They say the “Days of the Blackbird” (i giorni della merla) are the coldest days of the year — the 72 hours in late January between the 29th, 30th and 31st — insisting on inhibiting any kind of outing, which is already intermittent in this period between orange and red color-coded regions. Still, the story seems to be more common in Northern Italy than Southern Italy. Why? Because like any good tradition, this one is passed down by word of mouth from one generation to the next — and more commonly in colder communities up north. Whatever the case, we haven’t registered a dip in degrees this surprising in years, lending a bit of added weight to this centuries-old popular belief.
As early as 1740, the last hours of January were referred to as the “Days of the Blackbird”. We know this because Sebastiano Pauli, a writer from Lucca and an expert in rhetoric born in 1684, claimed it was either due to a canon meant to cross the Po River or a story of true love. In the former, soldiers were forced to wait for this specific period in which the river would freeze over, allowing them to accompany the “Merla” canon to the other side. In the latter, a noble woman of Caravaggio under the name “de Merli” needed to cross the Po to reach her husband, and could only do so during the last days of January, when the river had frozen over.
In any case, today we look to a warm design to get us through this last bout of cold, transforming the home into a cozy cocoon. Between pellet stoves, fireplaces and towel-warmers, we embrace warm atmospheres that turn our apartments into small mountain shelters — and it’s easier to face the cold if we imagine a sloping rooftop overhead.
The Batyscafocus fireplace by Focus Camini is a swiveling, suspended domestic architecture holding the magical power of the flame — that of warming and illuminating a space with its extraordinary and natural visual effects. The warm hearth, stealing the spotlight in any room, descends from a narrow tube in the ceiling. The fireplace, in addition to warming, transforms atmospheres into welcoming nests where a fire works within an unexpected design frame.
The Mia pellet stove by Sara Ferrari for Olimpia Splendid reinterprets the traditional hearth with a contemporary design, articulated in various colors and models. The fire, warming not only physically but also metaphorically, transforms the room into a dynamic and cozy atmosphere, while the pellet stove adds a pinch of personalization. Mia is available in various models, ready to recall the past tradition of gathering around the fire and, why not, telling a timeless tale.
The 100 Righe towel-warmer by Caleido reinterprets warmth in the bathroom, cladding part of the wall and turning heat into a tangible force that’s useful and efficient. The alternating rhythms of design outline the space and spark a dialogue with the light, a natural element that’s reflected throughout the entire atmosphere to fill it and transform a tranquil, welcoming, and finally warm area.
The Ludde rug by Ikea recalls Nordic style as a symbol of minimalist hospitality and a cozy nest. The white sheepskin isolates the floors from our feet with a sweet softness that’s perfect for crafting a warm atmosphere. Versatile, it also adapts to chairs and sofas, lending them a soft and fluffy feel to face the cold winter.
For a little winter luxury, try this cashmere blanket. In addition to the material’s natural beauty, this piece from C&C Milano vaunts an impeccable craftsmanship hailing from the community of San Patrignano. Today, in the Rimini-based weaving center, 40 women work on wooden hand looms produced in the Eighties and inspired by the forms of 18th-century machines. Featuring natural tones and prized textiles, we seek and discover a sensation of real wellness and warmth.
The Dreaming 101 duvet cover is born from a centuries-old tradition by Minardi Piume, who since 1916 has crafted and cradled warm and sweet dreams. Dreaming 101 pads the sleeping experience and transforms it into a soothing, comfortable activity. Simple yet elegant, the duvet becomes an efficient piece uniting the aesthetic and quality of prized materials employed, including textiles and goose down. When sleeping is a true pleasure.
More than just warmth. Within the base of the Vireoo Pro table by Heureca Group sits a pragmatic system for warming up guests through a short range 550 watt infrared lamp. The rays awake the body’s cells, improving blood circulation and heating up the atmosphere — even in outdoor spaces. Considering the current global situation, it’s especially useful on balconies, terraces, patios and gardens, allowing us to enjoy every environment of the home.