The birth of this publication goes back to a brilliant idea by the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D. C. which launched the project Italian Paths in 2011, on the occasion of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Italian Unification. This project’s goal was to focus on our great art heritage in the United States.
The Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles championed the idea and started an extensive research, which eventually turned to works outside of the museums walls. Beautiful examples of folk art, like the Watts Towers, and masterpieces of contemporary artists, such as Alberto Burri and Arnaldo and Giò Pomodoro have been also included.
The result is an engaging description of a broad collection of works of art, generating a captivating itinerary across Los Angeles’ vast territory. Every stop of this journey is an opportunity to discover different stages of Italian art, from ancient to modern times.
Through this unique guide, a visitor to the California metropolis will have a chance to explore many fascinating places bearing an Italian mark, and, at the same time, showing just how much the American people are interested in our culture.
I would especially like to thank the directors of the various museums and institutions involved in this project. Along with their staff, they offered many invaluable suggestions that helped make this publication possible. Finally, special thanks go to the Ambassador of Italy Claudio Bisogniero and to the Consul General of Italy Giuseppe Perrone, who strongly encouraged me to make this guide the best calling card for 2013, Year of Italian Culture in the United States.
Alberto Di Mauro
Director, Italian Cultural Institute