Unpublished projects, contemporary contaminations, mythical works, Calabria told by the designer and artist Antonio Aricò is an invitation to explore distant worlds

We close the Interni summer 2023 special a few kilometers from where we set off to reach Calabria. To guide us, in his land, Antonio Aricò, designer and artist, lover of craftsmanship, also highly appreciated in the high-ranking worlds of fashion (he has just signed a collection for Dolce & Gabbana Casa) .

Read also: Summer 2023 in Italy: (well-kept) itineraries for art and design lovers

Who is Antonio Aricò, our guide to Calabria?

Artist, designer and creative director, with historical and popular, Mediterranean and imaginative references Antonio Aricò hybrid industry , craftsmanship and self-production. And he does it by narrating stories and tales, myths and legends that go beyond the project, imbued with spirituality.

Antonio's professional path begins after earning a double degree at the Milan Polytechnic and a master's degree with a work based on the themes of Design & Tradition, combining the fields of art, craft and design.

These theories, fused with the poetics of contemporary culture, today constitute his interdisciplinary practice. He is known as a forerunner of a unique approach that parallels craftsmanship and self-production with industrial design. Among the latest projects, still unpublished, his Pop Up studio built in a geodesic dome in Campicello (RC).

Travel plans at the Materia Festival

The ambitious goal of Materia Festival is to generate an important spin-off in the Mediterranean area, thanks to the international guests and partnerships and to the artistic direction entrusted to Antonio Aricò.

The eighth edition of Materia Independent Design Festival (September 27-30) finds a new home in the precious heart of Tropea, at Palazzo Santa Chiara, among the splendid streets of the Borgo and in the charming residence of Villa Paola, a former convent of the Order of the Minims of San Francesco da Paola.

The theme of this edition is Materia in Vacanza, therefore the projects will be inspired by the idea of travel and tourism, but also by objects mythical capable of transporting the imagination to distant worlds.

Retracing the history of the Riace Bronzes

Recognized among the most prestigious archaeological museums in Italy, the National Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria has housed in a building among the first to be designed for the exclusive purpose of museum exhibition, named after Marcello Piacentini, one of the greatest exponents of early twentieth-century architecture, who he conceived in a modern key, after having visited the main museums of Europe.

Located in the heart of the city, the Museum is an important element of the landscape and life of the people of Reggio.

It overlooks, on one side, the central Piazza De Nava, on the other, the seafront, with a splendid view of the Strait. Among the temporary exhibitions, the exhibition The Riace Bronzes - Fifty years of history, curated by Carmelo Malacrino, has just opened, an evocative journey into history of the Riace Bronzes through archival photographs, many unpublished or little known, and videos of the time, specially provided by Rai Teche.

Contemporary local art

The contemporary art gallery Technè was founded in 2006 in Reggio Calabria with the aim of promoting emerging artists without sacrificing the quality of research on the languagesof art.

The gallery supports the work of Italian artists, especially from the area, by presenting them to the international public and, at the same time, presents foreign artists in Italy, creating and maintaining a fertile dialogue with national and international museum institutions, also fostering relations between galleries, critics, curators and collectors.

The gallery is housed in the basement of a building from the 1920s, these are important rooms for the city as they were the security cells of the police station during the city revolt of the 70s.

Of the original structure, originally in a state of semi-abandonment, an attempt has been made to maintain as much as possible with a restoration attentive to the testimonies of the period.

Technè fits transversally into the city's cultural debate by opening its spaces to events which, although not strictly linked to contemporary art, have the characteristics of experimentation and above all originality.

Contemporary local art

The art of Arghillà, by Nicola Tripodi, retraces with curiosity, passion and feeling the meanderings of the history of this land, sometimes following neglected and unknown tracks, hidden in the folds of poor and minor culture, that of the people who live there and celebrate it every day.

The choice of figures on which to stop thinking and to narrate falls on the objects of the time - when even things had a recognized soul - but also on the nature of all time, on the symbols of tradition that he recovers and reinterprets, instilling a breath new that we know how to bring them to the heart.

Arghillà is "the art of lands" and of an infinite universe of testimonials and allegories that still knows how to surprise. The terracottas produced, each one a unique piece, are modeled and decorated by hand.

Tradition in evolution

After the winter break, the Qafiz restaurant in Calabretto, Santa Cristina D'Aspromonte (RC), has reopened with important innovations commissioned by chef Nino Rossi.

The room has been completely redesigned: new lines, new shapes and an eight-seat chef's table to see the chef and his brigade at work.

For a complete experience, two elegant rooms have been opened inside the 18th century residence (originally the summer home of the Ruffo di Scilla family and, from the early 1900s, owned by the Rossi), located on the slopes of the Aspromonte and surrounded by splendid centuries-old olive trees.

Nino Rossi's cuisine offers dishes that, if initially they were a representation of tradition brought into gourmet, today they are an unpublished story, where the past and future of Calabria merge. A creative thought is born that gives life to a palette of ingredients, where the protagonists are the wonderful raw materials of the Grecanic area, the strong acids, the well-dosed fats.

An Eden of terraces amidst lush gardens

Villa Paola, charming hotel in Tropea in Calabria, captivates with its ecstatic beauty, thanks to a breathtaking view of the blue sea of Tropea and the wonderful garden with seventerraces, rich in Mediterranean plants and tropical varieties.

The sense of profound harmony of the boutique hotel, with only 12 rooms, can also be felt in the kitchen of the "de' Minimi" restaurant, which is also open to the public.

For the 2023 season, Villa Paola is organizing a cycle of meetings and tastings with the most virtuous Calabrian wineries, expression of the local DOCs. Lastly, at the foot of the villa are the citrus groves and the gardens of the estate (originally the gardens of the convent monks), where today guests love to stroll and collect the seasonal vegetables and fruit.