Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Italian Attitude to Fast Food!

Spotted today at Val Di Chienti where a new Macdonald's has recently opened.  And remember Graffiti was invented by the Italians! I think they may have a point!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

We are Floored for Christmas!

 Our builders have completed the top floor floors on Cancello Est.  It has been an interesting engineering project to ensure that the property is stable and now earthquake proof.

A metal frame was secured to all the outer walls and "pinned" through the meter thick walls. Then a metal grid floor was welded on covering the entire floor space in every room.  Apparently, this structure will hold everything tight and secure and reinforce the floors and walls. I guess the old lady is now well corseted and all her featured tightly knitted together, keeping her firm and secure against anything Mother Nature may throw at her in the future!

 Next stage is the underfloor heating and the finish touch - the 16th Century honey coloured tiles.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Winter Visitor at Cancello Est. Could it be Rudolf?

A beautiful stag, happily grazing near Cancello Est. 

It's not Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen or Rudolf (no red nose) as they are Reindeer but this handsome fellow certainly gives a Christmas feel to Gualdo as he feeds in the warm afternoon sun. 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Craftsman versus Artist

They say that a man who works with his hands is a craftsman. I disagree. When you see the painstaking renovation of Cancello Est I think we are surrounded by artists.

This picture shows how our wonderful builders have recreated the roof and recycled the 17th Century tiles whilst hiding the 21st Century ones that will keep our guests warm and dry. Sadly residents won't see this detail as its three storeys above their heads.  Its a shame as it looks good enough to eat!

The Old Lady Reveals More Secrets

 As we peel back the layers of nearly 400 years of DIY and bad restoration Cancello Est continues to surprise us.  Now the roof structure has been completed the builders are busy removing walls and floors on the top floor which will eventually provide us with four luxury rooms all en-suite. These suites will have spectacular views of the Sibillini Mountains, the Grand Sasso and the National Park.

The floors, over the years had become a bit of a Mille Feuille with all the various layers added over the centuries. Sixty centimetres in total.

The first layer that was removed is 120 year old Terracotta floor tiles which are a rich red in colour and these will be recycled for the "cantina" area which will become the guest lounge, Bar, Dining Room and Cooking School.

The next layer was of course cement and underneath the builders discovered a deep layer at least 50 centimetres of compacted river sand and and earth.

The final reveal was the original 17th Century floor tiles that miraculously have been beautifully preserved against the ravages of time. They are  the most beautiful honey colour which is typical of the Marche region.

Now the walls are floors are removed the rebuilding begins with new beams, insulation, underfloor heating and of course the fully restored recycled floor tiles. Can't wait to see the finished floors  which the builders say should be before Christmas.

Its hard to comprehend that this magnificent building was constructed during the coronation of Charles I and has survived wars, famine and earthquakes.

Let it Snow,Let It Snow, Let it Snow

Could be famous last words - but we have had our first snow falls on the mountains and it all looks very festive and postcard Christmassy.  Gualdo is looking particularly festive and have put all the Christmas lights up in the historic area of town - we even have a set of lights outside Cancello Est.

Christmas Cake made, pickles done, Mince Pies in the oven - just need to add friends and family for the perfect Christmas