Archive for the ‘Orticola – On (F)air’ Category


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.


Fuori Orticola

June 2, 2010

Orticola is not just a fair-market: it is also a chance to exhibit some works of art, related to flowers… of course! For this occasion, 11 of Luigi Scrosati’s paintings are now shown in the Museum Bagatti Valsecchi.




He was a painter of flowers, in Milan of 18th century, andthese works come from private collections, so they are impossible to be seen in other occasions. Hence, a little exhibition in a precious place, we could say.



A short focus on the Museum House.

 In 1883 with the restoration of the building, the brothers Fausto and Giuseppe Bagatti Valsecchi crowned their dream of a house inspired by the noble houses of 16th century Lombardy. Personal involved in the interior design and decoration, they added their collection of 15-16th century paintings and artefacts. The museum, then, opened in 1994.

Interesting news for the one mad about design: a surprising chronological crossover  among pieces of design and period furnishing and artworks. Bagatti Valsecchi museum, Boschi Di Stefano Museum House, Poldi Pezzoli Museum and Villa Necchi Campiglio had hosted the exhibition “Unexpected Guests. Yesterday Homes, Today’s Design”, where design objects  from the last decade interacted with locations of the past. Contributed to this incredible and fascinating project and to create cross-referencing, differences and contrasts really big names of the design world, such as Maarten Baas, Marc Sadler and Ettore Sottsass (the grandfather of Italian design).



Anne Rees: a hobbyist’s point of view

May 23, 2010

She loves food, shoes and nail polish;

she hates America;

she thinks English is the best language in the world;

she is too vital (surely, more than us);

she is Anne Rees, my English teacher during these two semesters of University.

Oh, I forgot! She loves flowers as well, of course! :-)

Talking to her during one class, she said she likes blossoms and takes care of them, and since I told her about myblog, everytime she has some news about them, she tells me.

For instance, it happened when she went to Orticola, some days ago. Therefore, I coldn’t waste the chance to ask her what she did and her impressions too about that day.

This is what she told me:

“The other day I went to Orticola in the Giardini Pubblici, and each time I go it seems to be getting bigger and more varied. It was a beatiful day, not too hot, so neither the flowers, nor the visitors were wilting. The best time to go is in the morning before the crowds arrive. This year I noticed you could hire little green wheelbarrows to carry your purchase around; unfortunately, coming by underground means that you can’t really buy as much as you’d like to.

What is really nice is the relaxed atmosphere. The stallholders are all willing to give you information and advice, even if you don’t buy from them. I particularly like the stalls which oly sell one kind of plant. There were spectacular ones devoted to geraniums of all kinds, but my favourite is the one which specialises in lavenders. The had a lot of unusual kinds but not, unfortunately, the kind I was looking for, real English lavender.

Of course there were a lot of roses, but living in Monza and visiting he rose gardens there, I feel I’m a bit of an “expert”, so I was not unduly impressed by the variety. there was one which caught my eye though (and my nose): it was a striped rose called “Scentsation”.


Me @ the fair

May 23, 2010

As I told you, last Saturday I went to Orticola: such a lovely event!

It was drizzleling (and in fact I hate the rain!) but, since I’m doing this blog, I couldn’t have missed it. I think it’s the biggest fair-market in Milan or, at least, it’s surely the most famous.

This year, it organized a lot of little events, such as a fun treasure hunt, a competition among some designers for furniture and tools already in production, a stand where a florist showed how to create a bunch of fresh flowers, or a special place, all dedicated to children, providing labs and activities for kids 1-8 year old.

It joined also some partnerships with “Casa & Country”, a magazine distributed to all registered visitors, My style, that created a bag, and Henry Cotton’s which realized some aprons.

The ticket price was 7 € (last year it was 6.5€) and there were 160 exhibitors, other signs that its notoriety is growing.

Despite the rain, lots of people were there (honestly, some women had really odd hats!), and I really enjoyed it: it was a very nice experience, especially because I could notice how arrengers’ passion can drive to organize such a big event, and visitors’ one can join each other.

Still, just one thing missed: guess what? The sun, of course!


Mostra Mercato Orticola

March 8, 2010

On 7th May will go on stage the 15th edition of Orticola, a fair-market of flowers and plants organized by “Orticola of Lombardia” and sponsored by Comune di Milano. The fair will be placed  at Giardini Pubblici “Indro Montanelli“, via Palestro, and it will go on till 9th may.

During the latest years, Orticola has become the “green appointment” for thousands of people, not only from Milan. In 2009, there were 35.000 visitors, 10.000 mq of exposition and more than 150 exhibitors.

It would be a great idea to spend a fragrant weekend of spring in order to wander about such a big fair and, why not, buy a flower that could make your day glad!

I will go there and I will tell you some good news! Hope to meet you there! :-)

Here is the link:

One of Maria Pettinaroli’s work of art, a young Milanese artist, made by papers and exposed at Spazio Milano in Piazza Cordusio and, during the fair-market, also at Alessi‘s showroom.