May 21, 2012

Gianluca Callipo is the new mayor of Pizzo

Two weeks ago, Pizzo has elected its new sindaco, mayor Gianluca Callipo. This young man, who turns 30 next month, and his team  achieved an impressive victory with over 56% of all votes. - Congratulations!!!

With his campaign "tocca a te" ("it's your turn"), and a "play button" icon symbolizing it's now time to push forward unfinished projects, he was able to win most Pizzitani.

After studying his program and website, I discovered the beautiful little trailer of  "mettiamoci al lavoro" (let's start the work), an artwork itself. Francesca Procopio, a photographer from Pizzo, walks like a fairy through the old town and along its beaches, making drawings, photographs and notes. I wonder why the abandoned movie house Cinema Mela was featured? Is Gianluca having a dream? A revival plan like in "Cinema Paradiso", the award winning nostalgic movie that is one of his favorites, according to his facebook profile?

> watch the beautiful trailer for the Gianluca Sindaco campaign

You should know, in Pizzo, some good projects are blocked, paused, unfinished - unfortunately, as it seems so typical for the South of Italy.

I took these pictures from Gianluca's program to visualize just three of his subjects:

Pizzo is tired to wait - let's restart: the famous paused ascensore, elevator 

It is on hold since 20? or 30 years! The elevator is supposed to connect the upper historic center with the lower marina and its sea side promenade. It is ready to open, but never did. 

Pizzo does not want anymore uncompleted projects - see original harbor project plans

I don't know, if this project below our house is on hold due to money problems. I only know that there is a lawsuit (initiated by our neighbour) to stop the excavations of the blue grotto. But the harbour project and the lungomare could be continued without the realisation of the grotto access, I guess.

Pizzo wants to change - STOP modern ugly dense housing projects

Another "piccolo" subject, probably too small to be mentioned in a political program, however, we and our neighbours are interested in, is the repair of the small alleys in the historic center. Some areas have so many holes that you would need an off-road-car. Since a couple of years the commune has promised to restore the alleys. But the tight financial situation always had been an excuse that nothing had happened. - I hope, it is covered by the general target to take care of the historic town center.

We are looking forward to Gianluca and his team of ambitious politicians to start working on the targets they have been voted for. So many Pizzitani have faith and hope in the new sindaco. We too.

If we would have been able to vote, we probably would have voted for Gianluca Callipo too. Since we sourced all our bathroom equipment and tiles from Callipo in Vibo Valentia, I guess, we already indirectly have supported him  ; ) 

Photo Source:
Programma di Governo (government program) and Gianluca Callipo website and blog:
Gianluca Callipo blog

May 16, 2012

How much fabric is necessary for armchair, chair and sofa?

80 cm fabric for dining chairs

I did not plan to write yet again about  finding the right fabric, or how to calculate the amount of fabric that is necessary to do an upholstery job. But today, when I finally went to buy our, I almost made a mistake.

For the sofa, I was convinced that we need 4 meter and just made the guy cut the fabric. For the silk fabric of the armchair, I also asked for 4 meter. Then however, just before the salesman started cutting, I made him stop. I asked him, what he thinks I would need for an armchair. His prompt answer was "6 meter".

May 14, 2012

The Story of a Sofa

And then their is this sofa.... It needs upholstery too (like the armchair and the 7 dining chairs). 

I do not really know what to say about that sofa. I do not even know exactly how we ended up with it. 

Some might say, what is wrong with this sofa? Why it needs a new fabric? It looks very elegant. - Yes, it does. And it fitted very nicely in the entrance of my mother-in-law's house in the Veneto, Northern Italy. The leopard print is absolutely her style and that's how she upholstered the sofa after having found it at her favorite antique dealer in Marghera some years ago. 

May 10, 2012

Upholstery for an Armchair

Or how much a husband can accelerate fabric shopping...

When I was looking for a fabric for the 7 chairs that need repair and upholstery, I also was thinking of how to upholster an old baroque armchair and a sofa.

The baroque arm chair we found at an antique shop in Vibo Valentia was actually a pair of armchairs. We did not choose the above one, but the one that was already stripped off the remaining upholstery. We were thinking of getting a bold fabric, maybe kind of Paul Smith like stripes and paint the wood with silver lacquer.  

May 06, 2012

International Herald Tribune: Expatriate Bloggers Chronicle Details of Home Renovation

Writers' tales seem to impress audience with their exotic setting
by Roxana Popescu

- the paper edition -

Our renovation and PalazzoPizzo was featured in International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times! (I blogged about it here). The story about several home renovations (half page) was published in the Properties Section on Friday, May 4, 2012.
Here the extract about Palazzo Pizzo:

- extract of the article -

You can read the full story online at Additionally to the online version, the printed paper edition of the IHT features a "renovation blogroll" with some more expat bloggers who write about their renovation projects in Europe: 

The Herald Tribune's blurb says: The Crosetto family renovating a palazzo in Calabria, Italy. Lots of photographs and a detailed description of structural and aesthetic decision making.
(May 4, 2012)

My post about hardwood flooring - when I asked the readers to make suggestions - was mentioned in the story and can be found on this blog here:
source: photo and scans by me / Palazzo Pizzo

New York Times: Expatriate Bloggers Chronicle Details of Home Renovations

How exciting, Palazzo Pizzo, my blog and our renovation story was featured in The New York Times!!

The New York Times on May 3, 20122 (extract)

The full article can be found online at 

I was contacted by freelance reporter Roxana Popescu in February 2011. She wrote an email saying:
Hi! I'm a reporter, and tonight I came across your great blog and photos, and it gave me an idea for an article: expats who are renovating lovely old homes and blogging about it. I just got my editor's green light, so I'm wondering: Are you available for a phone interview sometime in the next few days? My deadline is Friday, so we'd have to talk soon.
And she added:
This would appear in print in the International Herald Tribune, and online in the NYT real estate section,
Of course, I am available for an interview for a story in NYT and IHT! - I was excited!

We did the interview via Skye soon after and she met the deadline. But then ... nothing. It took over a year until the editor gave the green light. Which was okay for me, since I had time to take more photos of Palazzo Pizzo and clean up the blog a bit for this highligt!

A couple more expat stories made it into the article. The home featured with photos is from British blogger MamaB in France, who writes Live Love Conquer. It was exciting to discover some new fellow blogger that way!

One day later, on May 4, 2012, the article was also published in the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times.

The printed edition contains an additional "renovation blogroll" with more expat bloggers.

My post about hardwood flooring mentioned in the article can be found here:

May 04, 2012

Our Renovation Project in The New York Times !

(...) When Susanne Crosetto and her husband, who is Italian, took a vacation to southern Italy in 2006, they were searching for a pied-à-terre with a terrace and a sea view. They ended up falling for an 18th-century palazzo.(...)

Our renovation project and my blog are mentioned today in New York  in the Real Estate - Great Homes and Destination Section along with other expatriate blogger.

The article "Expatriate Bloggers Chronicle Details of Home Renovations" can also be found in today's print edition of the International Herald Tribune (Friday, May 4, 2012).

It is very true that this blog helped me to communicate with readers and other blogger on interior design, and to find inspiration online. Thanks for all your support !

My blog even became a "communication tool" to discuss our renovation project online with Angelo, my father in law. While he was most of the time on the construction site, we were, most of the time, thousand of miles away. Editors always cut some parts, so I am adding this here.

Since the Skype interview for this story was over a year ago, I am really excited to finally hold in hands the printed story in today's International Herald Tribune, and - wow! - how amazing to have a back link from the New York Times!

Welcome to all new readers of New York Times and IHT who are visiting this blog today!
And thanks for the mention of Palazzo Pizzo.

May 03, 2012

The Guest Residence is coming along

The guest residence - as we do call our seminterrato with the high vaulted stone ceilings - is coming along. It is a very charming apartment with private garden terrace and stunning sea views. And it is ready to be tested:
Palazzo Pizzo Guest Residence
Who will do the test sleep on the new mattress ?
And who will test the rain shower under the vaulted ceiling with sea view?

For sure, we will test the gas stove and brew a coffee ... 
 ... and test the morning sun in the garden – and there we might notice, that a garden chair or stone bench is still missing.

We came a long, long way!

vaulted cellar before renovation, August 2006

Before and After, compare these photographs! - Stunning!
This is mainly Angelo's work, my father-in-law, who was working here hundreds of hours. How he preserved the stone walls and ceilings, how he elevated and insulated the floor, what special techniques and material he used, needs to be posted in another story.
But now, since everything is so pretty (and after another repaint of the walls), CC and I would love to welcome guests. We would like to host not only friends and family but also travelers who are looking for some peaceful days in a small sea side village to rest from their travels.
So this is my new project, to find out how to implement accommodation availability checks on my blog and credit card payments. In the meantime, if you are interested to become a test sleeper between July 7 and July 28, please contact me via email at writing(dot)suzie(at)yahoo(dot)com and check what can be arranged.
For further information go to Guest Residence Page or read the about the renovation.
more pics:

May 01, 2012

7 Chairs need Repair and Upholstery

These chairs are our dining chairs. We have three pairs - plus one. Two of them cannot be used at the moments since one is totally unstable, and one just got its backrest broken. The others are in a not much better condition.

In fact, since we got them, they were supposed to get a makeover, repair where needed and new upholstery. But so far we had no time. Since we could sit on them, we used them last summer and this spring. It had its charm. But now, it is really time to focus on them, before more brakes apart or people land on the floor.

Angelo will take care of the repair. Not sure, if he can do it by himself or if he is going to give them away. And my job is to look for suitable fabric.

Now, that sounds like another fun project. Since the chairs are all different, we were first thinking of different fabrics for each chair, or maybe for each pair. We could go with blues and yellows, or with purple as a contrast to the yellow wall. We could choose one pattern in different hues. Or one color in different pattern. - But don't we have enough "noise" in the dining and living area? I remember, I counted once six different colors on walls alone. And then my crazy, stunning, tile mix in the kitchen.

But why musing, when I can find out what fabrics are available at the biggest Jim Thomson outlet in only 10 minutes! (While Thailand and myself are suffering from the heat and I cannot enjoy Italy's spring right now, why not check out the cool air conditioned JT outlet with its friendly and well English speaking young salesmen? But the 10 minutes drive are generously calculated when there is no traffic in Bangkok. )
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