We are living in truly strange and uncertain times. There is a silver lining amid this global pandemic lockdown though. Most nations are reporting cleaner air, cleaner water, and nature sort of healing itself. I, for one, am enjoying hearing more birds and frogs and seeing stars in the night sky for the first time in quite a while. And I don’t know about you but my car is getting a solid four weeks to the gallon! However, First Order Lego also sees a glimmer of hope, as do most of us, in a return back to normalcy.
A plane in the sky is becoming an increasingly rarer sight these days and it looks rather awe-inspiring in this composition. The low-angle view is well-suited here and I really enjoy the colors and textures of these balconies. Italy has been hard hit with the pandemic so this builder was inspired to build balconies with a Mediterranean feel complete with numerous plants. Italy, and the rest of the world, let’s stay home, stay strong and, if we listen to our healthcare officials, we should be back to normalcy in due time.
With all that is going on in the world today, it makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to travel again. Will I get to see Italy, with all of its beautiful architecture, from the Roman ruins to the Catholic cathedrals, in person? Maybe not; although, if airfare stays cheap, I might be able to afford it for once! But just in case I can’t make the trip myself, talented LEGO builders like Giacinto Consiglio bring a taste of Italy to me. In this case, it is St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. The architectural beauty is lovingly crafted for us in microscale, perfect for tiny statuette tourists and worshipers.
These days, I find it increasingly difficult to differentiate between good renders and photos of real bricks, but does it really matter when the building is done so well? The tower is fantastic, especially the windows. The winged lion representing St. Mark over the entrance is also lovely, as are all of the other saint statues with One Ring golden halos. But my favorite detail has to be that rose window on the south facade, with excellent use of the newer arch piece. It’s the best rose window I have seen in LEGO, at any scale. Now to go buy my plane tickets to pay a visit to the real thing!
When the master builders of the Renaissance were building things from bricks, they were not using ABS plastic like LEGO master builders do today. They were building with marble, constructing some of the most beautiful buildings ever built. The proportions, the balance, the arrangement of the different elements were intended to raise the hearts and spirits of those visiting to an experience of the supernatural. Scaled down and converted from marble to ABS, those same buildings remain awe-inspiring. Take this model of Santa Maria del Fiore, the cathedral of Florence, Italy. Perhaps bricksandtiles is not Arnolfo di Cambio or Filippo Brunelleschi, some of the men who designed various parts of it (the cathedral was under construction from 1296 until 1436, when the dome was completed and the church was consecrated, so lots had their hand on it), but nonetheless this LEGO version is spectacular in its own right.
The famed octagonal dome is built from countless rounded 1×2 plates, mimicking the tiled roof splendidly. Sand green grille tiles serve as green marble borders to the intricate multicolored inlays on the real thing. But there is a lot more inlaying of sand green with the white, brick built all over the place. With the tower and the baptistry, the whole structure is a massive LEGO build, worthy of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Of course, this is not the first version of the cathedral featured on The Brothers Brick; check out another LEGO Florence cathedral we featured last year.
Once you sample gelato, you won’t look at ice cream the same way anymore! It’s absolutely creamy and delightful, and a little bit goes a long way. Builder Sebastian-Z has taken the famous Italian dessert and given it a LEGO home. The architecture is iconically Italian, complete with an outdoor dining area and tall shuttered windows. Looking through the tall first-floor windows reveals a glimpse of the interior, though the exterior steals the limelight. The lighting in the central courtyard is a nice touch, as is the greenery alongside the building and crawling up its walls.
To be truly appreciated, the building is best viewed from multiple angles. I didn’t notice the sculpture in the courtyard until seeing this composite image. It’s a delicious looking build that will leave you exclaiming, “Buon appetito!”
Your hair and shoes look fabulous and you have just the perfect ensemble for a night on the town, but what can a Canadian-Italian girl do to accessorize? Thankfully Deborah Higdon has your solution with this LEGO-made purse. The clasp and even the strap are all LEGO elements. The Canadian maple leaf design is blazoned on one side while the Italian flag adorns the other. Both flags are comprised of 1 x 1 round tiles that can be changed out to go with any event, in this case Italian culture week.
Still need your ensemble for that special gala night? Deborah has you covered there with this totally wearable LEGO dress. She uses a technique she calls “Fa-brick” to make all her wearable LEGO creations. In an adult builder’s world heavily laden with castles, mechs and spaceships, it is refreshing to see someone rewrite the rules for what LEGO can be.
This gorgeous piece of Mediterranean architecture is brought to us by Italian builder Gabriele Rava. The church’s asymmetry works beautifully to highlight the bell tower, and the building is loaded with great details, from the mixture of white and tan for the peeling surfaces to the wonderfully simple dark orange textured roof over the nave. The small chapel sits atop a tall quay with a spacious courtyard, which is currently hosting a wedding attended by a wide variety of personages, up to and including Dumbledore officiating.
The Brothers Brick is a website dedicated to sharing amazing LEGO builds, news, and reviews. We generally write about things that make us happy. But it is with deep sadness that we must share the passing of an incredibly talented builder, Luca Di Lazzaro. The Italian native was a Deputy Commander for the Carabinieri station in Remanzacco, and an avid bicyclist. Unfortunately, it was a bicycling accident that ended his life at the young age of only 45.
We know Luca (pictured center) because of his presence in the Adult Fan of LEGO community. We have written many articles about his charming and wonderful creations, but we’d like to honor his memory by re-sharing a few of our favorites. You can click the links below to read those articles.
Cycling the Paris-Roubaix
Mamma mia! Che bella città!
Cast a coin into The Well of Desires
Udine, Italy’s Piazza San Giacomo in LEGO
If you don’t speak Italian, you can still read outside articles about Luca by pasting web addresses into Google Translate. If you’d just like to see more fantastic pictures of his work, check out his Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends. In the LEGO community he will be sorely missed.
Mediteranean aesthetic, both architectural and otherwise, is not very often portrayed in LEGO, but when it is, builders tend to capture it very well. Mouseketeer111 has done one of these renditions as a modular-style building, and I can say from first-hand experience that this scene reproduces the spirit of an old Italian town perfectly.
There are some simple elements that are important to conjure up the Mediterranean feeling, namely a barrel-tiled roof and Italian flags, but other details like bright colours, overgrown walls and the ice cream shop are what make this creation stand out. My favourite part, however, is the balcony. Not only is it well built, but it is photographed so that the shade looks even more inviting!
If you’re traveling through Northern Italy, you might encounter the picturesque city of Lecco. In his latest masterpiece, “Memories of Lecco”, Dario Minisini chose to model a representation of the city’s renowned waterfront architecture. I really enjoy the overall composition of this model, which has made an excellent use of color. The brown and lavender buildings make for an excellent contrast to one another, and the mixing of old light yellowish-gray and light blueish-gray bricks creates a vintage-looking patina that feels authentic.
There is certainly no shortage of charm here. What makes Dario’s model so memorable is the amount of thought and effort that went into incorporating so much detail. A look at the tree with half its leaves missing suggests Fall must be right around the corner. Weathered-looking roof shingles are made possible with parts such as the boat oar, and the benches utilize classic Fabuland fences to great effect.
When it comes to cars, Italy has a well-established pedigree. You may have heard of Fiat and Ferrari, but have you heard of Lancia? If not, let Lukasz Libuszewski educate you with his classy-looking 1922 Lancia Lambda. When it was introduced the Lambda was truly ahead of its time, in part because of its unibody construction and independent front suspension.
Lukasz’s version is a marvel of minifigure-scale engineering, as he has managed to capture elegant curves and angles in such a small model. The stacked wedge plates make for excellent hood louvers (the slotted design that helps ventilate the engine), and the minifig hands make for nice side mirrors. Hop on in and drive away!
We have been enjoying a taste of Italy in a series of photographs by brickexplorer on Instagram. First we take in the view of a gondolier cruising along the famous canals of Venice. I love the combination of natural elements (be that water, sky or earth) with LEGO built surroundings.
Next, let’s stroll through the narrow cobbled streets in the old town. A gatto is eyeing up a crossaint while some washing dries in the sun, what a peaceful scene.
Finally, as the sun goes down, it’s time to relax and enjoy some freshly made stone baked pizza. The lights inside the pizzeria make it seem so inviting, I’m not sure how far people travel to enjoy theis infamous pizza, it looks like a rocket has just landed on the left.
Sometimes great things take time to create, as is the case with the Milan Cathedral. Construction began in 1386, with the final details (a gate) being completed in 1965. Renovations on the magnificent building continue even today. Hopefully brickbink‘s version did not take six centuries.
This inspired version is recognizable as the famous landmark, with its beautiful doors and statues. The only thing missing is an exorbitant amount of pigeons.