Italy has nothing but its civilization to save its civilization. This motto appeared, in 1943, on the cover of Stile nos. 32-34, an issue that appeared miraculously after the bombing of the offices of its publisher (Garzanti). In this decade, spanning the war and the early post war period, the word that counted, for Gio Ponti, was still Italy and his most important work, alongside painting, was Stile, the magazine that for years (from 1941 to 1947) lived through the war and its aftermath with style.

The Italy that Ponti upheld was (as always) the one whose prominence lay in art including architecture and the applied arts -an Italy that was also to find expression, at the end of the forties, in the boom in art ceramics and in the decorative ingenuity of Gio Ponti himself. But it was the other Italy too, the bombed-out Italy to be rebuilt with the help of «standards of excellence, the charter of the home and the texts for reconstruction which Ponti and others with him impetuously published in Stile, in the newspapers, in pamphlets Cifre Parlanti, 1944, and in cahiers Verso la casa esatta, 1944 which involved both designers and industry. This Italy has not been spoken of since. Ponti himself was to emerge, in the end, from this impassioned solitude, also made up of books (soliloquies like II Coro, 1944, and L'architettura è un cristallo, 1945), of painting (allegorical: the frescoes in the Palazzo del Bo, the seat of the Rector of Padua University, 1940), and of work for the theatre (scenes and costumes for Stravinsky's Pulcinella at the Teatro della Triennale, 1940, and Gluck's Orpheus at La Sea-la, 1947- but Ponti dreamt of being a director). It was when he came back to Domus, in 1948, that he encountered the first stimulating comparisons with the outside world, and he resumed his travels (he went to Barcelona in 1949). In the last two years of the decade, which for good or evil were an anticipation of the fifties, Ponti's architecture (at the time more planned than built) reached a mature definition that was to find full expression in the coming decade.

From "Gio Ponti, l'opera" dby Lisa Licitra Ponti,1990, Leonardo Editore

  2. Villa Donegani
    Bordighera (Imperia)
  3. Ponti House (first version)
    Civate Brianza (Como)
  4. Villa in Via del Tiro a Volo
    Sanremo (Imperia)
  5. Swimming-pool of the Hotel Royal
    San Remo (Imperia)
  6. Villa Plodari
    Rapallo (Genoa)