The Stories Behind Our Flatware Collections

Julie Jurden

Looking to accent your table? 

Flatware can add a bold pop of color or compliment a neutral place setting. All Modigliani flatware collections pull inspiration directly from places all around Italy. From traditional elegance to bright and bold, Modigliani stainless flatware features styles everyone will love. Get inspired!

Learn the stories and the rich history behind each of our collections!

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Spinach, Carrot and Coconut Soup

Julie Jurden
This time of year, a cozy night in with warm Spinach, Carrot and Coconut Soup is just what the doctor ordered.

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Our Stay at Home Guide

Julie Jurden
We are sharing a few ideas we had to battle the virus blues, looking forward to warmer days and returning to our routines.

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Fall Entertaining Series | Tablescapes

Julie Jurden
The holiday season is around the corner and we want to help simplify yours with what we hope will be inspirational ideas for entertaining and gift giving so you can focus on what really matters; time with family and friends.

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Shake Off Your Inhibitions, It’s Carnevale!

Julie Jurden
Imagine you’re walking down a crowded street, in a city with which you may be unfamiliar, shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds of thousands of complete strangers. You and your new friends dance in step as music plays at every stretch.

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Milestones

Julie Jurden
At Modigliani, we have begun a new collection called Milestones to bring meaningful traditions to our customers that they can share with family and friends. Our first milestone celebrates the new home.

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A Season for Giving. Rett Syndrome and the Angel Plate

Julie Jurden

As October arrives, most of us begin thinking about the fast approaching holidays. It’s the time of year when we look forward to sharing our precious time with family and friends, and enjoying the traditions and festivities of the season.

Additionally, it’s a time of year where many of us want to extend our generosity beyond traditional gifts through the giving of our time and money to those causes that have special meaning to us, for whatever reasons.

For us, October carries a great importance because it’s Rett syndrome awareness month.

What’s the significance to us? Because, it was just 18 years ago when our family first met a wonderful young lady named Bea. Ever since that introduction, she’s been a blessing in our lives along with her parents, grandparents, and sister.

If you’re not familiar with Rett syndrome, it’s a rare non-inherited genetic postnatal neurological disorder that occurs almost exclusively in girls and begins to show its effects in infancy or early childhood. It can often be misdiagnosed as autism or cerebral palsy, because it causes problems in brain function that are responsible for cognitive, sensory, emotional, motor, and autonomic function. These can then impact learning, speech, sensory sensations, mood, movement, breathing, cardiac function, and even chewing, swallowing, and digestion.

As one can imagine, Rett syndrome can present numerous challenges to those living with the disease, as well as those caring for them. But with therapy, assistance, and endless amounts of unconditional love, every single one of them can benefit greatly by participating in typical life activities like school, social, educational, and recreational programs. Even our Bea was able to attend her first prom like any other young girl her age.

Years ago we made the decision to do something to not only help raise awareness about Rett syndrome, but to raise funds for the incredible research underway.

Hence the Angel Plate was born.

In 2014, we started by producing one each year with the idea to create a set of four that could be displayed together on a wall or shelf, or used during special occasions. We explained the significance to our artists and partners in Italy, and they have been honored to design and produce Piastra Angelo with great care. 

2017 marked the final year for the Angel Plate Collection. These plates are a one-of-a-kind gift, limited in number and signed by the artist. 100% of the profits go to Rett syndrome research. You can order a single plate or collect all four as we still have a few from the previous years available. In addition we will continue each year to give 10% of all of our sales  for a week in October to benefit Rett Syndrome research for years to come.

While we know our contribution is a very small one, we like to think that we’ve been a part of helping further research, and ultimately finding a cure for Rett syndrome.

The amazing news is that researchers have been making wonderful strides over the past several years. Their research strategy has yielded unprecedented results.

If you’d like to learn more, visit www.rettsyndrome.org for ways you can support this important cause.

We are incredibly grateful to all of you for your continued support. Thank you on behalf of all of us, and most importantly, our lovely Bea and her family.

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Portichetto Blu: Design Inspiration from Architectural Continuity

Julie Jurden

The artisans of Modigliani have repeatedly been inspired by the tremendous architecture of Italy which has translated into the ceramic dinnerware and accessories they create. We are thrilled with their latest inspiration taken directly from the portichetto of Italy in their newest collection, Portichetto Blu.

In Italy, a portichetto is a long open yet covered walkway that connects to a building—where one side is attached to the building exterior itself, and the other side faces the open air revealing the view. In English, we refer to this architectural element as cloisters or arcades.  

Besides being a respite from disagreeable weather, portichetto are typically designed with repeating arches and columns, often integrating ornate patterns and embellishments that bring symmetry to the flow and frame the vista with artistic composition. The intention is to welcome you in, keep you close, and engage you with community.

Across Italy, you typically see these cloisters attached to churches, monasteries, museums, and as part of other public structures or venues. 

Some famous and recognizable examples include the very large Piazza San Marco in Venice. This mecca of tourism is surrounded by long stretches of portichetto providing protection to the thousands of shoppers and diners that walk its halls daily. The perfectly lined archways on the adjacent Doge Palace point skyward to a second story of walkways, making it a stunning example of how practicality and innovative design marry into enduring architectural form. The gentle patterns and scallops in our Portichetto Blu Oval Platter brilliantly mirror the harmony of the ceilings and flooring of the Doge portichetto, with repetitive soft arches and spiraled curvature. 

The repetition in the narrow cutouts and pattern of the Portichetto Blu Round Serving Bowl, Oval Bowl, Dinner Plate, and Mug offer a sharp parallelism to the progression and pointed arches of the Cathedral Monreale overlooking Palermo, Sicily. The clean lines pair magically with the subtle curves, just as our newest collection has achieved.

In Florence there are massive portichetto surrounding the long narrow courtyard which connects the two wings of the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most visited galleries in the world. Visitors line the walkways for a chance to walk the venues largest collection of Renaissance art and to stand where it has been said that the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo once gathered for recreation, conversation, and for work. 

 We love this idea that these stunning structures were then, and still are, the center for coming together in community, collaboration, and discussion. And that’s exactly how we see our new collection. We hope that the inspiration of the many portichetto all across Italy elicits the same spirit of connection, conversation, community, and the sharing of new ideas and great food.

We’d love to hear what you think about our latest addition to the Modigliani family. Can you picture your table filled with these distinct pieces—vessels for your famous antipasti platter or a mound of cacio e pepe pasta and a hunk of warm and crusty bread? 

Check out the full collection here and get your family and friends to the table for some memorable connection time.

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Chicken Skewers

Julie Jurden
This delicious marinade work perfectly on chicken and makes delightful chicken skewers.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • the zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • the zest and juice from 1 orange
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

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The Summer Whimsy of an Open Air Opera

Julie Jurden

Summertime brings a myriad of activities that draw us out of our winter cocoons and welcome us into the vastness of fresh air, lush nature, and endless open skies. If you’re lucky, you get to do more than hustle the kids around to their summer activities, or worse, be chained to the office desk all day. Hopefully, there are swimming pools, barbecues, campfires with marshmallows, time in the garden, and maybe a few lovely afternoons swaying in a hammock with a tall glass of lemonade. 

Ah, summer.


Photo Credit: LuigiConsiglio

One of our favorite summer pastimes is getting outside for some of the great outdoor musical performances that come with the season. Yes, there are music festivals and numerous concerts just about everywhere you go, but Italy has some of the finest venues and programs for indulging in the experience of an open-air opera.

As you might expect, opera was actually born in Italy—it has its roots specifically in Florence in the early 1600s. And it also touts some of the greatest composers in the world, including Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, and Puccini. Even great composers from other countries wanted their theatrics performed on the stages of Italy.

But the special thing about listening to opera in an outdoor theater is that not only do you get to see and hear some of the greatest performances and stories ever told, but you also gain the benefit of the beautifully lit night sky for added ambiance. And the energy and festive atmosphere are completely different than what you might experience inside a more confined opera house. It’s often much more casual and conducive to social interaction versus the quiet and restrictive formality of an indoor opera house.

Across Italy are a number of summer opera programs carefully orchestrated and visually mastered ready for the barrage of tourists to fully enjoy. And usually the venue adds to the specialness of the evening. 

For instance, the Opera Festival at the Arena di Verona, the oldest opera festival in the world. For more than a hundred years now, this Roman amphitheater is transformed from June to September into the world’s largest open-air opera theatre. The stunning ancient structure can host up to 15,000 guests, which is perfect for the summer festival which typically showcases approximately five works and 45 total performances.

In Rome, the Teatro dell’Opera performs part of their summer season in the Opera di Roma Festival at the Terme di Caracalla, a most magical archeological site of the Roman Baths and the most unique spot for a theatrical stage. With 8,000 seats, you can expect to choose from three theatrical works in this striking setting.

At the Festival Puccini held in Tuscany’s Torre del Lago, where the composer lived, composed most of his operas, and is buried nearby, you can enjoy between 4 and 5 performances of four operatic works along with the more than 40,000 spectators the festival attracts each year.

 There are so many great operas and venues, far too many to mention. But luckily for all of us, there are options here in the U.S. that often host opera indoors and out. One of the great outdoor features for many locations, like Ravinia or Millennium Park in Chicago, or Central Park in New York, is that you can watch performances while picnicking on the sprawling lawns. 

 And that offers us another opportunity to pack some of our favorite Italian dinnerware pieces along with a great bottle of wine.

Our Mediterraneo collection is a perfect option for serving up beautiful summer fruits or a refreshing tomato salad as you take in Verdi’s La Traviata. Or serve up a crumbly, nutty cheese and a crusty baguette from your Legna olive wood board while you sit back and listen to Puccini’s La bohème.

No matter what your choice of musical genre, take full advantage of these final weeks of summer before the season slips away. Seek out a festival or concert of any size. Grab your best friend or the family and pack a delicious meal. Stretch your arms and legs across your picnic blanket and sip that luscious pinot noir or crisp rosé. Enjoy the moment and listen with your whimsical summer heart.

“Opera is one of the most important art forms. It should be listened to and appreciated by everyone.” --Luciano Pavarotti

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