November 29, 2010

Early Booking Recommended

Hello dear Family and Friends,
Buongiorno and Guten Tag,

this is to let you know that early booking for a holiday at Palazzo Pizzo in 2011 is strongly recommended!

We are happy to announce that for the month of August we already have two bookings from family and friends. Finally, after so many years we will fill up this old house with friendly people and laughing children!

For those who still do not know were we are:
We are in Calabria, the most Southern region of Italy and probably as well the poorest region of Italy, if not from all Europe. So usually you would arrive by plane and land in Lamezia Terme, which is just a 15 minute drive from Pizzo. Or you come by train or car from Rome and Naples (around 5 to 6 hours). Arriving by yacht or sailing boat is another alternative. Although one of the poorest regions, some of the biggest yachts are seen here - however, only for a pit stop before going to the Eolie Islands... If they would know that the gelaterie in Pizzo have one of the best ice cream of Italy...

But no need to advertise: Soon I have to hang a "No Vacancy" sign at my door !

One more thing to the visitors that will be coming in 2011:
The pictures on this blog will show you the work progress on site. Please inform yourself here to be prepared in cases of delays. Also, so far we do not have invested in beds. Worst case: you will sleep on mattresses on the floor and leave the clothes in your suitcases due to lack of wardrobes. However, I know, you would not mind. And I am glad to fill the palazzo with life! If someone prefers to stay in a real hotel: we can rent rooms in a small boutique hotel just around the corner, a stone throw away, that will open next spring. For those booking flights: the earlier you book, the cheaper. Flights from Germany are twice per week in summer. From UK and other Italian cities more often.

Some Surprises Revealed

CC, my husband, had the chance to check out the house and the latest news in and around Pizzo for three whole days! Last night he sent me some pictures that were a surprise, since Angelo never reported about some work he had done. I think he had so much fun being creative and experimentalizing, he didn't want to wait for any approval. See the results here :

A ceiling like a "gelato al limone" or "sunny side up"

It is my son's room. Let's see if he likes it...

Actually, you do not look all the times up, you rather see the room like above.

A pinkish two tones ceiling in the entrance - love that!

Angelo is working on restoring that stucco rosette by replacing some missing peaces.
I asked him to leave the bit of background like it is now (with some yellow, ochre colour). 

Here the maestro in person coming down the stairway he has just coloured.
The stairs look that way as we have to replace the old marble steps that were a lot broken.

Another surprise: a framed mirror for 20 Euro.
And it looks good! Was not ordered or found by me, but it can stay!

I knew that Angelo had found some fresci below the ceiling paint in the living room.
But I did not yet see the result after scratching away all the excess paint.

Awesome ! Like it !
Not sure what the plan is for the rusty beams.
The whole in the ceiling is for some chimney or stove.

Last surprise: a "neat" chandelier in our bedroom...
This mail from CC had the comment: "If you do not like it, it can be removed".
My answer: "yes, please, remove to guest bedroom until we find better solution".

Wow, so many new pictures. Actually it was not all done in three days. Angelo was hiding this from us! Cheeky ! However, he announced that he had chosen a different colour for our son's room. I knew that that will be a surprise. But did not expect so many others. Well, we have so many rooms, why not some surprises... I think Angelo had great fun to bring in his own ideas without waiting for my "pro-and-cons-naa-hesitating-maybe-not-decision-making-process". Vero, Angelo?

November 26, 2010

November 26th update

Harbour: Soon the water will be blue, soon there will be little boats ...

Green bathroom: terra cotta flooring mixed with green mosaic from walls

In about one hour my husband, CC will land in Lamezia. Angelo probably is already on his way to the airport to pick up his son. I am so curious to hear from CC how it looks on site and get more pictures - from his point of view !!! He only has this weekend. I hope it will not rain all the time. I wish I could be there too.

November 20, 2010

Pizzo Calabro: Harbour Progress (November 2010)

In the last couple of days the excavation work at La Seggiola Bay in Pizzo has progressed rapidly. The work was interrupted for a few months after some resident (or residents?) had been suing the commune to protest against the planned harbour.

The photos below are taken from our balcony:

And at the end the project should look like this:

Pizzo Calabro will have a small yacht harbour and a grotto to visit by boat. If the works continue with no more major interruption, it will be ready for summer 2011. The bigger yacht harbour, however, is still at Vibo Marina, 4 km further South, where yachts have their last pit stop before going to the Eolie Islands. Another yacht harbour, about 25 km further down the coast line, is in Tropea.
If you are interested in further updates, click label Harbour Project
If you have not seen the initial post, read Pizzo Project (Lungomare)

November 18, 2010

The Red Bath Room

This came via mail this morning:

Painting completed. I took the liberty to add some details. If you do not like them, brush and paint are available....



November 13, 2010

The Green Bath Room Ceiling with BEFORE and AFTER pics

amazing restored ceiling of the "green room"

At the beginning, when we overtook the house, there was only one room painted in "original" colours (all others were painted white). And that room became then our "green room".

Later, we decided to have a larger kitchen by giving in the space of the former bathroom. So, the new bathroom had to be part of the "green room". There was no way around, we had to remodel it by building in a wall and split it into two spaces. By doing so, the ceiling stucco pattern was interrupted. However, we decided to restore it as good as possible and even use the same colour scheme as before: pale green, and pale rose for the ceiling with white stucco ornaments.

And here is the result !

Angelo did again an amazing job ! Bellissimo ! Grazie !

walls are painted with "smalto" (water-repellent paint)

Below, see the BEFORE pictures :

I am not sure in which corner of the "green room" I took these pictures (above), since I took them some years ago... But when the wall was installed that separates now the coming new bathroom from a kind of side entrance and storage area, the pattern of the ceiling stucco looked like in the picture below :

ceiling stucco interrupted by new wall

my "photoshopped" proposal for Angelo

But he did a much better job ! What a surprise !

Coming next :
Walls: pale green and a darker green, eg. Pea or Saxon green by Farrow & Ball, for the lower part with a white stucco border inbetween the two colours. We have ordered mosaico tiles for the wet areas and terra cotta tiles for the flooring.

November 02, 2010


Wow, more than a month has passed since my last posts (about the bathroom) and my yesterday post (about the stuccoed ceiling) !?

Our "contactor" Angelo, my father-in-law, has been back in Northern Italy for a break.

In the meantime, I have been busy setteling into our new home in Bangkok. We found a lovely appartment and moved in beginning of September :

new Bangkok home

In October, our son had his first break from school and we decided to visit our old home in Beijing, China for the first time since we moved away two years ago :

old Beijing home

 Now, we are all back on track. Me in Bangkok and Angelo in Pizzo. Last week, he "pushed" me to decide on the tiling and equipment in two more bathrooms, since he wants the bathrooms finished before the parquet laying. Of course I have thought about these bathrooms a thousand times and had many pictures collected in my files. But when it came to the selection of sinks, I realized that I do not have the exact measurements of the walls and the distances between sink and toilet etc. Also we had never finally decided on tiles or mosaic. So can you imagine, how I felt? Thousand of miles away from the construction site. My husband in the office and busy with other things. And Angelo who does not want to see mails and mails with my brainstorms, but just clear instructions?

It is a challenge ! And it's fun ! It is a project that distracts me from my (sometimes) boring day to day life. Although I cannot say that I my day to day life is boring yet, after having moved just three months ago to South East Asia. Probably it will never be boring. But for someone who has worked fulltime for almost 20 years, it is like a fun job ! I wonder what I do, when we have finished this project ?! But probably there will be always something to do ! I even might convert it into a B&B for holidayer from May to October.

Have you noticed the door got big bullen nails (borchia f., borchie pl.) !? (photo below).
And look, we got a door bell and plates with our names ingraved ! So you could ring the bell and if I would be home, I would open you the door and offer you an aperitivo... 
 in progress: Italian home  

November 01, 2010

Before and After Stuccoed Ceiling

The damaged stucco on the ceiling BEFORE renovation

The stuccoed ceiling AFTER restoration
Angelo has replaced the stucco rosette and border with some ready made stucco elements that matches the original one. In fact it is much more elaborated and very beautiful.
update: But that was not the end. Check out what surprise Angelo had for us. Hint: colour!
If you are interested in more impressions of our stucco repair / replacement work, click on the label 'stucco'.
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