Tag Archives: antiques

Discovering Some Family Treasures

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After falling back to sleep around 4:30 am, we slept until about 9. By the time we made it down to the “bar” for breakfast, they were almost out of goodies! Luckily, they still had my absolute favorite – a marmelade filled croissant. The pastries and the coffee here are uniquely good – there is no comparison to anything I have had anywhere else.


After breakfast, we crossed the street from our hotel to head to the bank for some currency exchange. On the way, we passed Il Nazionale, the establishment that my grandparents had during the War. It was a bar and restaurant, with a few rooms to rent upstairs. My dad grew up here, and I have a picture of him as a little boy standing on this same balcony.


The house is now owned by an old friend of my father’s…and while we were strolling in front of it and stopping to take pictures, he saw us and invited us in!!! What a treat it was! I was able to see furniture, light fixtures, floors, and other things that were in the house when my Dad lived in it.


He was telling us that they want to redo the house, and they are planning on THROWING AWAY some of these pieces of furniture! Can you believe that they are just going to toss them? I am determined to see what I can do about saving them! Hopefully, I can figure out a way to send them safely across the seas to find a new home in California!


After living some of my father’s family history, we strolled towards the home that my mom grew up in. Her family home is located in the historic center of town, and as a historic building, the exteriors cannot be altered. Therefore, the outside of her home looks just like it has for hundreds of years….but evidently, the interiors have all been modernized.


Unfortunately, I was not able to see the insides. The small cobblestone alleyway was the path my mom took on her wedding day that led to the Church.


Visiting some old family friends, I enjoyed listening to stories of the “old days”! They were reliving their youth, and saying that even though they were poor, they enjoyed life! Perhaps it is just the story of the elderly, but they all looked upon their youth with such good memories.

Before being whisked off to dinner with another cousin, we took a walk down to the “lungolago” – the beautiful lakefront promenade. We sat on a bench, happy to take in the gorgeous panorama in front of our eyes!


Dinner tonight was at a town festival in an adjacent town, Sesto Calende, where my cousin lives. They were celebrating the feast of the “oratorio” – a sort of boys and girls club run by the town priests. My cousin used to hang out here as a boy, and now his son does. Rows and rows of tables were set up under some tents, and volunteer cooks made the meals. We had a choice of spaghetti with clams, codfish with onions, polenta with ragu sauce, tripe, or polenta with gorgonzola cheese! It was all delicious (except I didn’t try the tripe – a little too adventurous for me). And of course, a little bit of wine! Even though they were cooking for hoards of people, the food was prepared with such care and it was phenomenal. And the 5 Euro fee was a steal!

Time for bed now….we shall see what tomorrow brings us!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Ispra

Old Italian Ceramic Treasure?

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While traipsing around Abbott Kinney  in Venice, California last weekend, I found this ceramic treasure! 

It was sitting all alone on an outside shelf, just waiting for me to find it.  It caught my eye immediately…and I knew I had to have it.  The rich burnt yellow color and rustic texture was just what I was searching for to put on my window sill in my Italian kitchen.  

There was no price tag on the piece…and upon closer inspection, I noticed that it had some fine cracks in the glaze.  It was not perfect….but, that gave it the charm that so attracted me.  What kind of piece was it?  Where was it from?  Is it old?

I approached the owner of the store – obviously someone who loves old Italian and French things because her store was full of them – and asked about the piece.  It’s OLD…It’s ITALIAN…and it’s only $75!  Hmm…$75 seemed a bit steep to me, but knowing that Vietri pieces (which look like this) can go for LOTS more, I decided to take a gamble on it and buy it.  Unfortunately, I don’t know if any of the information she told me is accurate – the piece is not marked and I have no way of authenticating it!  But, irregardless, I LOVE it so I guess it’s a treasure…no matter what!

PS – Does anyone have any information on pieces like this?