It started with a blog ...
In 2006, we found the "palazzo" and felt in love.
I started blogging to write about our dream. Over the years, I chronicled our renovation project, filed inspiration and stories, and mused about life in Italy.
While posting on my blog, I realised the advantage of being surrounded by like minded bloggers: You can get lots of inspiration and even advice online! And it is fun! Many of my readers are some very talented interior designers and architects, and most of them have their own blogs! A few times, I used the blog sphere for decisions by "crowed sourcing". Also the Internet was our magic tool to coordinate our "long distance renovation" between China and Italy, and later between Germany and Thailand and Italy, via email, skype - and the blog!
In summer 2011, the house was finally ready to move in. We call Pizzo now our European home base. We spend spring and summer in our beautiful home, and are happy to welcome family and friends.
In 2012, our blogged renovation story found a mention in The New Times.
In Summer 2013, we started hosting the first visitors in our Guest Residence. We kept the blog name, Palazzo Pizzo.
Where does the name "Palazzo Pizzo" comes from? It was the blog's name!
Our house it's NOT a palace. Italians do call a beautiful large old house, or any residential building "a palazzo". And a nice house with a garden in the country side would be called "a villa".
Don't they have simple houses in Italy? - you might wonder.
If you translate "house" into Italian, it's the word "casa". This word indeed is used for any "house" - that is not a building, or "villa". However, it is also a term used by Italians for their "home", like in "casa mia" which means "my home". This "casa mia" could be a "house" or an "apartment". But Italians wouldn't say let's go to "my apartment". It's "andiamo a casa mia".
Have I lost you?
I just was looking for a nice blog name, and that's why I use the word "palazzo" in the name. Often palazzi / buildings have a name. They are named after the owner, an influential or noble family, or after a famous architect. Our "casa" is not large enough to to be named, I think. Locals often call it "Casa Carioti", after the painter that have lived in it for almost 50 years.
Over 40 years ago my husband CC was born in Vibo Valentia, in the region of Calabria. This the most Southern part on the Italian mainland. The peak of the boot! Only Sicily is further South. At that time his parents, originally from Venice and Torino were based in Vibo Marina, just 4 km Southwest of Pizzo. They loved the place and kept their "casa" even when they moved further on.
Many, many years later, when CC and I had met, I wanted to get to know his birthplace, Calabria. And so off we went with my car. From Germany to Venice first. And then from Venice non-stop to Calabria in 11 hours. We had a fantastic summer! We visited Tropea and Scilla, but most of the time we went to Pizzo. A laid back, charming old village on top of a rock, 54 meters above the sea. Here, they say, the delicious tartufo ice cream was invented. And therefor there are bars all over the place selling the most delicious ice cream of Italy. The most beautiful moment of the day is sitting in the piazza in the sunshine at noon and all church bells are ringing at the same time and the sound of Ave Maria is transmitted via speakers ... for me it feels like I have yet arrived in paradise.
Since our son was born we spent here all our summers, staying at my in-laws place in Vibo Marina and going to Pizzo for a "passegiata" or "un giro in piazza". - And one day we passed by a real estate agency... and just for fun we asked for something with sea view.
This was back in 2006. An adventure had started.
And I am still blogging :-)