Est. Italian Stories of Travels, Cities, and Architectures.

Exhibition catalogue

The book presents the complete history of the entire exhibition project, articulated in numerous iconographic and textual fragments which, composed as a unified reading, offer unprecedented portraits of eastern parts of the world. The entire journey is documented around the narration of cities, architectures, and histories as observed looking eastwards from Italy. The experiences of Italian travelers and architects, with their unique ability to interpret identities and cultures, have generated new visions of the countries that have welcomed them. The aim is to provide an analysis of regions that over the last 30 years have undergone profound social, political and urban changes, in the context of a complex post-ideological phase that has demanded original visions and solutions.

An introductory section contains essays by Luca Molinari, Federica Rasenti, Laura Andreini, Chiara Ingrosso, Ida Amlesù, Alessandro Mosetti, Paolo Giordano, Paolo Scrivano, and Sergei Tchoban. Each of the authors presents a vision, an interpretation, or a documentary history on the impact that an Eastern European or Asian country has had on the Italians who have traveled there to design, build, document, write, or simply explore. Extracts from books by Tiziano Terzani and a long article by Franco Raggi are the “voices” that accompany the reader across the history and everyday life of countries to the east.

The works of six internationally famous Italian design firms – Renzo Piano, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Archea Associati, Piuarch, Michele De Lucchi and Mario Cucinella – and, in particular, their projects in Russia, China, Albania, Georgia, and Vietnam, appear in the exhibition and in the catalogue. The collective historical imageries of each country, as documented by the precious archival materials of the Fondazione Cini, are displayed alongside contemporary Italian architectural culture, in this way creating a series of short circuits that highlight to visitors the value of the contributions by Italian architects to global culture over the centuries.