Story Of A Designer: Belvedere | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Summer time in Italy is for fun, eating and meeting with friends late in the evening to burn the night until the small hours.  Music playing in the distance, that type of elegant night clubs music of saxophone and piano fills the air and encourages people to stay sit in comfy chairs, sipping expensive drinks, while soaking the freshness of the sea. The breeze of the Adriatic Sea enters the room to make us feel the salty aroma of the waves. White sheer curtains dance around in the soft and warm sirocco wind. Nothing matters in the night, other than enjoying the cool air, good company, interesting conversation and….romance.

(Click each photo to view it larger).

Leonida, aka Leo is with Enrico leaning on the belvedere, admiring a great deal of beauty. In front of them, the green-azure waters of the Adriatic Sea have turned dark blue in the night, the distinctive smell of salt still comes through pleasantly. The true azure color of the water is visible only in the pool of lights reflected in the water from the villa. From the belvedere, Leo and Enrico try to define the horizon, imagining Greece on the other side, as it might be possible to see it during clear days, but at night the horizon makes a confusing line, sky and water become one.

Belvedere derives from two Italian words, bel, which means “beautiful,” and vedere, which means “view.” Belvedere is the ideal term for an Italian house or villa with a view.
Leo and Enrico started a talk on architecture, slipping into a deep conversation of classicism and pure architecture, they shared a vision of a house they would build for their soul and nobody else.

Some people are dancing the night away, cheek to cheek, on the same marble tile 18″x18″, clinging to each other for hours. Is dancing on one tile still done these days? Apparently yes, romanticism is still alive and Italy is the right place to get romantic. Leo and Enrico are there, on the belvedere, without a care in the world. The image of their relationship is taking shape in those small hours of the night melting away in a new fresh dawn. They are fantasizing of running away to a Greek island and never to return. Architecture and design as the common denominators, romance as foundation. Their eyes sparkle…….

Every reference to facts, people and situations is purely random fantasy.

I designed a belvedere for a client in California born on an Italian island. He grew up seeing this kind of architectural structure, which takes advantage of a scenic view of his homeland. His house on the Italian island looks over the Mediterranean on one side and the Tyrrhenian Seas on the other side. Listening to the stories of his youth, I knew he wanted to replicate the belvedere in his California house. I was ecstatic I designed it for him, to entertain his friends and family at night under stars and to sit down for lunch under the umbrella, soaking the warm indirect sun rays of the daytime, sipping a Corinto, typical Sicilian white wine.

The belvedere is usually built on the upper part of a house. However, the actual structure might have a roof top garden, or it might be made in the form of a turret, a cupola, or an open terrace. That’s exactly what I wanted to develop for my client in California, a roof top garden-terrace with a cozy Italian feeling, fountains, putti, chili peppers plants, tomato plants and many colorful flowers. I added an exterior spiral staircase from the master bedroom, which conveniently would lead directly on the belvedere.

You might not know that in California every little thing that will be built, must go first to the approval of the city and then the neighbors. Well, the neighbors didn’t approve being seen in their backyard from the top of another house and probably were afraid of noisy parties lasting all night. Sight!!!
C’est la vie! Ciao,

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


As a designer in business since 1990, I am interested in helping people designing their interior and exterior spaces with an overall feeling of peace, relaxation and harmony that will draw them home eagerly. I am always looking to add that special touch with original findings to the spaces I design. Color is the focus of my business today, changing people’s energy and life force just by introducing them to colors they would have never imagined. Vogue Italia magazine, Gentry and many prominent magazines in California featured my work, I appeared on RAI, National Italian T.V. and nonetheless my story continues. Find copies of my book on colors ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors  and  the rest of my  books on


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