March 31, 2010

Pictures from Pizzo

Pizzo at the marina on Sunday

stromy weather in Pizzo

another building site, below the house

the building site from high above
(our architect is also responsibl for the new port contruction)

the dark 'whole' below in the rock will be the 'blue grotto'
What an amazing view from our balcony we will have !

While the adults are checking and discussing over and over the things to do inside, our boy plays football outside - so far the best of his holiday that he considers boring (it is too cold for for the beach!).

Popular in Italy: the pellet heater - it keeps the soggiorno warm during the day and is cheaper than gas.

It's orange season - 1 kilo = 1 Euro

It's evening in Pizzo with Stromboli in the distance

I am glad to have managed to download, compress and upload pictures with Angelo's laptop. And I hope you enjoy this potpurri of impressions from Pizzo.

weather: sunny and cloudy, chilly whistling wind, temperature felt app. 10 degrees Celsius

update from Pizzo


today I woke up and the sky was grey. Very windy and chilly outside - and it is not much warmer inside.

Sleeping with hot-water bottles makes the nights cosier. During the days I am wearing wool sweaters - sometimes two layers.

However, the good news is, that the wind here at the seaside blows away always the clowds quiet quickly and we have sunshine everyday. The weather forecast (the link is on my blogroll) is surprisingly reliable.

We have been to the house daily since our arrival on Sunday. Yesterday we ordered the following material to continue and finish the attic (mansard) :
  • material to insolate the roof (it also absorbs noise, smell and humidity)
  • white paint for the beams under the roof
  • and the parquet flooring (white painted oak panels)
And we have been looking into tiles (again) for the bathroom. We are very close to make a decision ;-)
We also bought some spare paint for the main facade to paint over some spots and kids scrawl.

I have made lots of picures yet - not many from the house as there is nothing new - except some more mould in the basement (well, we need to speed up to finish) - but pictures from the area. The other night we saw Stromboli at sunset. But so far I have not figured out why I am not able to upload picures to my blog (and even to my emails). I am here at Angelo's laptop, all different and in Ialian.

I will be back soon with pics. Also from the inside of the house as CC and Angelo are right now there to prepare the wooden beams for the paint job.

Saluti della Calabria

March 28, 2010

Pizzo next Monday: Tempo Sereno

Tempo Sereno !

We will arrive on Sunday - but it will be raining - so no picture of that day.
However Monday looks like spring time - although below 20 degree, which is still too cold for me !!!

So I am packing scarfs, cashmere sweaters, and - being very optimistic - bathing suits (I am quiet sure I will not need them, but you never know!).

Ciao for now...

March 23, 2010

Vietri Tiles for a table top

I want to add this ceramic tiles pattern to my "kitchen file". It is a fun and playful combination of some smaller Vietri tiles.

While we were looking for some mediterranean tiles to use on the wall behind the stove - we came across the above pattern and my husband had another idea: using these for a table top !

It is quiet popular in the South of Italy to choose your favorite tiles for a custom made outdoor table from wrought iron or teak wood :

But maybe you remember our baby blue tiles on the balcony - I think it would be just too much colours.

photo source: de Maio

March 20, 2010

Room by Room: cucina piano terra

My drawings, measuring and thoughts for our kitchen at the ground floor

I can picture a mix of styles: mediterranean country and modern sleek. Vietri tiles (above from De Maio) either with a stone walled kitchen or modern surface. Modern small island for breakfast and workspace. Modern appliance, steel surface fridge (2 doors) and large old fashioned gas cooker / stove.

March 18, 2010

Room by Room : Bagno piano terra

As I said, over the last years I have collected lots of pictures and inspirations in a "room by room" file on my computer. Now I need to make a selction and print core ideas in order to make a nice filing for our next visit in Pizzo.

I have started with the smallest room, the overhanging toilet (I posted just about the shrinked window).

 Next comes the bathroom of the ground floor (il bagno piano terra):

I really like the combination of the floral floor tiles and the silver mosaic for the shower area. However I want to keep the GREEN - maybe a terra cotta floor would suit better together with a greenish mosaic or smalto (lacquered water resisting paint) for the walls in the shower and behind the toilet and bidet.
(above my favorite pics... hope not to bore you)

And we need two sinks. I tend to use utility kind of sinks to creat a casual look. This will be a bathroom where we will have a washing mashine and where I will rinse our beach wear.

And we need to think of a solution for the sandy feet issue:
We never come home from the beach with properly cleaned feet. 
Washing the sandy feet in an utility sink might cause congestions. -We could do it the "Asian beach resort way": a barrel or tub full of water with a dipper - located in the right entrance or on the balcony.

March 13, 2010

Here comes spring with Bergamotto di Calabria

Like almost everywhere in Europe we too got tons of snow again - I really like a white winter, but now its enough ! - Spring, where are you ?!

While dreaming of warm sunny spring, I found the above sunny advertising this morning in my mail from our local shopping mall.

Acqua di Parma ... I just love the name of the brand, the simple but elegant design of the bottles and boxes and I love the fresh smell of Acqua di Parma fragrances.

Do I advertise the brand here ? Its the other way round. Acqua di Parma does advertising for Calabria !

With the newest eau de toilette "BERGAMOTTO DI CALABRIA" from the Blu Mediterraneo line, Calabria gets a more elegant image. - Indeed, my local mall prints below the ad: "Let yourself take away on a trip to Calabria..."
Spring is calling.
Although Pizzo has seen 20 degrees last week, I think they had some snow this week too. At least cold rain.

I am sure, with this Italian cult brand the local bergamot fragrance producers will get a boost. Their little bergamot bottles of 15 ml costs about 5 Euro, while Acqua di Parma's 60 ml bottle costs 50 Euro - more than double.

Further more, Acqua di Parma customers might get interested in the South Italian destination. Calabria is in really good company. The fragrance line includes all of Italian’s spectacular Mediterranean coast: Cipresso di Toscana, Arancia di Capri, Ficco di Amalfi, Bergamotto di Calabria, Mirto di Panarea  and Mandorlo di Sicilia (in order from North to South). I think my nose has to test them all. 

March 10, 2010

Pizzo Project (Lungomare)

Sometime ago I presented a project of the commune di Pizzo for the  lungomare  between la marina and la Seggiola.

The map below shows the Marina on the right and the little bay called La Seggiola on the left:

Inbetween boths sights of the village is a not so attractive 'lungomare' which was provisorically installed some years ago to protect the rock on which thrones the historical centre of Pizzo from being washed out by the sea.

However, there is one more attraction hiding ! Almost underneath our house one can still see the entrance of the "grotta azzurra". When my husband was a little boy (not so many years ago) he used to go by boat very close to the grotta and even swim inside the grotta. Today grows grass around the entrance and it easily can be overseen.

position of the grotta azzurra

A project of the commune of Pizzo forsees a reopening of the grotta. The plan is to enlarge the bay by letting in sea water until the grotta. Eventually this area will be used as yacht haven and small boats will carry visitors inside the grotta azzurra.

Pizzo as it was for many years

Pizzo's new lungomare that connects the Marina with La Seggiola
and opens the grotta azzurra for visitors

draft of the project

photo from the inside of the grotta today

photo sources: with friendly permission for publication by Arch. P. Pitt

Update November 2010:

They have started with the earth moving work. Here a photo taken from our balcony:

Oh, yes, it is a fantastic project - and the view from our house will be even more interesting.
I only hope that the earth moving work they do, and the digging, does not affect the rock... and the houses on top...

Update July 2012:

Since this post is one of the most popular posts of my blog, I think a little update is necessary. Last summer, 2011, they finished the digging of the harbor. There is no connection to the gotta, however. A neighbour, who lives above the gotta, stopped this part of the project with a lawsuit. He claimed the work would endanger the rock on which many houses of the Centro storico of Pizzo are located. Well, maybe not that absurd.

But after they did all the earthwork, the heavy equipment and trucks disappeared. Now, we have just a deserted sandy dessert around the half finished "harbor" - that has not seen any boat yet, I guess it is not deep enough - and the wind transports fine dust every day up to our balconies and through the windows...

The new elected major Callipo (since May 2012) wants to continue with the project. But people here say that the commune has no more money. It seems a typical Calabrian project. It will take more time than other projects elsewhere. But it will be accomplished one day, I am sure, because it is a great project, that will make Pizzo even more attractive in the future.

For further updates click Harbour Project

Shrinked window

Usually, when renovating or remodeling and it comes to windows you would tend to enlarge a window, if possible. In our case, the window of the smalest toilet (the one that hangs on the outside), was large enough - before the renovation.

But look what happened with the new window (before, during and after) :

It shrinked !
Somehow it is less than half of the before size.
However it has a very bold frame.

March 02, 2010

The sleeping beauty is going to wake up ...

... as we are going to kiss alive our sleeping beauty soon !

When winter is fading and spring is awaking we are going to be on site and pushing the interior work.

Meanwhile my duty is to compile a filing that shows what we want to do room by room - colour, flooring, equipment.

This is fun. I have done this before in a digital folder - long time ago - it has survived different laptops and computer - yes, that long ago. I 'just' need to update it and print the relevant pictures and make notes.

I started with a room, the green room, my readers might be familiar with it. It seems to be my favorite room. No it isn't. It is just the room with most of previous live in it. It is the only room where the pre-owner has kept the original wall and ceiling colour. That's why it feels most lively. All other walls were tainted white when we bought the house.

Here the start of my brainstorm for the room by room folder :

ceiling now - after adding a wall

my idea of renovating the ceiling :
neglect the cutted ornament; model simple rectangulars with given corner ornaments

this is the colour combo : green room by Ellen Silverman
(however the light green for the ceiling !)

darker green for the lower part and light mint green for higher part and ceiling

old tiles from another room could be used for the flooring

mosaic by Fired Earth - for the shower
(or waterproofed laquer)

utility sink by Kohler
(I would like two utility style sinks)
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