March 18, 2009
I didn’t notice the Italian obsession for shoes until one day I was watching Italian TV with some American friends around. It was a cooking show (la prova del cuoco), and when the host appeared the first thing was a close up of her shoes. To me, it seemed normal. Then another show started, this time a show about legal procedures, immigration and citizenship (Sportello Italia); then my friends, who don’t speak Italian so they didn’t care about what was being said, noticed that every 30 seconds the camera made a close up of the host’s shoes. That time I agreed it was a bit strange, albeit a very Italian thing.
SO Italian, and yet even I was surprised when I went to the Italian-themed 2009 Philadelphia Flower Show just some days ago. Not only magnificent flowers (amazing tulips by the way) but also shoes everywhere! OK, the shoes were made of and/or decorated with flowers or things you normally find in a garden… but everyone must agree with the fact that you can find shoes only in an Italian-themed flower show! In fact, the Milan setting was all about clothes, accessories, and shoes! It was FABULOUS!!! However, at first glance it wasn’t that obvious it was a display for a flower show. Alta moda was the name of the Milan theme, which means high fashion in Italian.
Of course, there was another recurrent subject in the show. Can you guess? Food and wine, of course!!! Fashion and food, arts and beauty… you just can’t get more Italian than this! So, every part of the show had some food-related arrangements. There was even a part fully dedicated to various gorgeous Italian tablescapes!
The Bella Italia 2009 Philadelphia flower show was really nice. Sometimes embracing some stereotypes, but that’s part of the show, right? Even so, the central theme, which was all about Rome, was a bit tacky. I liked the Roman gardens though. The Venice theme was spectacular, very baroque. It even had a gondola and a bridge over a Venetian canal. The lake region theme was incredibly pretty. The San Remo theme was glamorous and chic. In the Tuscany theme there was a tablescape with real salame and Italian cheese (I must confess I almost jumped into the exhibit to eat it)! But again, the Milan theme was just stunning.
They had olive oil tasting, wine tasting… you were able even to buy Italian furniture or a Vespa!
Oh, and Danny DeVito was there signing his Limoncello bottles for his Italian American fans from New Jersey.