July 28, 2011

9.30 Pizzo Marina Beach

Early morning at the beach of Pizzo Marina - 25 degree Celsius, calm sea and a few sunbathing Pizzitani.
This is how I like my holidays!

Just a week later, it looks like this on the same beach (photo below). If you can avoid the month of August, come ealier or later for a stay. The worst two weeks of the year are before and after August 15, Ferragosto, when really every Italian is on holiday.

Beach at Pizzo Marina in August

The good thing of this beach at Pizzo Marina is, that the sunbathers are locals. Tourists in Calabria mainly stay in resorts and go to the beach of their resorts. They come to Pizzo for icecream during the day or a pizza in the evening. In Pizzo's old town are only a few tourists staying at a B&B or at the only and newly opened small hotel in town. When living in Pizzo, you need no car to go to the beach, you just can walk - from the above historic center - about 10 minutes down to the Marina. I really enjoyed the daily walks through the small pittoresque alleys. And we always found a small space for our umbrella and towels. It is a free public beach and it has a free shower, something really rare and to appreciate! And since this beach is located at the Marina, bars, gelaterias, pizzerias and restaurants are just behind your umbrella.

July 27, 2011

I went shopping

There is a little vegetable and fruit shop in walking distance from my house. I love the fruity aroma that is in the air as soon as you step in. And I like the stiff brown paper bags with the old fashion design that are too cute to throw away. We re-use them to pack panini when we go to the beach over lunch time.

July 26, 2011

Good Morning Pizzo !

We made it !
We moved in ! Although the moving truck already delivered tons of boxes over two years ago !

We finally spent the first night in our house in Pizzo !

We survived the night - everything was new ... one moskito disturbed our sleep and the blue movement control light that switches on whenever you move was a bit strange too, but it helped to find the way to the bathroom. The newly aquired matresses, bed sheets and pillows are very comfortable.
But above all, the sound of the waves was fantastic !

The breakfast photo, that looks so beautiful,  is a bit of staging though ... I have to admit....

1) I usually do not eat Choco Pops for breakfast (only today, since I had no other choice).
2) My son, who eats this, however did not want to join me for breakfast in the sun, he prefered the kitchen counter inside
3) CC and Angelo were absent too; they went for a morning walk like always and planned to have breakfast at Belvedere (!)
4) the two espresso cups are empty because the espresso machine had the wrong (Chinese) plug! And the other espresso machine that would have worked, we had forgotten in Vibo Marina...

I am enjoying myself very much! We all do !

Lunch, however, we have again at Hotel Mamma in Vibo Marina, as usual. The only way to publish this post... (I need to find out how to blog with my phone). Also a chance to pack the other espresso machine - and to borrow a dining tabel! Angelo will transport it to our house on top of his car after the siesta.

July 23, 2011

no title

For this post I have no title.
Or should I call it "my strangest summer holidays ever" or "lost in renovation"?

Since ten days - this is how long I am now in the South of Italy - I am telling myself, this is only a short phase, we are going to move in soon, tomorrow, maybe, and tomorrow I am telling myself the same thing, we are moving in tomorrow, domani, magnana...

But what do we do in the evening without light in the living room? Or at night in the bathroom? Okay, lets buy lamps. Of course, CC does not want to spend his holidays buying lamps, so we buy all in once... not sure how many dozens we bought in one afternoon – mainly wall lamps (applique).  Is it only our team of electricians or do Italians in general have a passion for wall lamps?

wall lamps for the whole house

Luckily we found a shop similar to IKEA that has quiet a good choice (Semeraro at Lamezia's Due Mare shopping center). Of course we did not only buy lamps. Also adapters, plugs and jacks to harmonize Asian and European lamps and appliances with the two Italian systems of electric plugs we both have spread irregularly all over the house. - And hooks, we also bought lots of hooks and mirrors for six bathrooms...

red bathroom: mirror installed (inherited from mother-in-law),
matching lamp hopefully found
(in this room the camera failures always!)

July 17, 2011

When are we moving in?

When are we moving in? When will be our first night in the house - after all those years of renovation?!

We do not know!
That's what we ask ourselves everyday.....
We could already, almost.

The matresses are there. Even the matress protections. Enough pillows too. Also some sets of lenzoli, bedsheets, for sopra, but not for sotto, the sheets to stretch over the matresses were sold out at Vibo Center yesterday. But we could borrow one... We also have enough glasses and plates, some towels and clothes. Toothpaste, soap, toilet paper... yes, we could already move in. So what are we waiting for?

Maybe for Rosi, to give us a helping hand... the house has still a bit of construction site and lots of fine dust everywhere.

Angelo has been working non-stop in the last days for the flooring of the seminterrato, the basement. The sawing of the wooden panels still causes lots of dust. And the battiscopa, baseboard for the parquet was just ordered yesterday and will arrive next week. It is a ceramic baseboard and it's cutting will cause more fine dust... So, after another deep cleansing of the house - not sure, how many times Rosi cleaned it up yet - we might give it a try ...

After all these years of renovation, one day sooner or later does not count anymore.
We are not in a hurry.
But maybe a bit nervous?

Do we get cold feet???

Moving out of Hotel Mama???

Ha ha! It must be this!

The laundry will not be washed and folded and ready anymore. The table will not be set up and lunch served just in time after coming home from the beach. Food and drinks will not come out of the fridge automatically and the house will not be cleaned by itself. Oh, my...

Okay, just a few more days... let's enjoy Hotel Mama.

Now, I understand more than ever all these young and not so young Italians, and even the so called "mammone", why they stay as long as possible with la mama!

Hotel Mama in Vibo Marina

July 16, 2011

Colourful Folly

From Angelo's pictures that he had sent via email I knew more or less how colourful the house would be. But he did not send me pictures of every corner .... he left surprises for us.

When I entered the house again after three months absence, I felt like Alice in Wonderland... And while opening and unpacking the last boxes and walking ten, twenty times in and out of the living room, I started to feel dizzy. Was this the summer heat - or was this the impact of all those colours?

I imagine painting so many walls and ceilings day after day, all alone, must have become more and more boring for Angelo. And I can imagine how he tried out one colour and another colour. He must have become more and more frantic when shopping for colours - it must have been a kind of colour flush that had overcome him!

"Colourful Folly", I thought, must be the title of a post to honour this work, conveyed from the German expression "der helle Wahnsinn", that leo.org translated into "plain folly".

I count seven (!) different colours

(the blue of the ceiling is different from the blue in the arch (which also is spatolato technique) and I counted the white (border, doors, radiator) as one colour.)

I have some chairs to upholster with some not yet choosen fabric... I guess it need to be very neutral fabric ;-) ... Usually I prefer white walls and play with colours of fabrics, paintings, ceramics, flowers etc. But okay, Angelo was our painting master in charge and this is the South of Italy. Lets first move in and see how it feels. Before getting crazy, I might have to find a brush, as Angelo always says...

the sunlight makes the colour of the window alcove shine brighter 

July 15, 2011

Arriving in Lamezia

Lamezia Terme (SUF) is the international airport of Calabria. The greatest thing is that Lamezia is only a 20 minutes drive from our home in Pizzo AND it is an 2 hours only DIRECT flight from Stuttgart - and many other European cities.

However, arriving at Lamezia airport, always feels a bit funny to me. It's probably one of the smallest airports in Europe that gets international traffic. And during the peak season in July and August, there are often 3 or 4 flights arriving at the same time and all luggage is announced to be delivered on one of the two conveyor belts. As in other countries, you already get an impression of Calabria in the arrival hall.
You need patience to wait for your luggage although the plane stands a stone throw away. Be happy when it arrives and nothing is lost or forgotten. The trolleys to transport your suitcases are the oldest and most waggly, but they are for free. Remember, Calabria is said to be one of the poorest region in Europe*), but also one of the most unspoiled.
I am not sure how a tourist thinks of Calabria when arriving for the first time.
When I arrived for the first time in Calabria, it was around 15 years ago by car, after 11 hours of driving from Venice. I thought something like: all that way for this? Okay, I was tired and it was hot, it's also dry and it's a bit shabby down here.
Today, it is still like this. And still people keep clean only the inside of their houses but not the environment. Garbage and plastic bottles still litter the streets and beautiful landscape.

I still need a moment to adjust.
It is a different world down here in the deep South of Italy.
But when you let it happen, the slowing down, the charm of the past, the taste of local food, the siesta in the afternoon ... you can experience a different life style.

A fresh tomato salad with onions from Tropea, or a delicious taruffo nero in piazza helps you to adjust in no time!

However, it is prettier in spring, when flowers are blooming. It's less hot and less crowded. Locals seem more relaxed and friendlier. If you can, avoid the month of August, especially the 15th, Ferragosto, when all Italians are holidaying.

But now I am here, in the peak season, for the first time after 2 years of spring and winter visits.

Yesterday, we arrived with Air Berlin, in an airbus full of tourists. After the plane landed there was a brief and strong breaking... and then, surprise, up we went again.... over the sea and the beaches, for another round over Catanzaro, the many fields of olive trees and the Ionic coast.... The captain (a female voice) explained that the runway here is quiet short and we came in too high and therefore she decided to go for a second landing attempt. Maybe her first time in Lamezia Terme (SUF)?

*) update:
My father-in-law does not agree with the saying, that Calabria is one of the poorest region of Europe. He sees enough big cars driving around here. Many people tent to not pay taxes regularly like in other regions, maybe, and they do not care as much about the environment. This is probably why villages appear to be poor because they are not well taken care of. - And that some few families down here are the richest from Italy is another subject ...

July 10, 2011

Pavement and Fountain for the Garden

Angelo and Tonino are working out the pavement for the garden. We have some large black stones that used to be in the piazza of Pizzo years ago. But not enough... The fountain (in the back on the right) was positioned after some email discussion around the world between Angelo in Pizzo, CC in London and me in Bangkok. Since the electricians marked widely their territory along the right side of the wall to the church, we did not have many options left. But it seems the garden area works out nicely. I am looking forward to see everythingin real on Wednesday!!!
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