This is an alley in Venice featuring typical Italian paving.

When one thinks of Italy images of the old world come to mind. These images include meandering streets covered with aged cobblestones. Beautiful and intricate paving is characteristic to many Italian cities and villages. Visit Rome, Venice, Florence or Naples and you will surely set foot on some amazing paving materials. Enjoy some authentic lasagna on an outdoor patio and you'll likely be surrounded by intricate paving work.

In August of 2008 I took a trip down the Italian peninsula and couldn't help but notice the beautiful paving that lined the streets and markets. So, you would think that with so much of the real deal, Italians would have no interest in decorative concrete. Well, surprisingly, that's wrong. There is a large market for decorative concrete in Italy because it is an affordable and realistic way to recreate the look and feel of the older, more traditional paving materials. Many Italians are looking to recreate that old world charm that draws tourists with modern methods and supplies. Decorative concrete could not be more perfect for this purpose.

Ideal Work, the leading decorative concrete company in Europe has wisely taken advantage of the European desire for quality paving. They offer all of the innovative surface options that are available here in the States. This includes stamped concrete, stained concrete, micro-toppings, and vertical concrete systems. Ideal Work is based in the Veneto region of Italy, but their products have been used throughout Europe. Ideal Work systems can be seen in locations such as Disneyland Paris.

Photos of original Italian paving that I took while traveling through Italy.

The folks at Ideal Work partnered with Bob Harris of the Decorative Concrete Institute to create Paladiano, a line of concrete stamping tools inspired by traditional European paving materials. They took actual castings from the authentic stones, in locations such as Athens, Paris, Barcelona, Venice and Yorkshire, to create the tools. The Paladiano product line makes old world, European paving styles available to people around the world.

One of Ideal Work's newest and most versatile products is SassoItalia. SassoItalia is an exposed aggregate paving system that combines historic Italian terrazzo and modern polymer technologies. It is between 2cm - 4cm thick and can be freshly placed or used on an existing concrete slab. SassoItalia can be used both indoors and outdoors, it is simple to mix and apply, and can be polished. An exposed aggregate finish, like the one created with SassoItalia, is ideal for public squares and walkways because of its anti-slip finish. Additionally, SassoItalia is easy to clean and stain resistant due to the application of protective sealers.

Ideal Work provides training and products for concrete stamping, which can be used to mimic slate, stone, brick, cobbles or even wooden planks.

This patio features SassoItalia, an exposed aggregate paving system that offers a variety of decorative options.

Ideal Work reactive concrete stains were used on this floor to add color and highlights.

Ideal Work also offers decorative concrete trainings in Castelfranco Veneto, which is about 25 miles inland from Venice. They offer a basic training that focuses on stamped concrete, SassoItalia, and Ideal Wall. They also offer an advanced training that focuses on reactive stains and micro-toppings.

Ideal Work came into being in the mid 1990's with the goal of introducing decorative concrete to the Italian market. In just fifteen years, Ideal Work has not only introduced decorative concrete to Italy, but they have also trained contractors in Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, the Baltic states, Hungary, France, Ireland, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Isn't the worldwide appeal for decorative concrete amazing?

Thanks Ideal Work for popularizing decorative concrete in Italy and throughout Europe!

Ideal Work s.r.l.
Via Kennedy, 52 – 31030 Vallà di Riese Pio X (TV) Italy
Tel. (+39) 0423 4535
Fax. (+39) 0423 748429