Here I am, in beautiful Bologna, once again for CERSAIE – International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings. Once a year this beautiful Italian city becomes the center of the attention for its extensive international display of flooring and bathroom furniture products. I am very excited about it, as visiting this fair year after year I am always entertained by the high standard of quality and presentation and surprised to always discover innovation both in looks and materials.
CERSAIE 2016, on its 156,000 m2 of surface, saw 852 exhibitors from 43 countries display outstanding products to well over 100,000 international visitors, architects, designers, retailers and builders. Here I walk through kilometers of exhibit every day, admiring the products and discussing them directly with the makers. And outside the Exhibition Center, Bologna city offers hundreds of events thanks to the coinciding Bologna Design Week. At night, there are the strictly by invitation events, where product makers show their hospitality to further impress. It's hard work I tell you ;)
But it cannot be just work. When in Bologna you cannot avoid its magnificent riches in wine and food. In fact this is the capital of Emilia Romagna, the region who is home to some of the most renowned Italian food products like Prosciutto, Parmigiano, Tortellini, Ravioli, Balsamic Vinegar and Mortadella, just to mention a few. You may also know mortadella as Baloney (Bologna Sausage).
With its Etruscan foundations [1000 BC], Bologna was taken by the Celts, developed under the Roman Empire and became one of the richest historical cities of Europe also because of its strategic halfway position on the merchant route between Venice and Florence. It is still nowadays one of the richest cities in Italy and a notable one in regards to history, architecture and arts. Founded in 1088, its university is considered the oldest in the world and is beautiful to walk through.
The streets of Bologna's historical center offer elegant shopping under 36 kilometers of portico-ed walkaways, magnificent old churches and of course its signature tall medieval towers. Not to be missed are the unforgettable and overly dramatic renaissance life-size sculptures in terracotta!
Have I convinced you to visit yet? Only three hours in a fast train from Rome or two hours from Milan, Bologna is a city you want to experience. Of course, it's peak season during CERSAIE and crowded with people; so leave the hassle to me and I will come back with all the information you may want about the latest trends in tiles and bathroom furniture. You see, beside admiring what is new and what is beautiful, my job is to discern what is relevant to the Australian market, what is coming to our shores and ultimately what fits or not in your homes. I will report all this in my talks, workshops and presentations when back in Australia. Until then, trust me, it's hard work, but I'll be also having a very good time :) I love my job.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James Treble has more than 25 years of experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from. Interior Design For Profit is now available online.