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Ceramic Tiles of Italy is pleased to welcome the international design world to the Italian Pavilion for Sin City’s newest show in town: Coverings. From March 14-17, 2011, the Italian tile industry will share cutting-edge design with architects, designers, contractors, distributors and remodelers in the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission, Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics), and the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, the Ceramic Tiles of Italy Pavilion is a showcase for design-forward and sustainable collections Made In Italy. This year’s trend forecast features everything from porcelains with 3D textures and large, thin formats to digitally printed faux finishes and wallpaper-inspired mosaics. Attendees will also be treated to authentic Italian cuisine in the ever-popular café and coffee bar in the Pavilion.

The Ceramic Tiles of Italy central exhibit (Booth #4444), designed by minimalist architectMichael P. Johnson, will mix contemporary Italian design with a bit of Sin City flair. Dressed to impress a Las Vegas crowd, the booth will feature a range of collections from Italian manufacturers including:Atlas Concorde, Bardelli, Caesar Ceramiche, Coem, Cotto D’Este, Del Conca, Etruria design, Floor Gres, Marazzi, ProvenzaandRicchetti. Selected for their color, modular forms and innovative sizes, many of the tiles used in the booth design also contain a percentage of pre- and post-consumer recycled content.

For the first time in the Italian Pavilion’s history, the exhibit will be built on an elevated flooring system. A solution for uneven floors as well as an area to hide the passage of mechanical and electrical services, this system is ideal for a modern office or home renovation. Because tiles fit into the grid, they can be easily removed and reused. The booth will also feature two ventilated wall façades, clad in large format porcelain tiles provided byFloor GresandRicchetti, to demonstrate the ease of installation and technical benefits of this energy-saving system. After the show, the tiles will be donated to the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture for an upcoming project on the Taliesin campus in Arizona.

Surrounding the central stand will be nearly 50 exhibits from Ceramic Tiles of Italy member manufacturers. Attendees can take in an espresso and check out state-of-the-art architectural solutions and innovative design concepts found throughout the Italian Pavilion. It will be a source of information and inspiration. Following theCeramic Tiles of Italy Press ConferenceTuesday, March 15 at 4:00PM, representatives from the association will introduce the winners of the2011 Design Competition. After the conference, Ceramic Tiles of Italy will host its annual “Serata Italiana” and announce the recipient of theNorth American Distributor Award. This distinction celebrates the close connection between Italian tile manufacturers and their valued North American partners.

Knowing the importance of showing products in a real-life setting, Ceramic Tiles of Italy will also sponsor the second edition ofThe Installation Design Showcase. Chicago-based designer and HGTV star, Ali Azhara, will use new collections from several Italian tile companies to design a 10’ x 20’ vignette. It will be built by Artcraft, an NTCA installer, usingMAPEImaterials, and celebrated on Wednesday afternoon at an event on the show floor.

Like a real-life piazza, the Italian Pavilion will serve as a hub for attendees to gather during the tradeshow. In the centrally located café, the Pavilion’s long-running Italian culinary team – Carlo Donadoni and Graziano Sbroggio, of Spuntino in Miami – will serve pasta and other authentic Italian refreshments every day at the booth. In a new twist this year, they will create daily menus tied to four of the tile producing regions in Italy – Toscana, Campania, Emilia Romagna and Veneto – to give attendees a taste of the variety of the different areas of Italy.

During Coverings, attendees are encouraged to Twitpic their favorite Italian products by including@TilesofItalyand#COVERINGS2011in all posts.