a tale of a few cities

MAXXI Celebrates 150 Years of Italian Unity

Posted in architecture, Art, Installation, italia, Photography, roma by petercombe on March 15, 2011

Tricolore at MAXXI (National Museum of XXI Century Arts), Rome, Italy

L’altro tre…

Giulio Frigo

Posted in Art, italia, Photography, Photomontage, video by petercombe on June 17, 2010


35mm slide projection (RAI archive) over a video projection (4 platonic solids)


From the Twittersphere

L’edizione di 3


io sono l’amore

Posted in Cinéma, italia by petercombe on April 21, 2010

I AM LOVE  (aka, Io sono l’amore)

Dir. Luca Guadagnino

Italy, 2009, 120 minutes

“Like Arnaud Desplechin’s symphonic melodramas, I Am Love plays its various narrative strands off each other in the most elegant of ways and allows Swinton to deliver another desire-driven grande dame performance. See it by any means necessary. 5 Stars”


53rd San Francisco International Film Festival


Sun, May 02 / 3:30 / Castro / IAML02C

via I Am Love

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Posted in architecture, italia by petercombe on November 14, 2009








Photos; Fabio Quici

This piece of Zaha Hadid architecture has been a long time in the making. The museum is finally opening it’s doors to the public. The interior space is pure Hadid. Trust the Italians to be so bold in their choice of architect. The arched windows in the bottom photo seem a nod to the architecture of the square Colosseum at the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, EUR, Rome.

Fabio Quici has taken some awesome pictures of the MAXXI. Here is a link to his work, FBQC>

Truman Show 2.0

Posted in Dirk, italia by petercombe on September 1, 2009


MILAN – Soccer players may be known for their extravagant homes, but Italian footballer Andrea Vasa has trumped his peers by living in a somewhat unusual location – a designer store.

Since late February, 30-year-old Vasa, a defender for Milan’s Brera team, has slept, washed, dressed and chilled out at the flagship store of Belgian menswear designer Dirk Bikkembergs in the city’s exclusive Golden Quad area.

His surroundings include a ground-floor leather sofa and TV area, a bedroom, gym and large bathroom plastered with pages of Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport paper – all spread out in the store and easily seen by shoppers. A small kitchen is there too.

Huge windows look out onto the busy square outside, and a soccer shoe-shaped entry phone adds the “home” touch. Personal pictures and some books adorn the shelves where clothes from the Bikkembergs main line are exposed.

“Clients go in as if it were my own wardrobe,” Vasa, originally from Sardinia, said while walking around the store.

“Before I used to live in a one-room apartment – there is just no comparison. It was 40 square metres; here the bathroom is that size.” Bikkembergs has said the store was designed for and inspired by the lifestyle of “passionate sportsmen.”

The shop, spread over three floors, sells the Bikkembergs menswear collections as well as travel bags, sunglasses and sport shoes. The top two floors double as Vasa’s home with a spot for his car, a white Porsche.

Shoppers walk around as Vasa sits on the sofa watching TV or playing video games and on some occasions, they have walked in the bedroom while he was still in bed.

“Some people don’t believe it, others are surprised or they don’t expect it,” he said.

“Some have even asked if they can live here too.”

Despite the luxury surroundings, there are some limitations. The shower can be seen, so washing needs to be done carefully.

“Someone who is more extrovert would shower or do it in swimming trunks,” Vasa said, adding that he also hides his shampoo and shower gels, leaving only his toothbrush and toothpaste exposed.

“Some people would actually open the bottles to check whether they were real,” he said.

The store is open from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., meaning privacy starts in the evening. A guard is on watch during the night.

Vasa, who had modelled for Bikkembergs before moving in, said he was shortlisted for the project after volunteering with others. The location and the car were definitely a draw.

“People at first thought that I was living in a closed box but I am free to do what I want, they let me carry out my usual activities,” he said.

“If I do big parties I do need to let them know, if they are small, it’s like it’s my own home.”


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Caffè e Canova

Posted in Art, gastronomy, italia, roma by petercombe on November 19, 2008



We stumbled upon this rather interesting Roman cafe on the Via del Babuino, half way between Piazza di Spagna and Piazza del Popolo. Patrons sit amongst Venetian sculptor Antonio Canova’s plaster models and casts.


Posted in italia, roma by petercombe on November 19, 2008


Visiting this beautiful cafe near Piazza Venezia in Rome,  Joe and myself after having finished 2 cappuccinos were told by the owner that they were on the house. It wasn’t the first time this happened on this particular visit to Italy. I guess we came with a good vibe.

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