Last April, we spent three and a half weeks in our new place. The house is so beautiful, comfortable, and very relaxing.  Every window has a view of the mountains and nearly all the windows have views of castles, towers, or churches.  You can hear the stream next to the house bubbling. The house is from the 1700’s and has been updated throughout the centuries.  However, it does need some renovations as most properties in Italy do. By the time we renovate it and decorate it, it is going to be the house of our dreams.


 Some moderate changes and refreshing need to be made. This is to be expected of a house that has not been lived in for three years and one who’s former owner was a bit of an eccentric. First and foremost, the color scheme seems like some previous owner, was color blind. One room is periwinkle blue, another room is Barbie pink, and yet another room is pea-soup green.  The halls are half yellow and white, with a stripe of blue designed wallpaper separating the two. Most of the beautiful chestnut wooden beams on the ceilings of the second floor have been painted over. Some say this was mode in Italy in the 1900’s. I think there were a lot of drugs being used in Italy. We will be removing the paint and bringing it back to its original splendor. Along with paint peeling and missing latches, all in all, the house is in good condition. The bulk of the renovations will be done to the office, our bedroom, and the kitchen.



There are 5 bedrooms. Most of the bedrooms are on the large side. We were told by the architect that a couple of the bedrooms are large enough to be split into two rooms, We are going to leave them as is and add an extra bed in a two of the rooms for triple accommodations. We will be renovating what use to be the wine cellar in the ground floor into our bedroom and open an office/reception area in the adjacent room. The bedroom floors are the original cotto (terracotta brick) tiles with chestnut beams (travi) on the ceilings. All of the rooms have a wonderful view of the mountains, castle or church towers, and/or the stream.

Our plans: There is actually the possibility of having 7 bedrooms. However, we wanted to convert one room into a library/Internet room and the other we are merging with another room to make it a suite.



There are two bathrooms and not three as Rusty had noted. (Ooops story number one: Rusty swore that it had three bathrooms. But when he checked behind a door that he thought was a bathroom we found out that it is a closet instead. Decades earlier, this closet had been a half-bathroom. Maybe Rusty was channeling the late, late, late, owner’s spirit.) Well, Rusty won’t be going alone to check on anything else ever again. One of the bathrooms is huge; the other is your standard size European bathroom. Both bathrooms have bidets which are required and a standard in Italy. One of the bathrooms has a skylight in it and a tub, something which is not very common by Italian standards.

Our plans: We are adding three more bathrooms so that each bedroom has an ensuite or private bathroom.


Living Room

The living room is huge and has a massive fireplace in it. You could easily fit a loveseat in the fireplace. (Not recommended) This living room is perfect as a common area for relaxing and sitting by the fire drinking a glass of local wine. It has a wonderful built-in alcove/nitch with cotto bricks all around it. Underneath the alcove, it has build in shelves. The room has a wonderful view of Ghivizzano Alto with its castle and church bell tower.

Our plans: We want to add indirect lighting to this room to give it a warm, relaxing glow to it.



The kitchen is large. It has modern kitchen appliances with your typical built-into-the-cabinetry refrigerator. It has a small wood burning heater in the center of the room. Like the rest of the house, it has chestnut beams on the ceiling. Unlike the rest of the house, it has modern Italian tiles instead of the antique cotto tiles. It is separated into two rooms with the back being a large walk-in pantry. (This pantry room now houses the heater and gas tanks.) There are doors the lead out into the courtyard from the kitchen.

Our plans: We are doing plenty of renovating to the kitchen. We are moving the kitchen cabinets and appliances to the back room. We are adding tables and a buffet area to the front section. There will also be a small sitting area for guests wanting to sit down and plan out there day trips.


Library/Internet Room

We are renovating one room into a small library and Internet room.


Art Studio

There is a room in the back corner of the house that will become my art studio. It’s a narrow and long room that will be perfect for me and my art supplies. It is twelve feet from floor to ceiling and we are adding skylights to it. It has its own private door accessible from the stairs in the back of the house, for those times when Pepper just needs to get away and create.

Our plans: This will be the place for Pepper to create and showcase his work. (A mini gallery)



We met with geometras, architects, plumbers, electricians, and project managers to give them our ideas of the renovations we want to make. Although we have hired a project manager, we plan to visit often or have friends stay there to check-up on the progress.


We look forward to seeing the house transform into the jewel that we know it could  be.