Where To Be Italian in London

Almost 150,000 Italians call the United Kingdom home; these isn’t a culture that just settles subtly into London life - they make sure that Italy’s presence in the city is big. This is one of the main reasons there are plenty of Italian-related things to do in the British capital. From food to drinks, from art to community gatherings, London is just an extension of Italy’s colourful lifestyle for people to channel their inner Italians.

Italian Modern Art

London has a soft spot for Italian art. In fact, plenty of Italian artists have made their mark in the city through unique and focused exhibitions. With the increasing interest of Italian art worldwide that goes beyond Michelangelo and Caravaggio, galleries are opening up temporary exhibitions of contemporary Italian art. Such is the case with Tornabuoni Art London, a gallery focused on showcasing Italian art whose current exhibition is that of Alighiero Boetti, with a handful of rarely seen works of art by the late twentieth century artist.

Other artists, such as Aristide Loria (known artistically as Alo), also showcase their work in London. This Italian artist lives and works in the British capital since 2011, and his street art is widely recognised by aficionados of his geometric and abstract figures. His main focus is that of human feelings, and he likes to give the city a paint-over with his unique and colourful creations. Alo’s work isn’t only out on the streets of London, as many galleries have opened up their doors to exhibit his creations. He has London to thank for his fame, as this is where the self-taught artist first started working and where he garnered his fame.

Cinema Paradiso

Italian cinema is one of the most respected on a global scale. Often there are Italian film festivals worldwide screening the best from the Mediterranean country. London is no exception to this, but they have taken it a step further by actually hosting year-round Italian cinema projections. London is of great inspiration for film producers, writers, directors and actors. In fact, London is one of the places where a lot of European personalities of the industry settle to work and be known. Many Italians have contributed to the British life through media and entertainment such as Frankie Dettori, Marco Pierre White, Eduardo Paolozzi, and even Christopher Lee (don’t be fooled by his name; he is, in fact, Italian).

Other countries also like to contribute to the Italian cinema attraction. In fact, the Institut Français in London hosts an annual Italian cinema festival where they work to showcase the very best work by top contemporary Italian directors in an effort to have Italian film respected on a global level. This year’s highlights included Anna by Giuseppe Gaudino and The First Light by Vincenzo Marra.

Culture, Art, and Others

The Italian Cultural Institute in London is a great place to be Italian. They host a wide array of interesting cultural and social events for Italians and lovers of the culture. Through October 20th, Italian contemporary art will be displayed at the Institute with works from the MA*GA Museum collection. Michelangelo will also be present in London at the Blenheim Art Foundation, where the exhibition will celebrate the extensive works of the artist’s prolific career.

Amongst other activities organised alongside the Institute, Simonetta Agnello Hornby will be presenting her newest novel, Caffé Amaro, and jazz musicians Paolo Alderighi and Stephanie Trick (who is from the United States), will perform a piano project that will showcase their blues repertoire, as well as songs from the swings era.

For those fans of Trino, the cartoonist and illustrator behind the brilliant and satirical cartoons, Francesco Tullio Altan, will be giving a talk in October about his work, motivations and inspirations at the Institute for free.