Different shapes, colors and scents, find perfect balance in the Marche region, an inspiring place that stimulated the imagination of geniuses like Leopardi and Raphael, Rossini and Pergolesi. Aside from its famous personalities, this region, which already exerts an influence over the people who live there, is also known for the hard-working nature of its inhabitants who have strong ties to age-old artisan traditions. Traditions that run parallel to innovation and have forged the unique expertise of the Marche region. A new industry, focused on quality was invented here in the post-war period marked by poverty. Craftsmen became entrepreneurs, brands were created followed by industrial districts, often located in specific areas according to production specialization. This situation was consolidated in the 1970s and 80s and has now reached heights of excellence in many sectors, including design, furniture and lighting, and that of Poltrona Frau and iGuzzini. So, if you come here, bear in mind that the Marche region is not just a place built on the relics of its illustrious past, perpetuated in the cities and medieval villages as well as in workshops and artisan laboratories, but also a modern place built on technology and style. From Tolentino to Loreto, passing through Macerata and Recanati, be prepared to see the Marche region with new eyes.

iGuzzini lighting

It was in Recanati that, in 1959, Giovanni Guzzini decided to use a room in his home as a workshop and founded Harvey Creazioni, later iGuzzini illuminazione, laying the foundations of a brand that become part of the history of lighting. The company has always worked with the best architects, lighting designers and engineering firms to create cutting-edge, high-performance lighting projects that enhance architecture and spaces. It has brought light to cities and infrastructures, to places of culture, work, retail and hospitality & living. In step with historical, social and cultural changes and evolutions, the brand has innovated through technology and design. From a small company in the Marche region, it has become a large international group and a leader in the field of architectural lighting. The immense cultural and historical heritage is documented in the company’s archive, created in 1995, where the identity of the brand is outlined and a cross-section view of Italian design and business culture is provided. Aside from being a window into the vision of iGuzzini – which views light as a means of social innovation, capable of creating safer, more inclusive, comfortable spaces, of determining people’s mood and enhancing the colors and forms of nature and works of art – visitors are also taken on an emotional journey through Recanati, Macerata and Loreto. In these towns, iGuzzini’s lights are seamlessly integrated into the context, generating connections between people and landscapes, history, literature and design.

Recanati is Giacomo Leopardi’s hometown; quite rightly so. Despite being imbued with the figure of the poet, the town still retains its own charm, built on a thousand-year history. A signposted path leads to Mount Tabor where a high wall with a verse from Giacomo Leopardi’s poem states “Sempre caro mi fu quest’ermo colle” which marks the Colle dell’Infinito project. It is here that the Oscar-winning production designer, Dante Ferretti, has created a backdrop illuminated by romantic moonlight to enhance the landscape and evoke the spirit of Leopardi’s poems. Giacomo Leopard’s famous poem “L’Infinito” is set in these very places, in the portion of the hill occupied by the Orto delle Monache (Garden of the Nuns), which has been restored to its original natural state thanks to a project donated to FAI by the architect, Paolo Pejrone.

Macerata is a livable city whose charm can be discovered by walking around the ancient trapezium-shaped center, which is still partly surrounded by 15th and 16th century walls.   Here the local government has implemented a “Plan for Beauty”. The project, entrusted to the Academy of Fine Arts of Macerata, includes a review of the city’s lighting starting from some key points such as the Sferisterio – whose new lighting system was inaugurated last year to mark the opening of the Macerata Opera Festival – and Piazza della Libertà.

Finally, Loreto. People usually come to Loreto as pilgrims, not tourists. No matter what your reason is for visiting Loreto, you will be charmed by the spirituality of this town and its concentration of works of art of rare beauty. Visitors go straight to the Basilica, with its enormous dome – the third largest in Italy after those of St. Peter’s and Santa Maria del Fiore – and a pictorial cycle defined as the most challenging European sacred work between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Inside are the lovely sacristies, the Treasure Room and the Holy House, with a marble covering designed by Bramante. The facade, in the late Renaissance style, is enhanced by the new lighting project inaugurated in December 2019 on the occasion of the Lauretan Jubilee.

Poltrona Frau

Renzo Frau, born in Sardinia in 1881, created the Poltrona Frau artisan workshop in Turin in 1912. The workshop was not only a production center, but also a meeting point for artists and intellectuals, a space where ideas were born and projects were implemented. The business quickly prospered and Frau armchairs graced historical buildings and royal rooms, turning the company into a status symbol.

Fifty years later, Poltrona Frau was acquired by the Nazareno Gabrielli group and moved to Tolentino, in the heart of the Marche region, a hub for manufacturing companies specializing in leather processing. Here, it became a true player in the high-end furniture sector.

Today, Poltrona Frau is an expression of contemporary living, which translates to timeless models able to embrace the values of the past and quickly adapt to the future.  The company’s world and history are preserved at the Poltrona Frau Museum, designed by the architect, Michele De Lucchi. Inaugurated in 2012 to mark the brand’s one hundredth anniversary, it is an exhibition space in which to discover the history of the brand and the evolution of living styles through antique furniture, graphics, historical photos and archive documents.


Tolentino itself is also worth visiting. Situated on a natural terrace in the Chienti mid-valley, the medieval town is home to significant historical and architectural treasures. One of them is the Basilica di San Nicola, one of the most important sanctuaries in central Italy.

Housed in the monumental Palazzo Sangallo is MIUMOR, the International Museum of Humor in Art, universally recognized as a reference point for all foreign artists, scholars and fans of humor in general. The museum houses around 4,000 original works, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, prints and engravings, designed the most famous exponents of caricature and international humor from the nineteenth century to the present day, including Dudovich, Garretto, Steinberg, Folon, Eugenio Colmo “Golia” (Poltrona Frau illustrator), Nino Caffè, Ronald Searle, and Ivo Pannaggi. It was during the 1920s, in fact, that Pannaggi became part of the artistic and architectural Futurist movement, and later of the Bauhaus movement. This coincided with the time that Poltrona Frau also started experimenting with graphics aligned with Futurism, in the 1930s. One of the main works by Ivo Pannaggi – an extremely avantgarde artist and architect from Macerata – was the furnishings of Casa Zampini, charged with emotional, psychological and symbolic meaning, which are now exhibited in the Civic Museums, located in the eighteenth-century Palazzo Buonaccorsi.

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