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" come from?
This is my creation for the blog's name! I just was looking for a nice name, easy to remember, easy to google.
Our house is not a palace like the ones for queens and princesses. It is that Italians do call a large house, or any residential or public building "a palazzo". No matter if the building is beautiful or ugly, old or new, it is a “palazzo”. And a single, fairly large, house with a garden in the countryside would be called a "villa".
Don't they have any simple houses in Italy, besides “palazzi” and villas? - you might wonder.
Of course there is a “casa”, the translation for "house". This word indeed is used for any "house" - that is smaller than a “palazzo” or "villa". However, it is also a term used by Italians for "home", like in "casa mia" which means "my home". So, “casa mia" could be a house, a villa, a palazzo - or even just an apartment. And apartments are always in a … palazzo (apartment building).
Have I lost you?
Often these buildings (palazzi) have a name. They are named after the owner, an influential or noble family, or after a famous architect. Our palazzo was built by a noble family over 200 years ago and was used over time mainly as a summer residence for nobles apparently coming from Maida and Lamezia area. But our palazzo has no historical significance in Pizzo, and the noble families (Bevilaqua, ) are not remembered in Pizzo in a way that the house would carry their name. But the last owner who used to live in the house for over 50 years is well remembered in Pizzo also because he was a known painter (fresco painting in churches of Pizzo and in the region). His name was Domenico Francesco Carioti. Therefore our house is still known by older locals as "casa Carioti", home of Carioti.
Over 40 years ago my husband CC was born in Vibo Valentia, the capital of the same named region of Calabria, the most southern part of the Italian mainland. Only Sicily is further south. At that time his parents, originally from Venice and Turin 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 to other places around the globe.
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 therefore 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 ... this moment for me feels like having arrived in paradise - just without being dead yet.
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 "passeggiata", for "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 :-)
But less than before. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram.