The Italia Fiorano Standard (price in Finland approx. 640 €) is a beautiful thinline, double-cutaway semi.
The Fiorano’s body is made by routing large pockets into the front of a solid mahogany body. In contrast to Italia’s Rimini 6 or Mondial Deluxe models the Fiorano doesn’t have a full centre block, though, but features an opening in the block between the guitar’s pickups. The body is then finished by glueing on a bound spruce top.
Hard rock maple is used for the Fiorano Standard’s neck.
The modern tuning machines are embossed with the I-for-Italia logo, and work very nicely.
The bound fretboard sports Italia’s stylish inlays, consisting of pearloid blocks and abalone dots.
The Fiorano Standard’s neck is glued in at the 19th fret.
Great to see Italia using a modern version of the venerable Tune-o-Matic-bridge. The updated design does away with the annoying and ever-rattling piece of wire, used to keep the bridge saddles in place in the vintage version.
The snazzy chrome tailpiece adds its own bit of panache to this stylish semi.
As you might know by now, I’m something of a P-90 fan. The Fiorano Standard comes equipped with not one, but two of my favourite pickups. These are made by Wilkinson and come with chromed dog-ear covers.
Like many of Italia’s models, the Fiorano also features a sping-suspended plastic tray as an unusual control cavity cover. The electronics comprise a three-way toggle, as well as master volume and tone controls.
Italia’s Mondial Deluxe (price in Finland approx. 675 €) is a genuine semiacoustic hybrid, offering you a piezo-equipped bridge (and active preamp) for acoustic-style guitar sounds alongside its traditional magnetic humbuckers.
Thinline-type mahogany body is mated to a maple top, which sports a very fetching Rickenbacker/Mosrite-style German Carve -edge. The top’s edges have been left natural, constituting what is usually called ”fake binding”.
The Mondial comes with a set maple neck.
You can also see the quick-release battery compartment for the 9 V battery used to power the piezo preamp.
Italia’s top nut is made from a self-lubricating material containing graphite.
We find the same decent-quality tuners on Mondial Deluxe as on the Fiorano.
Look at the all the nice hues of blues and greens in the guitar’s abalone dots!
The Mondial’s bridge may look identical to the Fiorano’s, but this here is a piezo-equipped model. There’s a thin lead going from beneath the bridge and through the maple top to feed the piezo signal to the preamp.
”I” – stands for Italia…
Two vintage-voiced Wilkinson WVC-humbuckers handle magnetic duties on the Mondial Deluxe.
The sliders on the guitar’s shoulder control the piezo side’s three-band EQ.
The magnetic signal is fed to a three-way toggle selector and master volume and tone controls.
There’s a dedicated volume control for the piezo signal, as well as a second output jack, enabling you to feed the acoustic side to a mixing console or a dedicated acoustic amplifier.
Italia’s Fiorano Standard is just the guiar for me. It is comfortably lightweight and balances nicely. Its relatively thin body sits nicely against your belly/ribcage, even without any contouring or bevels.
The neck has a nice, mid-depth C-profile, which will feel comfortable to most players. The Fiorano arrived extremely well set-up with a slinky action (E: 1.9 mm/e: 1.7 mm).
Even if you cannot expect a thinline guitar, such as the Fiorano Standard, to out-shout a fat Jazz guitar, the Italia’s spruce-topped mahogany body results in a warm and woody acoustic voice.
In my opinion, P-90s are the best choice for a guitar of this type, because their singlecoil construction makes for a more percussive and dynamic tone than what you’d get from a creamy humbucker.
Played into a clean amp channel you’ll get a nice, clucky attack and a open, yet strong overall voice, that will fit Jazz just as well as Brit Pop, Country, Blues or early Rock’n’Roll (why not add a Bigsby, perhaps?):
If you’re after warm, rich and dynamic dirty tones P-90s are just the ticket! The Fiorano Standard will work great for any Beatles-, Kinks- or Who-inspired player, as well as George Thorogood-style electric Blues:
Italia’s Mondial Deluxe is a medium-weight instrument. The well-executed German Carve and very clean fake binding make this guitar look more expensive than it really is.
The neck’s D-profile feels really good. Thanks to its clean fretwork and fine set-up this instrument also plays great (E: 2.0 mm/e: 1.3 mm).
Unplugged, Italia’s Mondial Deluxe is rather quiet, but its fresh acoustic voice and clear attack bode well for things to come.
This hybrid’s piezo sound was the real surprise for me in this review. Italia’s piezo system simply sounds that good and genuinely ”acoustic”:
Naturally, it’s good to hear the Mondial’s magnetic side perform to equally high standards. This guitar’s vintage-voiced Wilkinsons do a fine job of translating the Mondial’s fresh unplugged voice into nice clean tones:
Switching over to the distortion channel will turn the Mondial into a Seventies-style Blues Rock machine:
It’s nigh on impossible not to get a crush on these Italia-guitars: Both the Fiorano Standard and the Mondial Deluxe are distinctly different from the mainstream of guitars on the market, but their design idiosyncrasies never get in the way of easy playability and great sound. If you want to steer clear of the usual copies, bust still look for a guitar with its own charm, you should definitely check out an Italia.
Italia Guitars – Fiorano Standard + Mondial Deluxe
Fiorano Standard – approx. 640 €
Mondial Deluxe – approx. 675 €
Finnish distributor: R-JAM Group
Pros (both models):
+ idiosyncratic design