Let’s talk to the President

June 13, 2010


Sometimes we see just the result. We don’t pay too much attention to the process behind it, but we focus on what appears at the end. Maybe, however, it is not the most important thing: what is more relevant, instead, is what is hidden, what is covered and unreveiled. This happens especially during big events: we look at the amount of people, the colors, the appealing events, we listen to the sounds, we sniff to the scents. This happened, for sure, for Orticola too.

But let’s stop for a moment and check what the President of the Association Orticola di Lombardia, Gianluca Brivio Sforza, has told me about the mostra-mercato during an interview.

1) Which are the main activities of “Associazione Orticola”?

From 1854, when it was founded, the patrimony of the old knowledge, remembering  the care for flowers, always taken here in Lombardia, and the will to follow the “culture of green” and the defense of  natural areas, are handed through the management of a specialized archive and some social activities, such as trips, conferences, periodical meetings and a consulting service for members.

2) Which are the goals of the Association? Do you follow a specific strategy?

“Associazione Orticola di Lombardia” is one of the first Italian modern institutions that has promoted the knowledge of plants, the art of the gardens and the green landscape.

3) How did you come up with the idea of organizing a “mostra-mercato” focused on a topic sometimes “silent”, dealt in very few occasions, such as this one of flowers and plants?

15 years ago an event like Orticola definitely missed in Milan, and they were rare outside the city too. Then, they are 15 years we have been organizing it every May, in the public gardens of Via Palestro, with the support of Comune di Milano. It is an important and cultured appointment, an occasion to go out and do something in favour of the collectivity, being the main goal the fund raising for the public green of Milan. Indeed in the latest years it has renewed Giardini Perego, in Via dei Giardini, realizing new plays for kids as well. During the next three years it is going to collaborate with Università degli Studi of Milan in order to recover and valorize again Orto Botanico of Brera.

4) How does the exhibition work? How many people deal with the organization?

At the beginning they were just three, helped by many voluntary members for the hand labor. Now, we are 5 in the steering commitee and we have an association that follows all the “practical” matters, such as graphic, ads, communication and sponsorships.

5)Which are the dynamics that move it? Which are the hidden process, those one s that simple visitors like us cannot see?

There is a careful research of the specialized exhibitors and of the cultural content, in order to figure out new projects and make them real.

6) How is “mostra” financed?

With the incomes of the previous years, such as entrances and sponsors.   

7) Who are the stakeholders? Is it difficult to have a relationship with them?

The strength of the Association is that everyone involved gives his own support constantly, in every moment.

8) Are you satisfied about the results of the latest mostra-mercato?

It is our second best result, and it has been raining and cold for all the four days. Therefore, I can be pretty satisfied!

9) Could you please reveal some peculiarity, some backgrounds of this latest edition?

The peculiarity is that we have started a design competition and in the next years it will be surely, among the others, one of our stable event.


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