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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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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Christmas in Italy: Creating joyful traditions with the kids in your life

Julie Jurden

It’s finally December and the spirit of the holiday season is getting in to full swing here in the U.S. For most of us, Thanksgiving officially kicks off the festivities, and for some, it even begins as early as Halloween. But no matter when your family traditionally welcomes the season, it’s a magical and wondrous time for the little ones in our lives. 

Ask anyone you know and they’ll probably be able to spout out one tradition that their family has had or continues during the holiday season. While the origins of this special time are based on religious and spiritual beliefs, many traditions celebrated are born from families creating memories in their own way and then sustained for years to come. It’s something that brings us together in familiarity and comfort.

Italians also understand this and base many of their traditions on bringing family together and creating a meaningful experience their children will remember and share for the rest of their lives. They also celebrate within their own cultural timeline.

Italians may begin their winter holiday a little later than us, but they also extend the celebration well into January, creating massive excitement and extended anticipation for kids across the country.

The season typically begins on December 8 with the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception. This is a national holiday with significant importance to the Roman Catholic Church, and also the official day when most put up their holiday decorations and Christmas trees. It’s a spectacle to behold with sights, sounds, and smells to heighten the senses of holiday revelers young and old.

In the Novena, or eight days before Christmas, streets are filled with carolers singing traditional songs. In Rome and other locations, you will see the zampognari or bagpipe players who travel from the nearby Abruzzi Mountains to play throughout the streets for the local children. At the same time, piazzas across Italy are enveloped with beautiful lights and decorations, including artisanal handmade presepi, or nativity scenes. You’d be hard pressed not to find one in any city or town.

Other Italian traditions include skipping meat on Christmas Eve as a way to purify their bodies for Christmas Day, often replaced with grand feasts and multiple courses of beautiful seafood instead. While many end the day with Midnight Mass, there are also those brave ones who ski down the Dolomites at the strike of midnight carrying torches to welcome Christmas – an incredible sight to behold.

Christmas Day of course is filled with large meals, loads of family and friends, and glorious Italian foods, including the traditional dessert of panettone, a sweet bread loaf filled with candied fruit and raisins that children love.

The feasting and celebration continues into the New Year, but comes to a crescendo January 6, the twelfth day of Christmas and the Day of the Epiphany. 

The night before, large meals are once again shared with family and friends to mark the end of the season, and La Befana, a witch who flies on her broom and brings good children treats and bad children coal, delivers her gifts and goodies. 

We delight in and appreciate all of the holiday traditions of Italy and hope that all of our followers are able to continue their own family traditions, or start some new ones. Focusing ideas and activities around the children in our lives is a great place to start, and often means these traditions are carried forward for generations to come.

We’d like to help by offering tips and ideas for the table – more specifically, the children’s table.

Rather than setting up a small card table or relegating the little ones to a counter with stools, make their meal memorable by creating something colorful and unique to mark the occasion. Kids notice these things and love when they are singled out with something special just for them. And if you turn it into a tradition, they have something to look forward to each year.

 

Our children’s table shown here uses our bright and cheerful POP collection. Use these pieces as a backdrop for anything you’d want to add to make it even more festive for the kids. Involving them as much as possible in the party and the preparation makes it special for everyone!

Consider a few of these ideas to get your creativity flowing and to start some new family traditions.

  • Let kids create an ornament or other fun craft to designate their spot at the table.
  • Make a gingerbread house centerpiece and plan to decorate it together earlier in the day.
  • Ask each child to bring a dozen of their favorite decorated Christmas cookies for the whole family to enjoy.
  • Provide a special holiday dish just for them to have at their table. Maybe a frozen cranberry reindeer or Christmas tree crudité.
  • Provide an age appropriate table game like holiday trivia questions with a prize for the most correct answers, Christmas bingo, I Spy, or place a number under a plate later to be drawn for a prize. You could even fill a large clear vessel with candy and each child guesses the amount inside. When the meal is over they can count the contents and closest to the number wins a prize.
  • Lay out crayons or markers and a butcher paper tablecloth for creative drawings or thoughtful messages throughout the meal.
  • Place several disposable or digital cameras at the table and let the kids get creative with special shots from their point of view. Share the images in the coming days so everyone has something to look forward to.
  • Place pens and paper on the table and have each child write a few sentences that later get compiled into one story. Share the story with the family after dinner. Have them get creative and as silly as they like, these can be the best stories.
  • Share with us your favorites. What does your family do for the holidays? Do they plan something special just for the kids? Let us know your favorite traditions.

No matter what you have planned this season, we hope you all are lucky enough to spend just a small bit of time seeing the holidays through the eyes of a child and creating new traditions and memories for years to come. The pure joy, laughter, and whimsy children evoke is the most simple yet poignant way we can think to embrace and celebrate the season. 

Buon Natale!

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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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A Celebration with Taormina

Julie Jurden
When designing a new pattern, the customer experience always comes to mind. We often imagine the product, placed around the table, surrounded by your friends and family, and experiencing La Grande Vita.

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Summer Wedding Gift Guide

Julie Jurden

Wedding season is in full swing here at Modigliani. Julie and our team are always thrilled to help a bride and groom create a beautiful table. For families and other wedding guests, it can be difficult to decide on a gift for the happy couple that is as unique and wonderful as they are. To help, we have curated a selection of our fine Italian glass and dinnerware. We have even included a gift idea for bridesmaids and hostesses as well. 

Colori e Sapori
Chutney Dip in Colori

Colori e Sapori translates as Colors and Flavors. Our collection of bakeware inspires us to bring together the flavors of your dishes with Modigliani's colorful, and textured bakeware. These pieces go from oven to table bringing their bright colors to add a celebratory splash to family meals or any occasion. Also perfect for dips, appetizers and casseroles. Make this a perfect gift for the bride and groom by filling the dish a few of your favorite recipes on gorgeous cards. Garnish with a bow, and you have a gift the couple will cherish for years to come. 

Artist Series
Handmade Italian Pottery

For the couple who has it all, we present the Artist Series. Each piece of handmade pottery in our Artist Series is one-of-a-kind, or mezzo unico,  and signed by the artist.  Indulge the bride and groom in the beauty of this series created by a young, upcoming ceramist in conjunction with a seasoned painter. It is our great pleasure to share these pieces with you and support the new and revitalized interest in an old Italian tradition.

Appunti di Viaggio
Modern and colorful ceramic mugs

Does the special couple have a modern flair? The handpainted ceramic mugs of our Appunti di Viaggio collection is the perfect gift. Inspired by the world around them, artists often make sketches or “notes” about what they see and experience. Our Appunti di Viaggio collezione, or "Notes of the Village" collection takes the quick simple lines of an artists notes, and adds washes of vibrant color to create six village scenes with a contemporary twist.

Roma Amor
Amor Vase With Flowers

Vibrant and affectionate like Rome itself, our Roma Amor Collection is inspired by the love of a city full of heart, passion, and joy, that is always happy and vital. This handmade vase features a round base that gracefully twists to a square top. The bright color palette looks beautiful in any home and the happy couple will enjoy displaying flowers that express their love.

Villa d'Este
Champaign Glasses

A new twist on the traditional champagne glass! Modigliani's Villa d'Este is our hand blown glassware beautiful enough to grace any table for a dinner with friends and family. Available in two colors that beautifully complement a variety of tableware. Better yet? Surprise the bride before the wedding with these champagne flutes for their wedding day toast!

Buongiorno!

Utensil jar

The Buongiorno! Collection brings the lucky rooster, an iconic Italian symbol of good fortune, into your kitchen or onto your casual table with an updated and colorful flamboyance. What a beautiful way to add an exclamation point to your celebrations and gatherings. Help stock the kitchen for the bride and groom by filling the Buongiorno! Utensil Jar with wooden spoons, spatulas, dish towels, and more. 

Intrecci
intrecci gift basket

These woven, colorful ceramic pots and baskets create a new twist on the traditional. The story of this collection begins with a mother of four who mastered the wheel but missed her children while working and began to produce pottery in a separate small room at home on her own wheel. These were produced by one of those children who learned their craft at age 5! Available in a variety of sizes, these baskets make ideal bridesmaids gifts. Fill with lotions, oils, bath bombs and more to create a spa basket your ladies will love and remember for years to come!

Frutta LaccataOlive Boat

Looking for a versatile gift for the bride and groom? This handmade Italian olive boat is your answer. Fill it with nuts, stuffed dates, mushrooms or tomatoes, or olives, of course! Fits into any side table or buffet as a beautiful accent piece. 

Condotti Flatware
handmade italian flatware

The handles of our Condotti flatware are tipped with stainless steel ridges reminiscent of the Spanish Steps in Rome. Handmade in Italy of 18/10 Stainless Steel, the whole Condotti collection is available in multiple solid colors including lightly stained wood with decorative handles to match any of our ceramic patterns or any tableware the bride and groom may have on their registry especially those special serving pieces for salad, pasta, cake, or lasagna.

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Celebrate Spring In Style

Julie Jurden

After a few warmer days we are starting to see the first signs of spring here. Daffodil leaves are pushing up through the leaf-covered grass and trees are beginning to bud! Feeling inspired, we decided to start on our spring tablescape for the holidays in the upcoming weeks.

Here is how you can design your own spring-inspired table:

  • Start with a gorgeous tablecloth. We chose a light lime green in linen. The color provides a perfect backdrop.
  • Grab green apples, clementines, oranges, strawberries, or even lemons, and pile them in our Intrecci baskets. These woven ceramic baskets come in a variety of beautiful colors. In our design we used white, purple and yellow.
  • Our Primavera collection makes the perfect place setting. Primavera is a celebration of the colors of spring. In this new collection, cerulean sky, and marigold mingle with earthy greens and browns, depicting a quintessentially spring floral motif. The collection also includes a playful plaid that mixes perfectly with the lively flowers.
  • For flatware we added a pop of orange with Via Veneto. These look especially great if you added clementines or oranges to your Intrecci baskets. 
  • Glassware was an easy choice as our Villa D' Este in Amber has just a hint of yellow.
  • Finally gather a bouquet of flowers and your table is ready to welcome your guests. 

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