates with hundreds of architects and interior designers all over the world. They have total trust in our abilities and skills, so much so that they very often order made-to-measure or enlarged items, because they are confident that the final result and object that will be delivered will fully meet the expectations of their final customers.

Therefore the “tailor made” approach stands as the most significant step in connection with the review of the past I was mentioning above: i.e. putting our experience at the service of other people’s needs.

gallo company

 

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Quality in every style – New Design Porte

Telling the origin of the inspiration that gives birth of New Design products means telling the story of Lorenzo Cortigiani, the company’s founder.

New Design PorteLorenzo, very young, began working alongside the most important furniture manufacturers in the Chianti. This first important work experience then accompanied him throughout his life, affecting his taste and leaving in him the desire to create not only internal doors that divides spaces of a house but real pieces of furniture that can transform the entire surrounding.

New Design Porte

From the world of furniture in fact derive a passion for details and rich finishes, attention to detail, interest in sinuous shapes and curves.

All most representative models of New Design have their strength in those details that come from the world of furniture, such as carving, rich finishings, precious touch such as the use of gold leaf and the use of noble essences.

New Design Porte

The initial step was to transfer the great Tuscan tradition of Arte Povera; a very simple but refined taste and high quality; suited to the typical rustic and welcoming atmosphere of Tuscany.

The discovery of new markets and an openness to a different clientele over the years led him to seek inspiration continues in all the most significant places that he had the opportunity to visit.

New Design Porte

After some years Lorenzo Cortigiani fulfilled his goal being able to support the traditional production of doors with the production of furniture of the highest level supported by those same craftsmen that taught him the love of wood.

But the goal of the New Design, over the years, has always remained the same: to get the highest possible level of quality in every style, in every finish and in every detail.

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Inspirations – Nuova CEV

“My greatest passion is to travel, discover, understand, meet, experience… the world. I have explored all the continents and have been particularly fascinated by Salar de Uyuni, a huge “dazzling” expanse of salt.

 

Salar de Uyuni

 

Salar de Uyuni

 

 

I experienced the same emotions when I stayed in the majestic Ice Hotel in Lapland. When I faced with the inimitable transparency of water I imagined and dreamed of creating something equally as splendid by obtaining it directly from blocks of ice… and magically everything turned into crystal with the same powerful brilliance.

 

Ice Hotel

 

Ice Hotel

 

For the first time in my life, I was in a hurry to get back home in order not to forget all those places and all those images that my eyes had captured so that I could try to recreate them… in crystal.”

 

Andrea Falashi – Nuova CEV.

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Medieval chess set – Italfama

The K844 medieval chess set is an art work really unique for its imposing size, for the high quality of the materials used and the meticulous definition of the subjects.

set scacchi medioevale medieval chess set italfama

The King is high 32cm with a base of 11×11 cm, the table has a top of 126cm x 126cm and a height of 73cm, the stools have a top of 33cm x 33cm and a height of 50cm. The total weight is around 350kg.

set scacchi medioevale medieval chess set italfama

This artistic chess set is made entirely by hand by Florentine artisans who carry the tradition of carving process “lost wax” began in the fifteenth century and used by master Italian sculptors as Benvenuto Cellini and Lorenzo Ghiberti.

set scacchi medioevale medieval chess set italfama

Each piece is made of solid bronze, finished in every detail by skilled engravers, decorated with 24k gold and signed by the craftsman who ran it.

set scacchi medioevale medieval chess set italfama

The table has a bronze structure made completely by “lost wax” process and representative of the historical theme of the battle represented by medieval chess game.

set scacchi medioevale medieval chess set italfama

The table top is made of white Carrara marble and onyx inlaid together, on request can be made with precious stones such as malachite that our craftsmen work with skill.

set scacchi medioevale medieval chess set italfama
The production of the set is limited, numbered and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity which guarantees that this magnificent chess set is made entirely by hand in our company by Florentine artisans.

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Our territory – Pratomarmi

Our territory is a perfect mix of history, art and food.

We can start from the etruscan remains of the city, in Gonfienti area, to the medieval walls, with the visit of the Emperor Castle (Castello dell’imperatore).

castello dell'imperatore prato - pratomarmi

The tour continues in the historical centre enjoying the renowned Cantucci of Prato, to arrive to the statue of Francesco Datini. After, the Cathedral with paintings of Filippo Lippi and it’s pulpit, decoreted by Donatello.

cantuccini prato - pratomarmiCantucci of Prato

In the village Figline, on the northern  suburbs, there is the monument of the “29 Martyrs” slain by SS in retreat. Then on, until the Mausoleum of Curzio Malaparte and to the house of Paolo Rossi, a great citizen of Prato, as Roberto Benigni, Yuri Chechi, Francesco Nuti.

In the hills, on the South, we enjoy a glass of good wine Carmignano DOCG in front of the Medici Villa of Artimino, with the “hundred Chimneys” and with the view that goes from Pistoia to Florence. Below us Prato, the city of the “hundred smokestacks“.

Villa-Medicea-di-Artimino-pratomarmiThe Medici Villa of Artimino

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le mani pensanti - samarreda

The thinkings hands – Samarreda

  le mani pensanti - samarreda

“In English, no distinction is made between art and craft. For this reason, the craftsmanship is art, mastery. The art of the musician, for example, as well as for the craftsman, is the ability to achieve what you set out to achieve it. It is an important issue … that becomes an art both manual and intellect. The recovery of craft, craftsmanship, lies in the return to the people an active role in the face of technology”.
Richard Sennet 

le mani pensanti - samarreda

These are our hands, who take care of our clients’ projects, which ingeniously achieve what they desire.

le mani pensanti - samarreda

Our thinking hands that realize every detail: they design, they think, they realize with body and soul. The quality and uniqueness of the product is the purpose of our work.

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