Every year, members of the tile industry from all over the world convene in Bologna, Italy to attend the annual tile and bath show, Cersaie. Olivia Boone, president of Horizon Tile, has attended Cersaie for the last 15 years and I had the opportunity to attend the show for the second time last October – the perfect time of year when the weather is wonderful!
In Italy, they are as creative with tile as they are with fashion. They are even creative with their food! Bologna is known for specialties like tortellini en brodo and pumpkin ravioli. Modena balsamic vinegar is the world’s best — the older it is, the thicker it is, the more valuable. They even mix it with their gelato. Delizioso!
A new discovery for us this year was the city of Treviso. The city center is surrounded by an old Roman wall with entry gates that span a river. Within the city there are canals reminiscent of Venice. As we explored the city center, we walked past an old wall with an iron gate that held the most beautiful garden inside. The owner, returning from some errands, walked up and invited us in! She explained that her family lives there – an architect, a photographer and a fashion stylist all under one roof. Molto bella!
Italy really is the center of tile manufacturing for the world. Manufacturers all over the world exhibit at Cersaie, but these are only a fraction compared to the vast number of Italian tile manufacturers. Every year there are new trends. This year we saw a lot of wood and stone looks that, due to new technology, look better than ever. In recent years, a huge trend has been thin porcelain tile. Horizon was one of the first US importers to take a leap of faith on this new concept and now, years later, thin porcelain tile continues to gain in popularity.
During this visit, we toured several factories including a small factory that produces beautiful handmade mosaics as well as hand painted stone and tile. It really is amazing to watch as mosaics patterns are created by hand right before your eyes.
(1) Porcelain tile…we ordered this one! (2) Stained concrete look with “graffiti.” (3) A funky wood look. (4) More handmade tile.
(1) Funky wood look by a studio in Italy. (2) Cool multicolor hex look. (3) New glass mosaics.
Kendall, we wish we were there with you. Have a wonderful trip to our favorite place!