Antonella Rizza is one of the top Italian fashion talents in luxury knitwear & swimwear
With summer quickly approaching, we’ve got Italian fashion—and a world full of fabulous summer destinations—on our minds.
We reached Antonella Rizza, the label from the same part of Italy as Brunello Cucinelli, to discuss Italy, COVID-19, and what to wear this summer.
*This interview was partially translated from Italian into English.
Antonella Rizza is a brand with a double philosophy: on one hand, the search for calm marked by contact with nature, and on the other—exuberance, resoluteness, and a desire for the unconventional.
Why Antonella Rizza is rooted in knitwear
Q: You take inspiration from the Umbria region, which is known for its knitwear. Tell us a bit about the significance of Umbria and why Antonella Rizza is rooted in knitwear.
Umbria is characterized by gentle peaks covered with luxuriant woods and by large valleys drawn by rivers, lakes and waterfalls; hills in the area are often crowned by enchanting villages and suggestive castles, crossed by untainted paths steeped in history, art and culture, in a naturalistic context that restores the body and soul.
This is the Green Heart of Italy and right against the background of this scenario at the beginning of the 1900s an activity that had stopped for a few centuries returned to be reborn: weaving.
Small artisans began to dust off old looms and within a few years, thanks to their passion and the evolution of the machinery used, they lead the textile sector to grow until it becomes an absolute excellence of the region; an excellence that started from small domestic workshops which, during the 1900s, evolved into factories and companies still in business today.
Antonella Rizza could not avoid being influenced by the traditions of her homeland and that is why her brand is based on the meticulous choice of fine yarns, on the care of the workmanship and the constant search for new trends.
The designer, driven by an unconditional passion for aesthetics, beauty and details, manages to create creations of the highest quality that aim for perfection. Creative ideas that come to life by expressing themselves through refined, refined and unconventional details. These are the canons that characterize the Antonella Rizza collection and that reflect the soul of its designer.
Unique Italian fashion
Q: What makes your designs unique? What makes them special?
Antonella Rizza is a brand with a double philosophy: on one hand, the search for calm marked by contact with nature and confidentiality; on the other—exuberance, which becomes resoluteness and desire for unconventional.
The luxury knitwear and swimwear collection is designed for leading, strong, independent women looking for uniqueness. Women who play with the versatility of garments and fabrics. A riot of glamour, color, quality and originality.
Q: Tourists have come to Italy for years to discover new names in luxury Italian fashion. Why do you think Italians are so good at craftsmanship and design?
Fashion is an element that characterizes and marks every area of contemporary life, especially in a country like ours which has made “Made in Italy” its calling card on the international market.
The prestige of Italian fashion industry in the world is due to a range of products of excellence which are recognized with unique distinctive characteristics: the high quality level of the materials used, the refined style, innovation, attention to detail, craftsmanship. These elements define the “Made in Italy” moniker and are why so many luxury goods are made in Italy.
Italians speak of feelings and experiences, and they have a cult of beauty inherent in their DNA. “Clothing, food, architecture, design and music” are the beauty and the very soul of Italy.
Products and services that have a strong identity are loved by consumers, who help build the culture and community behind a brand. These are the elements of “Italianness” that inspired the consumption of food, fashion and music.
Italy is a Republic founded on beauty: for centuries the Italian people have invested in study, research and art, giving life to the wonders that surround us. In this context, the excellence of architecture, fashion and design took shape, up to one of the great pleasures of life that distinguishes our country: food.
The good table of an Italian restaurant is a combination of all these characteristics, it is an experience in its pure state, it is the epicenter of good living, it is the meeting point between beauty and well-being.
The future of Italian tourism
Q: On the subject of tourism—2020 was a challenging year for everyone, but also a year of reflection and creative idle. What positives have come out of the last year, for you or for the business?
2020 was a challenging year for everyone, a year that will go down in history!
However, despite everything, we did not get down, we got up and brought out the best in ourselves. It has given us the opportunity to look to the future with a different awareness and outlook, it has allowed us to appreciate the past, it has forced us to stop and become aware of the true values that give meaning to our existence.
A pause that led us to communicate more consciously, which united us beyond physical distances. In this year, so different and complex, we have focused on beauty, on the true value essence of Made in Italy, made unique by research and craftsmanship at the expense of Fast Fashion.
The foundations of tradition, combined with the drive to always create something new, have been our benchmark for designing the future.
Q: As an insider, what are your favorite spots in Italy to eat, take aperitivo, and shop? Favorite bars? Best historical/touristic spots to see? Are there any places you would suggest our readers not miss if they visit (when we can travel more freely again)?
In our opinion, all of Italy is beautiful to visit! At least once in their life, everyone should take a trip from north to south of the Bel Paese! Italy is a wonderful and unique place in the world.
A country rich in art and history, renowned for its craftsmanship and adored for its food and wine heritage in every corner of the planet. Italy lives and brings to life unique and authentic experiences through villages, museums, monuments and countless typical local products, which vary from region to region and city to city, a bit like dialects.
Italy is the cradle of beauty and bio-diversity: we are the country with the largest number of Unesco heritage sites in the world. And the one that has the greatest biodiversity in the world in terms of fauna and plant species in terms of the ratio between surface and absolute numbers. And this diversity in the cradle of the Mediterranean is our true wealth. An intrinsic wealth, a fortune to be loved, preserved, valued. And of which, as Italians, we are very proud!
The Antonella Rizza guide to Umbria
When you can finally return to travel freely, we recommend that you come and discover or rediscover Italy and start your journey from Umbria, our magical land!
Here you can visit the wonderful Assisi, the city of San Francesco, the noble Perugia, with its history made up of Etruscan monuments and medieval testimonies, the small and enchanting Spello, the elegant Spoleto, the suggestive Orvieto, the Marmore waterfalls, the highest in Italy, and Lake Trasimeno, with its three characteristic islands.
Antonella Rizza is headquartered in this unique context, right at the foot of Assisi. One of the most famous destinations in the world where you can experience incomparable moments, perhaps trying the thermal experience of the exclusive SPA NUN Resort, a luxury spa that overlooks the Umbrian valley, or dining at the Locanda del Cardinale, an enchanted place below a frescoed sky, where every dish becomes excellence.
But the beauties of the region are told by many small pearls scattered throughout the territory: from Montefalco, with its views and the beautiful San Francesco Museum, but also with a terroir full of wineries and suited to Sagrantino, one of the finest red wines in Italy.
Italy, up to Bevagna, a medieval village among the most beautiful of the boot, is famous for the historical re-enactment of the Mercato delle Gaite, admired all over the world. And again the naturalistic beauties of Valnerina, known for its truffles, for its food and wine excellences, for its butchery, for its rivers and for two jewels such as Cascia, the city of Santa Rita, and Norcia, the city of San Benedetto (famous for its water).
Moving south you can be surprised by the lake of Pediluco, a small corner of Paradise, or by the inlets of the Tiber which at Baschi forms the Corbara lake, on whose banks you can stop to take advantage of one of the most famous tables of ‘Italy, that of starred chef Gianfranco Vissani who has his splendid restaurant right here. Moving towards the north of the region, one cannot fail to mention the wonderful city of Gubbio with its panoramic square and its Roman theater or the small but enchanting Montone, another auteur village home to a film festival presided over by none other than the acclaimed director Terry Gilliam.
Moving westwards you arrive at the lake area and then towards the border between Lazio and Tuscany you will discover another small pearl: Città della Pieve, known for its beautiful architecture and for the precious saffron.
To this mosaic of villages and designer destinations we must then add a network of quality events that have always distinguished our region: Umbria Jazz, the famous Jazz festival held in July in Perugia, the Festival dei Due Mondi, another spectacular container culture of music, theater and dance in Spoleto between June and August, or the Festival of Nations, which animates Città di Castello between August and September.
But if Umbria represents the beginning of your journey being the heart, even geographic, of Italy, then you can later make it a base to move north or south.
Where to visit in Tuscany
To the north, an obligatory stop is Florence, less than two hours from Perugia, rich in artistic and historical beauties, cradle of the best of Italian art, where you can visit the Uffizi Museum, the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella and countless other places full of beauty.
Here luxury shopping is guaranteed and free time can be spent on a taste path that passes through one of the best places for a Fashion aperitif such as Le Ménagère, and then sublimated at the Panorama restaurant la Scaletta, where you can dine among the roofs of Florence.
Very beautiful are also the countless places overlooking the Arno river, where you can enjoy a good glass of red Montalcino at sunset, enjoying the splendid panorama of the historic Florentine buildings.
Where to visit around Milan
Further north, and just an hour and forty minutes by fast train from Florence, we arrive in the world capital of fashion and design: Milan, a real modern metropolis. Headquarters of the Italian stock exchange, it is a financial center famous for its restaurants and exclusive shops. The Gothic-style Cathedral and the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which houses the fresco “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci, testify to the artistic and cultural heritage of the city.
In Milan, the aperitif is a ritual that is consumed every day and that unites professionals and bankers, designers and students, stylists and artists in an endless number of places from the banks of the Navigli to the district in constant artistic and cultural ferment of Isola.
Among the most popular places for the Milanese jet set are the new and trendy Rooftops overlooking the new skyline of the city, such as the Ceresio 7 Pools & Restaurant or the Radio Rooftop Bar, a unique place with an international soul, extremely elegant.
If, on the other hand, you want to move south from Perugia, the first inevitable stop, 2 hours drive from the Umbrian capital, can only be Rome, the Eternal City.
Where to visit around Rome
The capital of Italy is a large cosmopolitan city with an artistic, architectural and cultural history that has influenced the whole world and dates back to almost 3000 years ago. There are thousands of activities, monuments to visit, places to discover and a book would not be enough to tell them all.
What we can recommend is a candlelit dinner at the Aroma Restaurant, a Michelin star in front of the Colosseum. Undoubtedly an important dinner but one that will remain in your heart forever. Luxury shopping in one of the most important streets Via Condotti is enhanced by the setting of the city’s monuments, which makes everything much more fascinating with its landing at the foot of Trinità dei Monti. And you can’t miss a visit to the Vatican Museums.
The South of Italy
Moving south you will be spoiled for choice: the beautiful Naples, the Amalfi Coast, a place that takes your breath away, Puglia with its beautiful cities, such as Trani, Bari, Alberobello, Lecce or Gallipoli. Calabria with its fascinating contrasts. Or Sicily, a small world of its own, made up of traditions, scents, unique flavors, unforgettable cuisine, extraordinary sweets, uncontaminated seas, beautiful islands and millenary history, such as the valley of the temples of Agrigento, the Ancient Theater of Taormina or the suggestive Ortigia Island in the heart of Syracuse.
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