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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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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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 Camogli Fish Festival: Fish, Frying Pans, and Fireworks!

Julie Jurden

One fish, two fish, red fish, fried fish. Well, if you’re in Camogli, it’s fried fish. And lots of it.

Camogli is a stunning seaside village in the Liguria region of Italy. The Camogli Fish Festival, or La Sagra del Pesce in Camogli, began during World War II as a dedication to St. Fortunato, the patron saint of fishermen. Each year on the second Sunday in May, in the Piazza Colombo near the marina, tourists and town folk alike flood the plaza for some of the tastiest fried fish delectables…and they’re free!

Besides the draw of free food, you won’t want to miss the center of attention – a giant frying pan that weighs 28 tons, is just over 13 feet in diameter, and has a handle, get this, of almost 20 feet long!

For the better part of the day, locals fry up over 30,000 dishes, which includes about 3 tons of fresh fish and about 800 gallons of oil. I wonder how they clean the pan once  their done?

A few days before the giant fish free-for-all, visitors gather to enjoy live music to ease into the weekend festivities. The next day, their marina is host to fresh markets and food stalls where visitors can sample all the fresh local produce and cuisine. Later in the evening you can play witness to a traditional religious procession followed by some spectacular fireworks displayed over the waterfront.

After all the sparks and flash are over, locals partake in another interesting tradition. Residents from two of the Camogli districts, Porto and Pinetto, engage in a bit of a competition. Large bonfires are ignited by a firewire that descends from a nearby church steeple, onto the beach where wooden and paper sculptures await, each year with a different theme. The day before, local residents fill these massive structures with items they want to get rid of, like old furniture, wood remnants, or anything else that will safely burn bright. No worries, the fire brigade is close at hand managing and maintaining with a regular dousing from a firehose.

The next day, Sunday, May 13th this year, the fish festival officially kicks off with a blessing of the giant pan, and by noon the frying frenzy begins!

All of this fishy fabulousness has us thinking about summer getaways and beachside picnics.

As we finally get ready to shed the last of the cooler temperatures, we relish starting to plan the first big outdoor spread with family and friends. Putting some of our finest summer ceramic dinnerware at the center of our seaside table décor, we mix it up with items from our Mediterraneo, Panarea, and Porto Venere collections. Just because we’re dining al fresco is no reason not to make the event a special experience. Forgo the paper plates and plastic forks and incorporate a bit of beauty that ensures your guests feel as special as the moment.

 


How do you like to adorn your seaside table setting? Is it blankets and baskets or popup tables and a beautiful table setting? Is fried fish on the menu or do you have other traditions that conjure up ocean views and summer fun?

No matter how you spend your summer moments, we hope they are filled with the special people in your lives and, of course, good food and wine, and maybe a bit of Italian travel.

Buon appetito!



 

 

Camogil Image Credit: nevio doz

 

 

 

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Winter Entertaining Series | Picture Imperfect

Julie Jurden

We hope you have enjoyed our fall and winter entertaining series. We know it’s a busy time for everyone and making it easier to entertain and spend time with friends and family is our goal.

italy at christmas time

 

Keeping it simple with quality, seasonal foods and floral elements layered with inviting and complementary dinnerware selections is our secret to success. 

As we head into this hectic time, I would like to share a segment from one of my favorite inspirational speakers, John O’Leary, speaking about what he learned during an attempt to get a multigenerational family photo:

“Love is a Verb.” As one parent ran to get a favorite toy for an upset child, another helped with a crying baby. As one cleaned up spit up, another brushed the hair of a child whose roughhousing disheveled it.

In love, there is no passivity, no sitting back, no waiting for others to jump in. Real love demands action. Love is the great motivator and compels continual forgiveness, persistent compassion and striving toward something even bigger than itself.

(“Love is a verb” is one of my favorite quotes from my recent Live Inspired podcast interview with Edie Varley. Edie shares her beautiful story of growing up one of 14 children – “life was a celebration!” She’s my personal coach, dear friend and you won’t want to miss her wisdom and energy)

2. Life requires adaptability. As more little ones came around their grandparents, everyone had to shuffle to make room and make sure everyone could be seen.

Most of us are creatures of habit and like things as they were. “The good ole days” isn’t just the beginning of a story our grandparents shared, but one now repeated by most of us! It’s critical to remember and celebrate that life is constantly in flux, otherwise we’re at risk to be driven toward protectionism and longing for a past that will never exist again.

3. Perfection is unattainable. The majority of Facebook posts and holiday cards are Photo-shopped or at least only THE BEST photo of hundreds taken before it. It also turns out when someone responds that everything is ‘just perfect’ in their work, finances, family and life: They likely aren’t telling the entire story.

  • Life isn’t perfect. It can be messy, sad, unfair and undignified. And yet, seasons of adversity are often followed by joy, with overlap between the two. Instead of pretending all is perfect, be okay with the mess life can occasionally be; instead of being disappointed at what you did not perfectly capture, be grateful for all that you did.

    For you see, in looking back, the best pictures, experiences and memories often aren’t the ones we envisioned, but the unexpected ones we were lucky enough to experience. 
  •  

    From all of us at Modigliani, we wish you and your family a joyful holiday season, and we look forward to sharing and engaging more with you in the New Year.

     

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    Winter Entertaining Series | Snacks and Sweets

    Julie Jurden

    Entertaining during the holidays doesn’t have to be complicated. Serving simple items and dishes that are plated and presented beautifully can give the appearance that a lot more effort was required.

    Next in our winter series, let’s look at how to creatively dish out the snacks and sweets for your holiday guests.

    What Italian feast doesn’t include a hunk of crusty, chewy bread or fresh breadsticks served with extra virgin olive oil for dipping?

    While we like to keep it simple, we make it special by sourcing the best tasting freshly baked breads we can find and serving them warm with our favorite olive oil for special occasions. A little garnish of green is all you need to create a beautiful platter, or you can kick it up a notch with some dried fruits or fresh Mediterranean olives.

    rosso dishes with bread

    Dessert can be an excuse to entertain all on its own. You can start by inviting friends over for an Italian coffee with a shot of Strega, a digestif with hints of juniper, mint, and saffron. Top it off with some fresh whipped cream and a hint of grated nutmeg. Delizioso!

    Whether post dinner or a dessert only party, creating a dessert bar offers a variety of options and the serving pieces can make it even more interesting.

    Using the simple beauty of fruits with stems and leaves intact alongside homemade cakes and cookies is a winning combination. This cake pictured was made by our food stylist with a wonderful mold that makes the most basic recipe look sophisticated. Serve it on a beautiful dish with a sprig of holly or sliced lemons or oranges and it takes it to a whole other level.

    rosso with sweets and fruit

    If you have a larger group, you can add bowls and cups of beautiful candies or nuts to fill out your dessert bar. Not everything has to be homemade – sometimes just a hint of something to satisfy a sweet tooth is all your guests require.

    Read our next installment - Picture Imperfect  

     

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    Fall Entertaining Series | Cocktail Hour

    Julie Jurden

    For the fourth and final entry to our fall lifestyle series, let’s end with the cocktail hour.

    Having guests over on a crisp fall evening can be the perfect festive occasion. And you don’t always have to entertain by preparing a large meal. Sometimes inviting friends for a cocktail is the best way to do some stress-free entertaining during a busy holiday season.

    To set the scene, a bouquet of colorful fall tulips in our Zucca pitcher and a decanter from our Selezione collection full of our famous Rosemarino cocktail are just the ambience needed for a pre-dinner happy hour. Pair them with a cheese or charcuterie appetizer served on our Legna olive wood servers, turn on some music, and you have the ideal atmosphere for entertaining your holiday guests.

    cocktail on countertop with ceramic pitcher full of flowers

     Rosemarino Cocktail

    • Make rosemary simple syrup by combining 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, and some sprigs of rosemary in a saucepan and place on a low simmer until well combined.
    • Place 2 ounces of bourbon, 2 dashes of orange bitters, and 2 teaspoons of simple syrup in a shaker and blend well.
    • Pour the mixture into your Selezione decanter and serve over ice with a sprig of rosemary for decoration.

     

    We hope you’ve enjoyed our Fall Entertaining Series and that you’ve been inspired to try some of these ideas yourself. Remember, keep it simple, mix and match, and let the natural beauty of the dinnerware and delicious food be the perfect backdrop for what really matters most; precious time with family and friends.

     

     

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    Fall Entertaining Series | Appetizing Serving Displays

    Julie Jurden

    As we continue our series, let’s turn to our attention to creating an elegant serving display.

    First, we are very excited about the inclusion of our new olive wood collection called Legna. These rich and elegant pieces are durable, come in a variety of sizes, and bring more of that natural element to any table.

    All of our products function quite well for prepping, but they’re also attractive enough to go straight to the table for serving appetizers or incorporating into a buffet. And the Legna collection is no exception – they are perfect for serving your guests. Below, we’ve layered them with crisp linens on our natural wood table to serve parmagiano reggiano and mozzarella cheeses, hand picked apples, and pane carasau – thin, crispy, twice baked crackers. The addition of the rosemary sprig provides just enough texture and a whimsical accent of greenery. Again, you have a neutral backdrop that’s warm and elegant contrasting with the color and texture of your food resulting in a beautiful and inviting display.

    wooden cheese board with a variety of cheeses

    Our ceramic centerpieces also work well for many purposes, including as a serving bowl for salads as we’ve used ours below. You can also use them as a place to put a hardy mum surrounded by gourds or greenery, to hold your favorite seasonal fruits, or you can partner them with the olive wood boards to serve breads and crackers. The possibilities are endless. The beauty of the piece with its swooping handles, unique shape, and artisan hand painting requires only simple solutions for its contents.

     

    To round out your serving needs, the dual-section of our antipasto dish is used here for additions to the salad, but we’ve also used ours for olives and pits, nuts, candies, and condiments. Its versatility makes for a wonderful gift that will be used again and again.

    salad set with ceramic bowl, olives, wooden cutting board and olive oil

    Bringing these pieces together and layering them with beautiful linens and textures from nature places the attention on the food while still providing a festive backdrop for your holiday entertaining.

    Our next in the series - Cocktail Hour

     

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