Monthly Archives: October 2013

Missing………not in action

It’s an unexpectedly busy time at work, due to unusual circumstances (pregnancies, illnesses, unplanned days off, etc.) plus we were planning a short trip abroad (me and daughter M), so I wasn’t around much and I won’t neither for a few more days.

But I will be back with a travel summary and photos, I promise.


Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Uncategorized



Typical #12 (maybe, I lost track….)

If you wanna know more about the place where I live, you might want to take a look here (take your time, it’s long….). Today I want to introduce you to a building I walk by often when I’m going home back from work in the evening, Palazzo Tirelli.

The palace of the Marquis Tirelli is one of the few remaining examples of palaces and manors of the first Renaissance with Lombard influence.

The Tirelli family originates from Desenzano (Lake of Garda), where in the sixteenth century was one of the noble families of the city. At the end of the century, Ferrante II, Duke of Guastalla, invited Giambattista Tirelli into his home with promises of citizenship and privileges. A century later, January 27, 1696, Giulio Tirelli and his legitimate descendants were created Marquis by Francesco Farnese, Duke of Parma, Piacenza and Castro for services rendered to the Court and to the public welfare. Francesco Tirelli in 1800, for his marriage to the Marchioness Barbara Malaspina Olivola, moved to Parma, where in 1816 covered the office of Chamberlain of the Court of Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma and in 1825 he became an honorary member of government, while his wife was Lady-in-waiting at the Duchess Court.

 The palace was for centuries the residence of noble families. Since the XIV century it belonged to the Counts Bajardi, while in the seventeenth century the family was replaced by a branch of the Counts Garimberti, and after that, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the palace came into the possession of the Marquis Tirelli. The heirs are still the owners of the upper floors of the building, thus the palace is not open the public. His 15th century façade stretches as a warm tapestry in the setting sun and the terracotta stucco around the windows are reminiscent of precious late gothic. The two large windows, 1st floors, almost intact, are arched and adorned by a high sills that sustain pilasters topped by a triangular tympanum: their fine carving of Lombard roots makes them ones of the most beautiful windows in Parma.

The semicircle of the entrance is adorned with lupines, while the entrance hall has a vault with 15th century decorations with racemes on a white background, where is inserted the christological symbol of St Bernardino.

(P.S. mind you, I entered a private place at my own risk to take the photos of the vault, and the concierge allowed me just because I was quick and …..yes, my smile IS charming………..)


Posted by on October 17, 2013 in Uncategorized



Through hell…..

And it was indeed! Almost two weeks ago my little home looked like this for about five days, due to some renovations of our electric system….

(trust me, that jeans cladded ass was the only good thing……)

Once the electricians were done, it started the real work…………….mine and daughter M………….. and it was such a pain in the a**! But then, that was over too, and my home finally looked fine and habitable again……………

I already have shivers down my back thinking about next spring when we’ll have it re-painted…………


Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Sepang Circuit. Here, 2 years ago (23 oct. 2011) Marco left this world. Today his team boss honoured him….#58 forever in our hearts.


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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


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A quick trip

While off work to renovate some electrical stuff at home, we have a quick trip to the seaside town of Viareggio for my daughter’s doc appointment……….we left under a grey early afternoon sky

but up in the mountain at the pass the sun was shining………….

We just had the time for a little walk to the doc studio….

and a coffee break before hitting the road again with an old face hanging over our heads…..don’t know why…

We drove back to the mountain pass again

but up there it was like this

luckily we left the fog behind us……….





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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


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The last saturday of september was my birthday. My daughter, my husband and a couple of friends had already presented me their gifts the night before, but I was feeling a little down because, let’s face it… was my 52nd birthday and I didn’t really feel like celebrating that much………so my daughter asked me to go with her and her friend F to another photo contest and spend the day together. I’m really happy I said yes because we had such a great time!

Early morning we drove to the little town of Salsomaggiore Terme, located at the foot of the Apennines about 40 kms from our home and a popular Spa town. During the reign of Marie Louise as Duchess of Parma Salsomaggiore started to be recognized as a spa attraction for therapeutic purposes. Salsomaggiore then became one of the most famous and celebrated watering places in Europe. Notable attractions of this town are the central square with its clothing shops, the main centre of the town with a ice-cream parlor that is renowned throughout the area and the countryside surrounding this valley town. I used to go there often, especially in summer, when I was younger, because the town was a nice attraction for young people with lots of places where to dance or listen to live music, and it felt good to be back after many years.

Our first stop was the “Palazzo dei Congressi” – the Conference Center – to have daughter and F registered. The building housed a photographic exhibition, but I was more interested in the place itself…..

Located att the heart of a magnificent park, the luxurious Grand Hotel des Thermes, a splendid building in Art Nouveau-Art Deco style, known for more than thirty years as “Palazzo dei Congressi, is within walking distance of all Salsomaggiore’s hotels. Its captivating frescoed halls, together with its more modern structures, provide a venue for congresses, conferences, meetings and other events, with a seating capacity of 2,300. The Conference Centre occupies three floors: the “historical” halls, known, respectively, as “Moresco” (Moorish), “Cariatidi” (Caryatids), Pompadour and “Taverna Rossa” (Red Tavern), are rich in architectural and decorative invention, and are amongst the most important examples of Art Deco in Italy.

The building was designed in 1898, on a commission from the Società Magnaghi to the architect Luigi Broggi.  Opened in 1901, the hotel was managed by Cesare Ritz, who together with Baron Pfyffer, acquired it in 1910. The plan is a horseshoe shape with originally 300 rooms spread over four floors. The outside is covered in brick. The awning over the entrance and the railings in wrought iron were done by Alessandro Mazzucotelli. Among the external and internal pictorial decorations, those of the Dining Room (Sala Cariatidi), the work of Gottardo Valentini, are particularly fine.

After the First World War, the hotel was ceded to the Società Anonima Grandi Alberghi Salsomaggiore; the building was enlarged with the construction of a new body, attached to the already existing one, facing the park. It came to house the Moorish Salon (Salone Moresco), the Red Tavern (Taverna Rossa), and the Loggia-Veranda (Loggiato Veranda), works of Ugo Giusti and Galileo Chini. To Chini we owe the decorations of the inner rooms, inspired by the Moorish style, and the refacing of the cupola of the Dining Room, in Japanese style. The artists who partecipated were Antonio Veronesi, who did the cupola of the Moorish Salon, the Chini Ceramic Works of Borgo San Lorenzo, who provided the glass, Salvatore Aloisi, the sculptor who provided the stucco models and the sculptures, and Franco Spicciani of Lucca, the furniture maker who devised the red-lacquered tavern tables and chairs.
After the Secon World War, the hotel passed to Count Leoni and then was acquired, in 1965, by the Municipality of Salsomaggiore Terme.

M and F were more interested in the photos, but after all, they are professionals!!

Done with the contest formalities and the visit to the exhibition, we were out, photo hunting. M and F were at least, I was just following them taking photos on my own without that much pressure, they however had to follow the contest rules, six themes, one photo each theme to submit to the judges – september, social, lines, memories, green and impossible – in the afternoon. I guess I had much more fun just wandering around…..

……… until a building attracted my attention, the headquarters of the Tourist Office.

Set on the corner of the street leading to the Spa, the building was erected in 1914 from the design of architect Orsino Bongi. Count Ladislaw Tyszkiewicz, who commissioned the work, intended to use the premises for “Warowland”, a modern art gallery. In 1919 the property passed to Marchesa Alberta Dalla Rosa Zambelli, but was taken as state property by a decree of 27 April of the same year. The building became the seat of the administration offices of the spa. As an isolated episode in the urban contest, the “palazzina” was created in the Neo-medieval Lombard style, evident in the decorations of the exterior walls, with arms and fasces painted in polychrome. The stucco simulates pointed stones and “fish scales”.
The building is articulated around an interior courtyard that creates a type of cloister with garden, visible from the atrium that crosses the building in correspondance with the tower. Notable the use of wood under the eaves and in the external stairs that lead to the loggia with stone balustrades.

Outside the courtyard M and F were waiting for me, ready to visit the Spa building…………

The spa building is dedicated to Lorenzo Berzieri, the first doctor who systematically studied the therapeutic properties of the town’s natural mineral waters. The “Terme Berzieri” were designed at the beginning of 1900. In 1912, the project was given to the architect Ugo Giusti, in an earlier phase he worked on the project with the engineer Giulio Bernardini. In 1919, after the interruption of the First World War, the project included Galileo Chini and his collaborators of San Lorenzo Ceramics Works, which prepared the building’s decorative materials. The building’s work ended four years later, and the pubblic opening was held on 27 May 1923. On the facade, you can recognize some of Chini’s particular artistic experiments. Of note are the paired lion heads that decorate the roof over the entrance. The model of the lion head is the work of the sculptor Francesco Aloisi, who together with Guido Calori was one of Chini’s closest collaborators. In the blue girls in lion cloths, placed to the lower side of the mezzanine windows, as in the lions that flank the word “Thermae”, it is possible to see an echo of Chini’s experience in Siam, nowadays Thailand.

The interior of the atrium, decorated by Giuseppe Moroni, contains marbles, murals and stuccoes. The monumental double staircase at the end of the vestibule leads to the first floor. By climbing it one can see the stucco rosettes on the ceiling, that frame the artificial lights like flowers, while the skylight, open above the funnel of the stairs, confers a suffused luminosity to the entire space. At the end of the staircase are the frescoes of Galileo Chini. The female figures hover on the gilded background among dense scrolls in a fantastic landescape of water and luxuriant vegetation, evidently an allegory using the environmental motifs that characterize the watering place. On the front wall is a fresco of Giuseppe Moroni, of 1923. It is a typical example of Art Déco.

After that feast for the eyes, we needed a break, so we searched for a place to sit down and have something to drink.

Our feet brought us to the “Gran Cafè del Teatro” ( Theater Grand Cafè) dedicated to Federico Fellini and his movies….and once the location for the final steps of the “Miss Italia” competition….

After that we had a short walk to the place we choose for lunch……….

where we finally could relax waiting for the time to hand the photos to the committee……….

Much more heavy then before, we walked back to the Conference Center …………….

to finally have the photos downloaded, named, classified and encoded…….

Some of you already know that the next day M was awarded the first prize in the category “social” with this photo….and I really have to say how proud I was???

I had just the time to come back home, take a shower and I was out again, to meet our friends to have a pizza together………..

All in all, not a bad day………..if not for that #52…………….















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Posted by on October 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


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What happened lately…..

Ok, sorry for being away for too long, me too I missed updating here, but life has its own way to keep you distracted….

Anyway, here are some photos about what happened to me in the last few weeks, starting with a mid-september 100 years anniversary celebration of a place dear to all my fellow citizens, a kiosk in the biggest and most crowded park in town, that day they offered a free buffet to the old and new customers (you had to register in advance, obviously). Luckily the weather was just fine……Everyone living here has memories of this place, it’s open all year with different hours but always a meeting point for anyone.

After that it was time for another celebration, a new bar opening right in the street at the corner to where I work, and the new manager is the brother of a dear friend, so obviously we couldn’t miss it!

See the guy above? he’s A, and now you know where I have a free coffee each morning…………

A very cold and rainy sunday morning we received a call from our friends L&S from Modena, they were on their way to pick us up and bring us out for lunch. Could we say no? We had lunch at one of our usual place in the mountain and then spent the afternoon chatting in a bar nearby………..

Talking about friends, my daughter just made a new one. I have this collegue, it’s about one year, she lives in Milan but has a little flat here for the working week, and we get along pretty well together. We often talk about our daughters, about the same age, and we found out they have a lot in common, so we decided to have a night out all together. We choose a japanese restaurant, another thing we all have in common, a fondness for that kind of food……..

We had a great time and since that evening M and L have met twice already, just the two of them, but we’re planning another dinner soon all together.

The next weekend was one full of events, we attented two, the first was one centered on old arts and works, with some native fruits and veggies market, held at a park in the outskirts of town

and the next day we strolled around the city center where the annual Parma Ham Festival was held. We had lots of tasting and we collected new recipes….

It was a feast for the eyes, the nose and the (watering) mouth………..and there were also lots of foreigners and it was so funny being in the city main square and listen to so many languages….

The end of the month signed also my 52nd birthday (sic!) but this a story for the next post………….











Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


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