July 28, 2009

Calabria Favorites on flickr

Click to enlarge:

1. Capo Vaticano, 2. in the metal sun (manchicani chi caddu), 3. Capo Vaticano, 4. The Square, 5. Caminia, 6. Capolino, 7. bagliore: ore 8, 8. corner of.....paradise, 9. par-asol, 10. complementari, 11. sunset show, 12. blue striped, 13. Pizzo Calabro, 14. Pizzo Calabro, 15. Pizzo Calabro, 16. Castello aragonese Murat di Pizzo di sera, 17. Beach Life Soverato Italy, 18. Pizzo Calabro Calabria, 19. 01, 20. pizzo calabro 02, 21. pizzo calabro 03, 22. decorazioni, 23. Pizzo Calabro, 24. gazing at the sea

Can't get enough of these beautiful impressions of bella Calabria !

Par-asol by Anna

Planning: Under the Roof

After having started the renovation from the outside, now, the interior renovation should start - top down - under the roof.

Since we have not been well organized while choosing the tiles for the terrace (we went into the shop and bought what we liked), this time, I want our team to commit to shared ideas.

Under the roof pitch the space is small and the ceiling is low.

So, I suggest a light color scheme. White walls, white ceiling (yes, the wooden beams need to be painted white!) and very light colored flooring. Maybe large natural stone, beige color or a white painted concrete floor.

Ralph Lauren's Jamaica residence via Cote de Texas

(sorry, no source ? )

The advantage of a light mono-color scheme:

  • the space feels larger

  • the ceiling feels higher

  • the felt room temperature is lower

  • it's an adaequate contrast to the blue terrace tiles and the sceenery

  • there will be enough color from furniture (a large blue sofa) and accessories

BTW, don't get jealous, our actual situation looks like this:


July 27, 2009

cancelli di ferro battuto

Another - good - result of long distance renovation:

Our iron gates, cancelli di ferro, are ready for mounting.

When I received an email this morning with the above subject and attachment, I was holding my breath until the attachement opened ... and I was so relieved when I saw it ! What a surprise!

What ? Surprise ? We had the draft of the design and agreed on it (below). Why surprise ?

WAIT - that's not the whole story.

Apparently, after we had agreed on the design, the 'artist' got inspired by my posts about iron gates (here and here). And he got a new idea. He wanted to integrate some design pattern that appears in our basement.

Maybe similar to my photo editing (below).

Okay, fine, we said. But, please send us a new drawing to make up our mind - soon.
And we waited and waited.

Yesterday, we asked again: "How about the new design?"

And here came the confusing answer:

"The gates are ready for mounting!"

"Scusi ?! What about the drawing ?! What if we do not like the design?"

The last message send out to Italy yesterday night:

"Please send photos immediately before mounting !"

So that's why, this morning, I am happy and relieved to see the gates made after the originally agreed design.

No extra pattern, no sweet curves, no flowers or hearts or "s".

What a nice surprise !

Now, let's wait how they look fixed - coming next.

July 22, 2009


Travellers CalabriaIn my hands I am holding the brand new Thomas Cook travellers guide about Calabria, written in English by Lara Dunston and Terry Carter. The photography is by the later. What a team!

And how lucky am I to have won one copy that I found in my mail yesterday ! Just in time before our holiday in Calabria. Thanks to Michelle from Bleeding Espresso, who has organized a lucky draw on her blog after having interviewed Lara for five days in a row. Grazie tutti!

I am so excited to read about Tropea and Pizzo and the restaurants and trips they recommend. I am surprised about some photo selection (by the editor?). The guide does not feature the common postcard motives - which is fantastic! So I had to look twice to recognize the road winding down to Pizzo's waterfront (p.65). Interesting new angles, and a statue at the piazza of Pizzo that I have missed so far (p.64).

But of course, I found already something to nag about :
What has a mafia crime to do in a history sheet of Calabria (p.11, 2007-2008) ?

I deem more interesting that in the past years tourism and real estate business are awakening slowly from a long sleep which is mentioned in the guide.

And as we are "Pizzitani", I need to be fussy about Pizzo's history:
The French general Joachim Murat who was shot at the castle of Pizzo in 1815 was King of Naples and Sicily at that time. He was Napoleon Bonaparte's brother-in-law and on the run after Napoleon's fall (p.11, 65).

By far I do know less about Calabria than Lara and Tery, the guide writers, know by now. However, from the few locations I know that worth a trip, I think Seminara deserves to be mentioned. This little village is a shopping must for ceramic lovers while in Calabria.

And what about the Holy Grail in Badolato ?

Okay, enough nagging. I love that guide book!

Pizzo is no. 2 in Lara's top 10 of highlights in Calabria - right after Tropea! And thanks for the "elegant piazza" in Pizzo, which is slightly exaggerated (p.21). The piazza is not that elegant, however the lively heart of the village.

The introduction to Calabria is pinpointing exactly how I feel about this region, its landscape, people, food and customs. Great writing !

Lara recommends not to travel to Calabria in the month of August (remark: I would underline that! Italy's coasts are far too croweded in August, especially mid-August).

That's all for now. I just started to read. And I will try the restaurants in Pizzo that are mentioned in this new Calabria guide book: Le Castellane, La Lamia and Toscano. From the later I know that they serve great pizza at a cosy corner with great sunset views. (Update summer 2011: Le Castellane is the best restaurant in Pizzo, a bit more pricy though than the others; Toscano has "upgraded" and does not serve Pizza anymore. Try La Ruota and SPQR for great pizze).

CONCLUSION: this is a great comprehensive guide, handy and light, ideal for anyone who spends a long weekend or summer holiday in Calabria. Definately a must have!

UPDATE : Now available NEW 2nd Edititon:

July 13, 2009

Calabria through an artist's eye

click to go to the source
(click on the photograph to go to the source)

"Sono una fotografa per caso" - she is a photographer by accident, describes Anna Leporati Serrao (before aka pannaphotos) herself at flickr.

I am totally fascinated by her pictures - photos that sometimes look like paintings.

The above picture "gazing at the see" is taken by Anna near the piazza in Pizzo. I screen captured it... I hope this is okay with the artist (click on the photo to go back to the source).

In her photo set "SUD" at flickr you will find some more gems of Calabria's beauty and charme. I marked some of Anna's work as my favorites of flickr.

(source: Anna Leporati Serrao via flickr)

July 08, 2009

Iron Furniture

daybed in Aix-en-Provence, France via Shootfactory UK
Wrought iron furniture is furniture made by bending, shaping, and welding wrought iron. It has a long history, dating back to Roman times (source: wikipedia)

There is almost no French country home or Tuscan farm house without an iron bed.
I do like their romantic charm !

bed with baldacchina by Caporali
bed in Tuscan villa via Shootfactory UK
several wrought iron beds

Other popular iron wrought furniture and accessories are chairs, tables, shelves, lamps and coat racks. Here a small selection:

Wrought iron work is predestinated for outdoor use of course. I like iron chairs in gardens, so often seen in French parks with white or green finish. And not to forget the beautiful pergolas by Unopiu which offer us shade in hot summers:

iron chair with heart design

Photo source:
1) shootfactory (UK)
2), 3) Caporali (Italy)
4) shootfactory (UK)
5) unknown
6),7) Caporali
8), 9) unknown
10) Caporali
11), 12), 13) Unopiu

Enzo Caporali, Santa Mama, 110 Arezzo Italia +39 0575 487033

July 07, 2009

Red Coral Candle Holder

This is the perfect accessory for beach house decor! It is nature friendly and functional.

Details: Candleholder "Tenochtitlan" from the serie DriadeKosmo by Driade, Italy. Designed by Vittorio Locatelli, 2005. Red laquered aluminium. H: 46 cm , T: 21 cm , L: 47.5 cm. About 170-200 Euro.

Above picture and more products from Driade via cannox.

July 06, 2009

A bathroom in Sicily

I like this bathroom ! So simple but stylish. If you want to transform a room into a bathroom - this is the layout: build a wall to separate the shower and/or toilet. The floor looks like concrete or terrazzo. Cool atmosphere for hot summers.

This bathroom is located in Palermo, Sicily and found via interiors.

July 04, 2009

mixed wrought iron works and some before and after pics

Even if I risk to bore you with my posts about wrought iron, I need to post one more time about that subject. I need to summarize for us what we have at our Italian home so far. There are a lot of different designs, but also patterns that are repeated. Above an older sketch of mine and below some pictures:

BEFORE : my favorite - in the appartment for guests.

AFTER : this rail needed to be higher for saftey reasons. The craftsman repeated the "S" style that we have allover the house. (I liked it right away when I saw this picture for the first time. But in comparison with the old before picture I realised the modification and would have prefered it more simple. - And the windows, inside white outside brown is another subject... Yeah, I am difficult, sorry. I should not complain with such a view!!!)

BEFORE : the facade and its windows and balconies with different wrought iron before the renovation

AFTER : the facade after renovation (with colored plaster) - the balcony rails are painted black and the windows got new iron grids which repeat elements of the arch over the main entrance and the "S" from two of the balconies.

Better details in the next pictures:

BEFORE and AFTER : renovation in progress, the old rail on the left was replaced by the rail on the right (already by the pre-owner)

The new rail is not only used for the balcony in the first floor (piano terra) but also for the garden floor (semiinterrato) where we will have the appartment for our guests (small left picture).

This is another tiny seaside balcony. I have no information about its renovation, wheather it is just painted black or if it was adjusted to the other balconies
by adding
some "S" like these ...
... to become
like this:

On the inside of the house we do have iron stairways railing, again with some "S" design

On the left is the craftman's drawing, the proposal for our garden doors. And we decided to do it that way and not as I have posted before.
No scrolls, no "S". Just classic and save.
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