Giorgio de Mitri’s map of Italy

Giorgio de Mitri, Creative Director of Sartoria Comunicazione, on the Legacy of Light

GB Tell me about the map you’ve chosen.

GdM It’s a map that my grandfather made in the late 1950s. He was a teacher and this was his blueprint. There is an alphabetical list of names and each one corresponds to an exact location. You touch the black dots and if you connect a pair correctly the red light flashes.

GB So it’s beautiful to you for lots of reasons?

GdM Yes, the first is sentimental because my grandfather taught me so much. Then it has the beauty of out of the box thinking. And also there’s a romantic value. Italy has so many beautiful places, I would love to travel the whole country in a carriage like a 19th century Grand Tour.

GB Italy has such a rich cultural heritage from ancient Rome to the Baroque to now. It seems to be the home of Beauty. Do you see a lot of this now?

GdM In Italy there are great artisans. Remember Madonna wore the T-shirt that said “Italians do it better.” I think we have a great gift for craft here, from food to mechanics to avant-garde art. It’s a wide spectrum. From balsamic vinegar to the Ferrari!

GB You work with so many contemporary artists. Do you think they care about beauty too?

GdM Well beauty is in the eye of the beholder – but yes in the world of photography and sculpture there is so much. You have to look, to see the light. I am close to many amazing artists and their work is full of beauty but then also a quick snapshot on Instagram, taken in a second, can be beautiful. You have to allow beauty to have that space in your mind, to slow down and abstract yourself. Someone said, “Time does not exist, the clock exists.” You have to be kind to yourself, to find that peace.

GB And your grandfather’s map inspires you to take this time.

GdM Yes, for me it’s a symbol of his genius and the fact that he was a beautiful human being. It’s a reminder of where I come from. My uncle found it in my grandparent’s belongings. And the beauty even goes beyond the map itself to my uncle’s face when he brought it to me and it was there in the face of my assistant when I gave it to him to be restored.

GB What makes something worthy of the word Beauty to you?

GdM Kindness and light. Without light you don’t get to see, without kindness you don’t give yourself the time to look.

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