We have selected ideas, projects and whispered experiences that restore the warmth of the holidays in an essential way. Without rhetoric, but with authenticity. Like in a Carver story

If December is a noisy month, in - chromatic but also acoustic tones - , in the glittering lights and the bow decorations, we have selected a series of ideas, products, readings and silent experiences - distilled - which return the warmth enveloping and reassuring just - and sacrosanct - of the holiday period with an essential style.

An essentiality that is not a sterile and detached minimalism, quite the opposite. An essentiality that comes from an immense and tiring chisel work that, layer by layer, scale by scale, undresses the project of the superfluous to emphasize its core.

If the appearance may seem (too) devoid of ornament, the preciousness lies in the ripples. And the effect is powerful. Like a tale by Carver.

Read also: the fairy tales by Alessandra Baldereschi

A page on which to immortalize luminous thoughts

With light you can draw, write, imagine stories. Here then is a lamp that unfolds like a symbolic, spiritual, gesture. Poetic and light, barely perceptible, it looks like a sheet of light curled on the wall. Rippling the surface to form lively geometries with soft reflections, Pagina, designed by Alessandra Dallagiovanna for Davide Groppi, is a lamp that tells a story. Or rather, he whispers it.

Read also: spiritual projects

Light is narration

A page of light that tells a story. The lamp is made in an essential way, with a special sheet of paper equipped with micro suction cups that can be hung on any surface, moved at will, arranged to create waves and three-dimensional effects. A small LED pen completes the idea: inserting itself into the curves of the sheet it creates arabesques of diffused light.

Read also: light and dark according to Davide Groppi

Hiding in the books

During the holidays we give away and read books like in no other period of the year: the cold and the snow combine diving under a layers of blankets. The search is that of a secluded corner all to oneself to snuggle up: a book in hand will suffice - nothing else - to have a refuge and at the same time access to extraordinary journeys - other worlds, domestic as far away, which you can enter. And if the reader proves to be a tireless explorer, in the words and in the lives narrated, he will find access above all to himself.

Reading tips (and more)

We give you some reading advice: here we have selected a series of publications in which the house is al center of narration, while here we talk about what enchanted us about the new Whose are the empty houses? published by Adelphi which collects some of the numerous writings of Ettore Sottsass. Spoiler: Filicudi's chapter on light is moving.

Read also: books starring the house to give for Christmas

And if you are also looking for some advice regarding nooks (and refuge), a great hiding place to escape the disturbing noises of parties and isolate yourself in reading is People Home. Inspired by the archetypal house, the one designed by children with a gable roof, the system designed by Alessandro Crosera for Milani in this configuration takes on a familiar-looking silhouette. A sort of den (super-equipped) to populate with thoughts and words.

Graphic and handicraft weaving with South Tyrolean references

Blankets, throws and cushions, but also ponchos, shawls and scarves, with clear geometries, vibrant shades and with bold contrasts, declined in three different combinations of textile fibers, which give color and warmth to the home. This is the case of Hütte, the new brand of textile design and homeware founded by Raffaella Colutto which takes its name from Ütia, the hearth in wood typical of Alto Adige.

Hütte fabrics reveal themselves not only as leather for furnishings but as a key to renewing their function: domestic spaces become intimate shelters, guardians of a soul green and slow , so linear and refined, contemporary yet ancient, to be catapulted into an ancestral tale with fairytale outlines.

A fairytale hotel surrounded only by the silence of the woods

For the enchanting shooting Hütte has chosen to dress special places like the rooms from the natural and monastic aura of the hotel Briol in Val d'Isarco, above Barbiano, for whose brand new structure Einäugel has also designed an ad hoc plaid in wool and alpaca. With simple and rational lines that seem to have been designed, the main building of the South Tyrolean hotel is 1310 meters high, surrounded only by meadows and woods, can only be reached on foot or by off-road vehicle and does not have televisions or radios. Because true well-being, in the mountains, is effort, meditation and silence

The mountain that remains mountain

To preserve the roots traditional hotel Briol, a pension from 1928 that boasts a fascinating family history started by a tenacious (and rigorous) woman with 15 children, the owners have deliberately renounced to equip the rooms with private bathrooms , we would like them to keep the simple and pure character of their year of construction explain.

Like in a refuge, spartan and based on idea of ​​sharing: the mountain that remains a mountain. Not made more alluring by providing it with a thousand leisure activities as if it were a tourist village, the one that is offered in the various structures that make up the 'hotel Briol is the authentic mountain , like the one told in the novels of Paolo Cognetti, of which we point out, in particular, Le otto montagne and La felicità del lupo, both published by Einaudi, both protected by painted covers, with wise grace and 'returning', from Nicola Magrin.

Experiences: sleeping under the stars or discovering inaccessible art places

A personal gift - not 'shouted ' - can be an experience, face to face with nature or art. If a StarsBox gift voucher allows you to spend a night under the stars, protected by in a 'wooden box', un a little tent and a little hut, which can open up to the sky, the gift boxes of IF Unique Art Experiences, founded by the couple Daniela Bianco and Filippo Cosmelli, offer surprising and engaging private visits in places of art usually inaccessible.

From the mysteries of Naples to the secrets of Venice, from hidden cities to great museums unveiled , from invitations to the palace to to urban adventures , you are guided in search of hidden beauty to unveil the secret soul of a world for the few.

Hunting for hidden masterpieces

Imagine entering into the unknown recesses of a museum closed to the public and exploring alone an inaccessible wunderkammer, being accompanied into the attics of ancient noble palaces or in silent and dusty archives, in underground vaults or in unknown sacristies where singular and precious works, paintings, jewels, ancient documents and symbolic objects are kept, able to restore the flavor of distant times.

To live exclusive immersive experiences, you can also give the book Il tesoro invisibile, Viaggio nell'arte custodita nei depositi dei musei italiani published by UTET. On the hunt for hidden masterpieces, the two exceptional guides Filippo Cosmelli and Daniela Bianco open the doors of places where, hidden from the gaze of the general public, thousands of  works of inestimable value.

Christmas photo projects as analogue stories

Spanish brand that with its creative director Jonathan Anderson promotes creative initiatives aimed at emphasizing the ' importance of craftsmanship in culture contemporary, Loewe for its Holiday Collection thought of an electric combination of color and arts and crafts, where bold neons meet the signature prints of Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857-1941): flowers, birds and hearts. Simplicity in decoration: it is one of the essential qualities without which no real wealth is possible , once said the British architect and designer is one of the essential qualities without which no real wealth is possible. Simple (and therefore) beautiful gifts, the gift of which is thoughtfulness in the choice.

Shine yes, but in a cultured way

Photo projects can be created that convey the feeling of Christmas even without shimmer. Or rather, let them shine as long as I can afford it. Like? Taking care of objects, shooting and details with a cultured meticulousness, with vintage but not nostalgic references, permeated by an unexpected conviviality, to restore a 'participatory atmosphere, inclusive without having to be.

Like the Christmas campaign of the capsule collection of small leather goods and accessories by Loewe shot by Tyler Mitchell that celebrates the festive season with a cast made up of real friends and family photographed in the living room . A cheerful narrative, sometimes evocative, other explosive in a riot of colors and textures, soft and playful shapes.

Read also: the discreet but disruptive narrative charge of Raymond Depardon's photographs at the Triennale

The dense ripples that reveal essentiality

The laborious formal research can concern projects, products and images but also writing. That of Raymond Carver, defined by short sentences that follow each other with a cadenced rhythm, pushes into a dense atmosphere that envelops the reader with apparent carelessness, leaving him on the essence - or perhaps essentiality -, emanating from the ripples of (apparently) marginal everyday situations told with (apparent) detachment.

How to describe a medieval cathedral to those who cannot see? The heart of Cathedral is in the answer to this unusual question, the story that gives its name to collection by Carver edited by Einaudi.


His fingers rode my fingers as my hand went over the paper. It was like nothing else in my life up to now. Then he said, “I think that’s it. I think you got it,” he said. “Take a look. What do you think?” But I had my eyes closed. I thought I’d keep them that way for a little longer. I thought it was something I ought to do. “Well?” he said. “Are you looking?” My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside anything. “It’s really something,” I said.

Not rhetoric, but authenticity

Distrust, detachment, surprise, unpredictability. Human (tactile) contact, sharing, inclusiveness. In Carver there is no rhetoric, there is authenticity. There is the essence of Christmas.