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Ah Italy, the place for fashion, fun and amore. Funnily enough, we experienced all of those things last week when Lavazza whizzed us off to Milan for the launch of its new calendar for 2011 called Falling in Love in Italy (we’re lucky devils, we know).

We expect most of you will be well aware of Lavazza as a coffee company, but what some of you won’t know (and hey, we can’t all be know it alls) is just how involved in the fashion industry it is – but 19 years in the making producing much-coveted fashion calendars isn’t a bad way of drumming up the right sort of attention.

With only a limited number of calendars being produced and distributed to a handful of Lavazza’s loyal friends, they’re perhaps lesser-known than the popular Pirelli pieces, but that’s not to say they’re not as sought after. They’ve quickly become a cult item for collectors world-wide, and with previous years’ calendars being shot by the likes of Annie Lebovitz and Miles Alrdige – fashion photography elite – our expectations for next year’s were high as heaven.

Luckily, Falling in Love in Italy, courtesy of esteemed celebrity and fashion photographer Mark Seliger, went every way to meet them – but we’ll save details of that for our next post on the calendar.

For now, we want to brag tell you all about the suitably stylish launch party that accompanied the launch of Lavazza’s latest limited edition collectable.

After a brief, er, press briefing with Seliger and Francessa Lavazza (CEO) and a quick revamp in our hotel suite (one living room, two bathrooms, a kitchen, master bedroom and the biggest bed we’d ever seen – and yes, we are bragging), we were whisked off to the evening’s soiree for food and fun in a fantasy land.

A sleek white exhibition space lit red in places and left light in others, with a grand central staircase leading to run-away bridges and secret snooks in the corner, love bird benches, garden swings, the greenest grass floor and the most beautiful of fresh flowers and roses intertwined in the trellising, and heart-shaped chocolates candy-coloured sweets and delicate tea-lights hanging from the archways – yes, this was a Lavazza launch party alright, and boy did we fall in love.

And to keep our alcohol consumption brand awareness in check, we were treated to two new Lavazza flavours, courtesy of some especially well-trained baristas: an amaretto-based one – super sweet and creamy but the perfect component to end an evening meal, and a vodka-infused espresso specially-injected into a pomegranate – perhaps not the most practical of coffees, but a tasty way to spice up a party nonetheless.

All geared up to hear about the calendar now? Stay tuned, it’s coming next…

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