pixartprinting tells the story of milan through its storefronts
pixartprinting tells the story of milan through its storefronts pixartprinting tells the story of milan through its storefronts
may 16, 2016

pixartprinting tells the story of milan through its storefronts

pixartprinting tells the story of milan through its storefronts
(above) dr. cristian scotti and two employees show a monograph about ottica arnaldo chierichetti’s history
all images by marco valmarana / courtesy of pixartprinting




while the city of milan may epitomize the charms of modern italian life, its rich history and traditions shape a significant part of its vibrant culture and community. many of the restaurants and shops that line milan’s historic stone streets have thrived for decades, passed down within a family of business owners for generations.


in pursuit of relaying the story of this sophisticated city through the voices of its inhabitants, italian photographer marco valmarana has collaborated with pixartprinting on the series ‘milan re-tale’. the collection of images depict milanese shop owners standing proudly outside the entrances of their stores, taking viewers on a nostalgic tour of the city’s business icons and historic signage. alongside the images, short stories relay a compelling narrative about the people that make the place — like antonio grecchi, owner of a pastry shop; ada comoretto, proprietor of an electrical supplies store; and antony monticolombi of gelati sartori’s historic ice cream kiosk.

antonio grecchi at the entrance of his confectionery store, pasticceria grecchi




‘we learned about persistence, pride, passion, respect and dignity,’ the team describe, ‘about good grace, wisdom, humour, hope and irony. about fatalism, resistance, stories from the past and visions for the future. we are grateful to ‘our’ shop signs for their outbursts and bitterness (which never turns to desperation). for their wonderful italian (not a foregone conclusion). for their language, both wry and soft-spoken. with an aftertaste that feels like withheld sarcasm, so typical of the ‘real’ milanese.’


see the full collection of 30 images, alongside stories of each of the owners and their stores, on pixartprinting here.

ada comoretto on the doorstep of her electrical supplies store, comoretto

antony monticolombi ready to start dishing out gelati sartori’s historic kiosk’s delicacies

dr feltri and medical professionals stand in front of foglia farmacia’s shop-windows

francesco pettinaroli in front of his historic typography and bookbinding laboratory, pettinaroli

mr. fonti at the entrance of the store he contributed to save from abandonment, cartoleria fratelli bonvini

luca noli, son of owner leonardo, in front of the entrance to his tobacconist store, noli

massimo canziani outside cordusio, his shirt-maker store’s entrance

giovanni sarais and his son luca outside their isola winery

eleonora fornaro stands under the ’60s shop sign of her homeware store

the historic ginrosa bar’s two floors, steeped in a pink atmosphere

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