VERONA, ITALY – Veronafiere, the management of Marmomac, recently headed to Chicago, IL, with a delegation of 12 companies in the natural stone sector to promote the use of natural stone in design. The group included 10 Italian stone producers and two from Portugal. The mission of the trip, which took place May 14 to 16, 2024, was to contact architects, interior designers and contractors, and thereby find new opportunities for stone material in large construction projects and the luxury sector.

Chicago was the selected city because it is the third most populous metropolis in the U.S. and home to some of the most famous architecture studios. Among the stone producers who participated in the delegation were: BG Basaltite (Viterbo), Marmi Scala (Verona), Porfido Trentino (Trento), Athena Marmi (Vicenza), Agglotech (Verona), Marmobon-Domos (Verona), Cancian Pavimenti (Verona), Antolini Luigi & C. (Verona), Moca Stone (Portugal), Granumlux (Portugal), Ionia Pietre (Verona) and Nikolaus Bagnara (Verona).

For three days, the delegation had a busy agenda of B2B meetings with 30 of the most renowned architecture and design firms in Chicago. These include Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Lamar Johnson Collaborative and Aria Group -- some of the most important studios in the world. This program of events was developed by Veronafiere-Marmomac in collaboration with the Italian-American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest.

The choice of Chicago confirms the strategic importance of the U.S. for the natural stone products, especially for Made in Italy: thanks to 227.6 million euros of imports in the first half of 2023 (latest available data. Source: Centro Studi Confindustria Marmomacchine), the U.S. is the top outlet market for Italian slabs and processed materials.

"This initiative confirms the landmark status of Marmomac for the promotion of natural stone materials on the stage of the leading international markets,” explained Raul Barbieri, sales director at Veronafiere, “We opted for Chicago because of its global reputation as a center of excellence for modern architecture and design. Contact with the leading local professionals in these two sectors is an extraordinary opportunity for companies not only as regards the North American market, but also as a way to open up possibilities for new collaborations in other areas of the world where these firms operate.”  

The trade mission to Chicago is another step in the run-up to Marmomac 2024, scheduled for September 24 to 27, 2024 at the Verona Exhibition Centre ( Last year’s exhibition was attended by 1,507 exhibiting companies from 54 countries and attracted more than 51,000 industry professional (66% international from 138 countries, including 1,895 from the U.S.