In early April three of our team members, Ted Afetian, Phillip Sapon and Katie Akker, were part of a group given the opportunity to travel to Italy for the Kimball Office Annual Top Performer Appreciation Trip. This year’s trip was to Lake Como and Milan, two incredibly beautiful and inspiring cities.
It was an honor to be recognized as one of Kimball Office top sellers and to be invited on this trip. Experiencing different parts of the world, especially meccas of design and architecture, can really inspire you to think creatively and outside the box.
Experiencing The Culture & Design
Lake Como, in Northern Italy, is a dazzling resort area with a deep-blue lake framed by the Alps. The weather is generally mild due to the Mediterranean-like climate which allows the sub-tropical plants that pepper the landscape to grow year-round. The dramatic scenery is dotted with Mediterranean style villas along the shore, a very relaxing atmosphere.
Kimball Office provided a number of opportunities for all to partake in from scenic trips to delectable pallet tasting and creating food experiences. Such adventures included cooking classes with local chefs, a trip to Milan, a boat tour around the famous lake to local villages such as Bellagio and to eating extravaganzas at local villas. The awards dinner was hosted at Villa Erba, a 19th-century villa in Cernobbio, on the shores of Lake Como, Italy. It was built by Luigi Erba, brother of the prominent businessman Carlo Erba.
The trip to Milan was a huge contrast to the peacefulness of the lake but architecturally exciting. Milan, the “internationally accepted arbiter of taste in fashion and design” is located in the northern Lombardy region, south of Lake Como. It is a financial hub and known for its high-end dining and shopping. The Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral and the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent which houses the Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco “The Last Supper” testify to centuries of art and culture.
A side trip to Venice was an agenda item for some of the group. The architecture transported you through time and was breathtaking and inspiring. This photo is of Palace Hall in Venice (Palazzo Ducale) a palace built in Venetian Gothic style and one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice in northern Italy. Dating back to the 16th century, the room is 75” by 125” with no supporting columns. A feat for any time. The ceiling is supported by a structure within the ceiling (the gold woodwork, visible in the photo). It is incredible to think about the marvels achieved in this building, more than 500 years ago.
Filled with Inspiration and Appreciation
As we draw inspiration from European design today, we remember the enduring creations from centuries before us. How daring this must have seemed then!
Heartfelt thanks to Kimball Office for the extraordinary experience. We can’t wait for next year’s trip!