Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mosaics to the Limit!

The entrance to this curious residence

There is a town exactly halfway between Padua and Venice called Dolo. It's mostly famous for its prime location along the Brenta river, which boasts some of the most beautiful Veneto villas such as Malcontenta and Villa Pisani. Yet tucked away and on the other side of the Brenta, I have come across a different kind of fantastic home. It's superlative in another way: for its mosaic work.

At Via Brenta Bassa 43, a man has toiled his whole life to cover the inside and outside of his house with tiles, mosaics, and odd and even kitsch sculptures. Here is a glimpse of the fruits of his labor.

Street view

Detail of mosaics and sculptures

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Flurry of Work

Everyone knocks Italy as the place where little business gets done, but just wait for the holidays to end and you've got more than your share of job requests and urgent emails. It's January 7th, the day after the Epiphany which officially ends the Italian holiday season that begins with Christmas, and I have two new jobs confirmed. They want me to start this week, as in request on Monday morning and start work on Friday afternoon.

Maybe it's a bit of the "Northern" attitude. Italians are always comparing the North to the South.

What I love about the holiday season in the bel paese is that it's long. Two weeks. In the US, that's a luxury to say the least - anytime of year - except for teachers in the public school system. In that time, I was able to spend time with relatives, eat my fair share of all kinds of holiday food, drink plenty of wine and prosecco and devour cakes, cookies and chocolate. In between decadent sessions with food, I went snowshoeing, ice climbing, did some photography and read deep into my current book: The Pale King by David Foster Wallace. The last activity is more of a challenge than a pleasure considering its girth and sometimes its subject matter, but I am thrilled with my progress and the book's contents. I am actually a slow reader, which makes it all the more laborsome sometimes.

A big cheer for new job opportunities after a leisurely and extended series of feste.

Buon lavoro!