For over 30 years, the annual Cersaie exhibit in Bologna, Italy, has been an important showcase for the latest trends and innovations in ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings. Although economic hardships around the world have impacted various trade shows and conferences, this year’s Cersaie, held in late September, demonstrated serious staying power with its more than 75,000 visitors. The show revealed bold new directions for ceramic tile, including startling mix-and-match patterns, heavily textured wall surfaces, and illusory designs that have tile looking like anything but ceramic.
A country at the forefront of design, Italy has long struck a unique balance between innovation and tradition, and that mastery is evident in the country’s manufacture of ceramic tile, a process that dates back to antiquity but has come a long way. From Cottovietri’s boutique handcrafted collections to machine-made, digitally printed faux bois and faux marble styles, to flashy, glitter-infused selections from famous fashion houses including Roberto Cavalli, Versace, and Valentino, there were more than enough options on display to satisfy the purist, the minimalist, or the risk taker.