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L’Antica Vetreria – the glass factory renovation

L’Antica Vetreria

‘Unknowingly, we plow the dust of stars blown about us by the wind and we drink the universe in a glass of rain.’

Ihab Hassen

I am honored to share the latest in our series of guest posts on one of my favorite topics – Renovating in Italy. I knew that we couldn’t be the only ones out there dreaming about houses in Italy. Today we are joined by Tom and Colleen who share the renovation of their incredible home in Umbria a medieval Glass Factory – L’Antica Vetreria

What inspired you to renovate this property?

We fell in love with Umbria on our honeymoon in 1994.  The next years found us returning again and again, exploring many regions, but our hearts were firmly in Umbria. We looked at places to renovate to create a place for vacationing travelers; daydreaming of what life would be like in this town or that village.

One day from my desk in Seattle, a miracle happened when I found a website of a geometra listing property, one had the title “industrial archeology”  being curious, I opened the link.  What I found was a vast abandoned 13th century glass factory perched right on the medieval wall of the little Umbrian village, Piegaro, near Perugia.  We set off by plane two days later from Seattle to Italy to view L’Antica Vetreria

“Our hearts were firmly in Umbria…”

l'antica vetreria piegaro italy

Can you remember the first time you saw L’Antica Vetreria and what were your initial thoughts?

On a rainy day in April, with the light disappearing we met the owner and walked into a tiny lane way, deserted for over sixty years, broken tiles strewn around, an old iron bathtub abandoned in the narrow street.

Fumbling with a heavy set of keys, Mario opened a padlock to a huge wooden factory door.  With a flashlight we picked our way along beams, trying not to fall two floors below, within minutes my mind was racing with plans.

We spent the night in the hotel and when we saw L’Antica Vetreria in daylight, our fate was sealed. This huge space was three times what we were looking for, but we had to have it. We switched gears fast and  drew plans for a villa in the main factory, showing these rough plans to the Geometra, Gianni Romizi, he  immediately introduced us to the newly elected  mayor of the Comune.

 It was all happening so fast but we leaped in, knowing it was the right place at the right time with the right people.

“When we saw it in daylight, our fate was sealed”

l'antica vetreria piegaro italy

The History of L’Antica Vetreria

We continue to learn about our ancient glass-works’ rich history, from the people who have lived in its shadow their whole lives. They transport us back to the Middle Ages when Piegaro was at its height of fame with renowned glass masters.  L’Antica Vetreria was the first glass factory founded by masters who came from Venice in 1292 and started this amazing tradition that has lasted for over 720 years.

In every nook and cranny of Piegaro there were large and small vetreria, glass factories.  Most of the Piegarese worked in them; men and boys fueling the hot ovens and blowing glass, women and young girls weaving the straw fiaschii that gave a base for the hand blown bottles.

“The people who have lived in its shadow their whole lives”

L'Antica Vetreria

Renovating is a huge challenge. How have you survived the process?

It must be said that we were in the home building business back in Seattle and had renovated homes there.  But we are talking wood houses with sheet rock walls.  Being in the business, however, prepared us  to work with sub-contractors and  to make intuitive decisions. But, I must say that the overwhelming motivation was to live our dream…no matter how much bigger this one became!

“Within just a few minutes my mind was racing with plans.”

l'antica vetreria piegaro italy

Your favorite rooms and why?

So many favorite rooms and areas in our massive property: The main factory floor that is now the Villa with the giant arch, the top of the  tower with its arrow slit windows; the cozy Cantina, named for the wine barrels left from the 18th century. Being perched on the western wall with stunning sunsets over the panoramic countryside, and right inside a village is living our perfect dream…privacy when we want and life in the piazza just steps away.

“This is where friendships are made and nourished.”

colleen 4

What does ‘Living your Dream’ look like?

My daughter turned 21 the same year that I turned 50.  She asked me a question that, when I really ruminated over it, changed my life.  “Mom”, she asked, “What is the difference in the dreams you had when you were 21 and the ones that you have now?”  The short answer was that I gave up my dream of 21, when life got in the way…the dream to live in Europe.  I realized that I still wanted to do that. She encouraged me to follow my dream, and without missing a beat, my dear husband said, let’s go for it!

I think choosing to nurture a dream and making an intentional choice to be open to a new culture has kept us vibrant past our middle years. As we approach seventy, it is a guarantee that we will not slow down.

colleen 3

How important were your team? 

We were lucky to  meet the perfect Geometra (surveyor) who was adept at managing projects from start to finish, and to find a perfect property.  In Italy, what makes or breaks a project is really who you know and what network those people will introduce you into.

That the Mayor took us to meet the head of the cultural committee really sealed the deal.   We met several people who unreservedly recommended Gianni Romizi, our geometra  and Mario Pagliaccia our main contractor.

It was very important for us to personally source all of our materials: choosing  the lighting, fixtures, cabinets,  tiles,  the 12th Century stone lintel, travertine tile for the pool and negotiating prices.  We asked for competing bids on everything and trusted ours and Gianni’s judgment. My husband and I also created the electrical plans for our contractor, specifying outlets,and  light switches .

When we were within five months of finishing, I rented an apartment and lived there full time.

“We are still in awe of the devout attention of our geometra, Gianni Romizi, who nursed this project daily for over three years.”

l'antica vetreria piegaro italy

Tell us a little about the fabric of village life. How has the village embraced you?

I knew little Italian when we started, but quickly immersed myself in village life and got very good at asking, “Come se dice” (how do you say) and pointing.  We make it a habit to go on the daily evening walk around the village and hang out in the piazza so that we can be in contact with others.  In a small village without yards, life is lived in the piazza and in the cafes and shops.  This is where friendships are made and nourished.

Each year as we lose an elderly friend, we grieve intensely and each year when new babies are expected, we rejoice.  Simple daily pleasures such as sharing a dinner menu at the butcher’s and being given a few extra fresh carrots and parsley at the  market is the essence of a good life.

“Living within a village you enjoy the true flavor of Italy”

Many thanks to Tom and Colleen for sharing this wonderful life they have created.

and the gang x

 

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Casa Colleverde – a stunning transformation

Casa Colleverde

When I first ‘met’ Simon through a wonderful expat group I fell in love with Casa Colleverde.  I loved the attention to detail, the rich colors, the consideration of the way the house would fit into the environment, and the fact that the house wasn’t at all rustic but rather ugly. The transformation surprised even me and I have seen some incredible transformations over the years.

I hope you enjoy x

My current  home ‘Casa Colleverde’ is the third restoration I have been involved in 10 years in Italy, so I should not be surprised by the problems I encountered whilst restoring it.  I had assumed and hoped it would get easier the third time around, but there is ALWAYS something you don’t anticipate.

Going against the usual expat choice of a traditional house, Simon and his partner Carmelo were looking for something with lots of natural light which could be radically altered both internally and externally. They found it in a ‘really ugly’ late 70′s house Casa Colleverde. The more traditional houses we looked at in better positions had impossible space i.e. difficult to do anything with, and probably more relevant to us  impossible prices!

So that pushed me to do something very modern. I like the contrast of living in a modern house in a very traditional setting. Creating a contemporary home so far out of the ugly duckling has involved many debates with the architect and also with the planners and builders. The height of the doors, the size of the windows, with large windows how to keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter, what technology to use etc etc.

The house was finished in 2011, four years after starting the project but due to an unforeseen bureaucratic hurdle we were unable to open as a B&B until recently. I have in the meantime been entertaining friends and family in a lovely part of the world. In effect the longest ‘soft opening ever.

In fact I ended up in Italy almost by chance or by fate depending on your point of view as 2 years prior to starting the project my partner of 16 years had died.  I was single and doing garden design  in London a career change I had made  years earlier from an accountant which I  hated. My friends in London Paolo and Phillip (one English and one Italian) were looking to do an Agriturismo in Tuscany and  asked me to be their business partner.

Coincidentally my late partner and I had said if we could live anywhere else  it would be Italy, so I decided to say yes to my friends not really thinking  that eventually I would move lock stock and barrel to Italy a few years later.

With no previous experience in the industry our learning curve was perpendicular and we could write several books on our experiences but to avoid embarrassing ourselves we had better keep quiet. We worked on these projects together, with Philip largely responsible for doing the interior and myself the exterior and they still run them.

Villa Fontelunga opened in June 2000 as a luxury “B and B” and 12 years later is still going strong.

The renovation was undertaken at the time when the book ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ was published. This book reflected many of our experiences when buying and renovating our first property in Italy together with the fact that Cortona where the property in the book was situated was right across the valley from us.

We embarked on our next project four years after opening and with the traumas of dealing with builders, Italian bureaucracy and meeting opening deadlines . This was a restoration/rebuilding of a rudere in the valley behind us to create three independent Villas in a contemporary style.

 

Scannagallo (abover) is the largest of the 3 Villas within the Fattoria, and is designed as a smaller version of Villa Fontelunga.

Villa Gallo the larger “cottage” of the Fattoria Di Scannagallo, faces Villa Galletto across a walled lavender garden with a shared reflective pond swimming pool.

Having completed ‘Fontelunga Villa’s’ and suffering in varying degrees from stress, ulcers and back pain (me responsible for creating gardens from reinforced clay) we all vowed never to do it again.

Of course vows are made to be broken….

As far as advice to other would be renovators/ movers to a strange country….

  • You need to have an idea what you want to get out of your move – where you want to live may be idyllic particularly in summer but what about in the winter?  Is it near a village/ town for essential services if required – schools doctors hospitals transport. Or work if needed. It maybe best to visit and buy the property in winter so see it at its worst.

  • Some services that you may take for granted in say London or in another city don’t exist or  are patchy up a hill in Liguria, eg internet or communal water. Make sure you have the essential services before buying  or alternatives  – I am on a well , I drilled a new one prior to buying the property to ensure I had water.

  • Make sure you have enough resources to complete the renovation or means to support yourself whilst doing it and after. Even after 3 renovations I am always surprised how much everything costs and how long it takes. Mine was at least 30% over mainly because of difficulty in accessing it on the hill and some unforeseen problems of the site. In the end it took twice as long as anticipated and we had to do a fair amount of landscaping and retaining walls which was costly.

  • Some practicalities of renovating, employ individual craftsmen yourself rather than through a main contractor as it is cheaper. If you can live on site or nearby whilst doing the work you can make sure it is done properly. Employ a good geometra who is known in the commune where you are renovating as he can resolve potential problems.

Related Links:

  • Simon’s Website for Casa Colleverde.  Let him know you found him on Renovating Italy
  • Simon’s blog Casa Colleverde, is a wonderful record of the renovations

Written by Simon Carey for Renovating Italy.

Images from the private collections of  Simon and his Partners

Professional images of Casa Colleverde ~  Brotherton Lock

and the gang x

 

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Jill Pennington – The Diary of a single parent abroad

jill pennington

I am honored to share the latest in our series of guest posts on one of my favorite topics – Renovating in Italy. I knew that we couldn’t be the only ones out there dreaming about houses in Italy. Today we are joined by Author Jill Pennington who shares the renovation of her home in Reggio Emilia.

A wicked sense of humor and strength of spirit are what drew me to the story of author Jill Pennington. Certainly not your usual tale of expat life in Italy, she tells it like it is with gritty realism.

In  2004 Jill, her husband and young family sign for a property in Italy.

“One house just about habitable… for wildlife, and one derelict, plus four fields and lots of trees. I’d never owned a tree before or a field.”

Along with her three young children Jill Pennington sets about transforming the place while her husband commutes  between England and Italy. Soon after she discovers he has been having an affair, that he won’t be joining her in Italy, and she must pick up the pieces and create a new life for her family.

Jill’s story resonated with me so strongly as my own Mum went through something similar. My Dad died aged only 39 and left Mum with three young children to raise, a mortgage to pay, and work to find to support the family.  I grew up knowing that my Mum could do anything, and so could I.

What I love about this story is that Jill didn’t just pack it in and return to England. She stayed and carved out (often literally) a place for her family in the Italian countryside. From working tractors, to chainsaws, digging a well and finding ways to make do, all with a sense of humor. She didn’t give up.

As a Mum who has renovated with young children in Italy I have immense admiration for someone who gets stuck in and gets dirty.

“The people from my village kept asking me what I was doing?
This wasn’t normal behavior for a female – where was my apron and rolling pin?
AND where was my husband?

With little money to spare she had no intention of being a glorified “coffee girl” for the builders. With a few bad experiences she took on managing the project herself much to the bemusement of the locals. Together with the workers she removed all the roof tiles, put in a new chimney then lined the roof with waterproof sheeting, before replacing the tiles.

“The house appeared to have been built by the three little pigs, there was straw, newspaper, pasta, all sorts of materials went into this build.

Pulling it down was a doddle, it just came apart in my hands.
Every day I would work on it although without machinery or proper tools progress was slow.”

Three cats, two dogs, ten ducks, nine chickens, two geese, two donkeys and a goat later the story continues. She now runs a small farm. The children are  teenagers and although parts of the renovation are yet to be completed this family know that they are capable of anything, that they can live on a shoestring, and that creating a life you love is in the end the only thing that matters.

Where do you get your sense of humor?

That’s easy – my mum, she had the ability to make any event funny without trying. I remember when I announced my first pregnancy and she turned up at my house with a babygrow. She said ‘It doesn’t matter what you have because this babygrow is bisexual’

I could probably write a book full of silly sayings/quotes that she entertained us with. My daughter seems to have inherited the gene as well, she and I are so in tune with each other we spend most of our time together giggling.

Renovating a home is a huge challenge. How have you survived the process? What did you learn from the process?

I have renovated a few houses, my own and other peoples. I really enjoy the work and am constantly learning new skills. The first time I did it we lived on site with three children under 8 years old, so that was the hardest one.

Why was living in Italy a dream for you? What was it about Italy that had you stay?

I visited only once and I was hooked, I was initially drawn by the climate and the better quality of life to bring up my children. It is very different to UK life. I knew as soon as I arrived that it was right for me and my children.

What do your kids love most about living in Italy?

They have enjoyed the outdoor life, freedom to roam and the socializing.

In Italy people don’t use babysitters as they would in the UK, if you go out you take your kids with you and they learn to interact with others of all ages.

They are encouraged to make meals a social event and this helps them to develop confidence and conversational skills instead of turning into the grunting teenagers who only have computer games for company.

What advice would you give to others contemplating a “country / renovation change”?

Make sure if you are doing it with a partner/spouse that you both want the same thing, make sure you have more money than you think you need or some way of earning it because it will always cost a lot more than you expect.

What are your tips for living a simpler life, and how does living in Italy reflect that?

Appreciate what you have and if you don’t need it don’t buy it. I have lived in Italy for eight years, they have been the happiest years of my life but also the poorest.

I have learned to forage for food and make meals with what you find. Money is overrated.

Tell us about the process of writing a book, how long did it take, what was the inspiration/motivation. Are you planning a sequel?

My book ‘The diary of a single parent abroad’ is my story about moving to Italy, then my marriage breaking down and how the kids and I coped. It took 6 years to complete and I now need to write another but hopefully it will be a quicker process for the sequel.

 

Related Links:

Jill’s Website The Diary of – a single parent abroad.

Jill’s book  The diary of a single parent abroad, is available through amazon

Jill Pennington is also on Facebook

Images  from the private collection of  Jill Pennington

and the gang x

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Borgo di Vagli – a walk through time

borgo di vagli

I can’t remember how I came across Borgo di Vagli, now a touchstone for our dream Italian village.  Instantly wrapped around my heart I fell in love. Not only with the stunningly restored 14th century hamlet but with the abandoned broken buildings that held the original promise of renewal.

It was architect Fulvio Di Rosa with the assistance of Dina Fragai that took this “crazy dream” and turned it into reality. Not a simple task certainly and one that took years to gain the necessary approvals. I have watched this footage taken in December 1999 by Lee & Cecilia Cogher many times and wonder what thoughts were going through their heads as they wandered the ruins. Would the excitement out weigh the enormity of the task, did they find themselves consumed, drawn in, with no other option but to chase this wild dream.

We explored our rustic village like kids in a lolly shop, already making plans in our heads and talking of nothing else until sleep took over that night. Ever since this ancient place in the mountains of Piemonte has been a part of me, like a second wedding ring that I would never remove.

Walking back through time is a gift, one that I am constantly drawn towards. I’m sure this is why I love places like Borgo di Vagli so much, the spirit of the past is still there. There is nowhere to get, it is complete within itself. Waiting only for the right people to come along and restore it to it’s original state.

To think that the doors and windows have not been changed, which means that the light entering is the same. I could stand in the same shadows, watch the light play and dance on the richness of ochre walls just as others from centuries past did. Touch the same worn stones warmed by the Tuscan sun.

Doorways low enough to crack the unwary head, spaces rebuilt to the original designs, tiny windows and immense thick walls to keep out the heat and cold. Authentic, without pretense…recreated such that the original owners could enter as if they had never left.

For further information on Borgo di Vagli you can contact directly on the site below and let them know Renovating Italy sent you!

♦ Borga di Vagli : Club Borga di Vagli

 

 

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A Dream of Italy – The Field Stones of Umbria

field stones of umbria

I am honored to share the latest in our series of guest posts on one of my favorite topics – Renovating in Italy. I knew that we couldn’t be the only ones out there dreaming about houses in Italy. Today we are joined by Authors Nina (The Field Stones of Umbria) and Pavel who share the renovation of their stunning home in Umbria.

Twenty years ago, this is what we fell in love with….

Impossible?

Yes and no. We had no intention of buying a farmhouse that needed “renovating”, let alone buying one that was a complete ruin without water, electricity, heat or anything else except brambles and trees growing out of the center of the house, surrounded by what looked like sturdy walls until you took a closer look.

But we had fallen in love with Italy, with this tiny valley near Montone in the Upper Tiber Valley, and we just went giddy with emotion and bought it. Our intuition proved to be valid when the geometre saw the house for the first time in its present condition, and quietly said, “Nice house.”

field stones of umbria

After we bought the house and property, we started to get to know our neighbors.

This contadina family had owned most of the valley (including our house) for generations spanning over 100 years.There wasn’t much history to the house itself—it was maybe 150 years old—but there was a history full of hard work and strife in this valley during and after World War II.

Our neighbor told us he had lived in the small tower throughout the war when he was in his teens without heat, electricity, or water. When the Germans “retreated” north in 1944, they wreaked havoc and destruction throughout the Upper Tiber Valley.

The women and young boys had to escape into the hills between Montone and Pietralunga where they lived in the wilderness during one of the coldest and snowiest springs ever. They hauled wood and water for five kilometers every day and had to rely on hunting for food. When they returned, their homes had been ransacked but at least they were still standing.

That was the last time the house was habitable and now we were going to reconstruct it completely.

We worried what they thought of this—so many foreigners were buying up old properties and turning them into fancy buildings that have nothing to do with the local landscape. But when we said we were complying with the style and rules of Umbrian architecture, they seemed pleased. Our valley is so tiny—only 12 houses—and a style outside of the local architecture would look completely out of place.

I’m not sure why we chose to undertake this renovation, and I say renovation with a bit of a giggle because it was a total, complete reconstruction. We really didn’t know what we were doing or getting into, we just knew that this was huge in our lives and we were ready for it.

We didn’t think we could afford to add the tower, especially since our geometre had tripled its size from the original. He insisted that the house would not be Umbrian without it. We finally gave in to his passion, and he was so thrilled that he managed to build it without going over the original budget.

Our neighbor came over to see us one day toward the end of the construction phase. He asked if he could see the tower. We took him up and he stood quietly for a long time, then turned slowly around taking in the light through the windows on either side. He smiled through his tears and thanked us for bringing his tower back to life.

After two summers and one autumn here, we knew.

The lure of Italy had pulled us in, challenging us to recreate ourselves and make this our home forever.

We responded. We sold our house in California, put everything into a container ship, and moved here in 2000. We’ve never looked back.

We did not ever intend to live here permanently. This was going to be our summer house, and the rest of our time would still be spent living in Santa Cruz, California, where we had had our careers, family, and the Pacific Ocean 200 meters away.

Over the years we’ve renovated, landscaped, planted gardens, and have settled in to what many people thought was the impossible dream in ruins. Thank goodness we never did! What we’ve experienced here was so special that I wrote a book about it. The Field Stones of Umbria  tells more of our story but also reveals those moments in life, which—if you choose to take them–can change you forever.

Here are some further images of our renovated and recreated life.

the field stones of umbria

Related Links:

Written by Nina Hansen Machotka for Renovating Italy.

Images from the private collection of  Nina and  Pavel.

 

 

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Renovating the Italian Farmhouse – a work in progress

What is it that makes a house a home? I just love this story of Sally’s Uncle, his family and the history of this house. I love the feel of her home that comes through in her images and at her blog, family, love and happy moments.

italian farmhouse

Originally a very simple Italian farmhouse, built to last, with rough stone walls it has slowly been transforming over the years. Built in the 1920’s the taller section of the house held one family, Arrigo’s uncle, his wife and their four children.  Whilst the other section built in the 1940’s was home to Sally’s Uncle Arrigo. He lived here with his parents , two sisters and brother.

Back then you can see that the house section was much smaller. There was only the kitchen on the ground floor and the main bedroom upstairs (which is our bedroom today)! All the rest of the house was a cattle shed with the hay storage on the top floor. Fairly typical of an Italian farmhouse.

There was no bathroom, no hot water and no stove in this Italian farmhouse. The fireplace was used to cook, heat water, and was the only heating they had through the winter. There was electricity but it was just for lighting the house.

These were farmers who hardly ever bought anything, they even made their own soap. They ate what they produced and were quite poor, my uncle always says “we were poor, but happy”. Each of the children had duties to do before and after  school, which was a four kilometer walk away.

Arrigo and his sister would walk twice a day to the dairy. They would deliver the cow’s milk in two buckets hanging on the ends of a stick that they held on their shoulders. The milk was very precious so they had to be very careful not to spill any. Then there were chickens and other animals to take care of, the garden and so on….

Arrigo was born in this house in 1944, and lived here until 1960. At that time his mother decided to live and work in Milan as a domestic for a family, and he was the only one left with her. His Father had died in his 50s some years before. His two sisters became nuns, (one has been a missionary in Perù for 16 years, and the other a seclusion nun in Foligno). His brother went to a monastry in Bologna where he became a monk, but passed away in his fifties.

So Arrigo went to Milan where he learned to be a mechanic. He married Sally’s aunt, and they had three children. In the seventies after he had married and had his second child, he decided it was time to renovate the farmhouse. It took some years, but they changed the cattle shed and barn into another two bedrooms with a bathroom upstairs, and a huge living room and dining room downstairs.

There is another big room right on top of the garage that has never been finished. Sally plans to create another small apartment with an open space for English lessons putting up a small school, with an outside entrance. She lives here full time with her husband Settimo and her mother Tanina. “Anyway we have been changing and renovating a lot during the last 5 years, especially inside, and starting to do outside too”.

Arrigo bought the whole property in the nineties . So now it’s all his. He still lives in Milan and uses the renovated third house (see above) which was once the cattle shed for weekends and summer holidays.

If you’d like to ask Sally a question about the renovation of her Italian Farmhouse please feel free to do so in the comment section below, I’m sure she’d be happy to share with you all…

and the gang x

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Sally Ganci – Our first guest renovator

I am excited to announce that over the course of the year, I’ll be running a special series of guest posts on one of my favorite topics – Renovating in Italy. I knew that we couldn’t be the only ones out there dreaming about houses in Italy, so I have enlisted the help of some friends who have also undertaken renovations and would like to share the experience with you .

A beautiful lady and the first to put her hand up when I shared my idea is Sally Ganci….who is based in the Provence of Emilia Romagna. She shares her wonderful Italian farmhouse with a rambling garden overflowing with flowers and lives with her husband Settimo, her Mother Tanina and beloved menagerie of animals. She blogs about it all here.

Don’t let her fool you, despite what she says Sally Ganci is no ordinary woman and this is no ordinary house!

Not only did Sally share with me the story of her house, it’s history and it’s renovations, she also shared a little of her life and this is where I’ll start.

Sally’s family is originally from Sicily, they then moved to America.  “My Dad and his family was from Castellamare del Golfo, Trapani, and my Mom’s family was from Palma di Montechiaro Agrigento. So I have PURE Sicilian blood in my veins.”

Sadly her father was just 37 years old when he lost his life in an accident at work. He had only been in America  two years and left his wife Tanina, young son Joe  and unborn daughter behind.

Years passed and when she was twelve the family returned to Italy and settled in Milan. She was only able to speak a little bit of Sicilian at the time because it was what her Grandparents and Uncles in New York would speak.

“It was really hard, especially going to an Italian school, but I had a great Italian teacher which helped me a lot, and I learned the language without even realising it. It’s faster than you think when you’re so young, really, after about six months I felt great with it!.

I met my husband Settimo and we married and continued to live in Milan before moving to a town near Reggio Emilia.

My interests have always been varied. I have used my native language to teach English for many years and also to translate. I have always loved to teach children and received my certification to teach Kindergarten and subsequently specialized in the Steiner method.

Giuseppe is my co-worker in the stone company and is also a muratore. He has done all the renovations of the old barn that has become my uncle’s vacation home. Also all the renovations in this house where I live with my husband Settimo and where my Uncle was born and grew up. Davide is my other co-worker, he’s a graphic designer and takes care of all the drawings of our works.

I have done my part of course. All the wooden parts he made were finished by me as I worked for a company that renovates old doors, windows, and shutters ect. So I’m great at doing all the sanding and varnishing parts!

My husband and I of course did all the rest, putting in the garden and decorating the interior… it is a work in progress and a labor of love!

In the next post I’ll share with you the beautiful story of the house and it’s history as shared by Uncle Arrigo.

and the gang x

 

 

 

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