According to Word Reference, the Italian word "uffa" means "what a bore!" But, as you most probably already know, Italians have their own body language too and when uffa is accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders, maybe a pair of eyes darting up to the heavens, a helluva lot more can be conveyed in those two … Continue reading “Uffa” – essential vocabulary when renovating in Italy
A man turned up on my doorstep earlier today and he asked "is Alessandro home?" "No, he's not back yet," I reply. "Ok, then I'll tell you. Your dog has destroyed my vegetable patch. I saw with my own eyes that your dog was at the vineyard this morning and now I come home and … Continue reading Problems On The Horizon
The wonderful thing about Veneziana flooring is that it's made to order. Each one is completely unique and you can choose the exact composition of the stones. In our case, we went for an off-white base with red gems from China, dark green stones from Portugal, and a little bit of mother of pearl (but that's the most expensive) and some caramel coloured stones to break it up.
We're moving forward with the house renovation! It's all getting rather exciting. As of today, the roof is now finished - new layer of insulation underneath, new tiles, a couple more windows to bring in more light, and the solar panels.... It's taken a while but it's finished and finally the builders are starting to … Continue reading Onwards And Upwards: The Roof And The Walls
"Slowly but surely," is the answer. At the beginning stages of a house renovation, it's completely linear. Just bricks and mortar; walls and a roof. There's nothing else. It becomes frustrating because you can't say "well, these guys for X have been held up on another project so let's do Y, while we're waiting..." Now … Continue reading “How’s The House Coming Along?”
Just one quick look at the calendar and you know this week is going to be amazing. I mean, it's not even once every hundred years that Valentine's Day and Pancake Day/Mardi Gras land on the very same day. I could have gone full out on the heart-shaped American style pancakes with maple syrup and … Continue reading “The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray”
It's now February. February! How did that happen? We're already a good chunk into what I still think of as the new year. I think it's because I am starting to feel increasingly settled here in Italy, the days are going faster, the evenings are getting longer but I sometimes feel that I let days slip … Continue reading How Is It February Already?
After the month-long festivities to celebrate Santa Lucia, then Christmas, New Year's Eve and finally la Befana (don't know who La Befana is? click here and read my last blog post) you would probably expect me to say that things were starting to quieten down and for this frigid winter to be tightening its icy grip. … Continue reading Frittelle for Carnevale
It's been a little while since my last update on the building works. Unfortunately, the reason largely lies in the fact that, through no fault of our own, we've been at a standstill throughout most of November and December. On the plus side, we ran into our team of builders at the Befana bonfire in … Continue reading Update on the Renovations
One of the things that I try really hard to impress upon visitors is how divided Italy is. Until very recently it was not one country and mobility between towns, cities and across mountain ranges was limited. As a result, regional traditions are more localised than you may have first imagined and remain very much … Continue reading Burning “La Befana” – Very Much A Local Tradition