Historic Doors

How many times do I get to see a historic building in the US? Hardly ever. The country is so new that has not yet had the time to grow old, make history and memories. In fact, I heard that when a building reaches 50 years of age, it goes down like dust. This past weekend I went to an art festival on the streets of Redwood City, a quaint town in Northern California and while walking around I noticed a few buildings designed in a classical style architecture. The Fitzpatrick building got my attention for its round shape over one of the entries, I thought it was a loggia above, but in reality, it is a turret with windows and a dome on top.

Redwood City, CA

Fitzpatrick is certainly not an American name. It seems it is a surname of a native Gaelic-Irish origin person with the Norman French Fitz as a prefix.

Redwood City in 1868 was a shipping port for all the industries present in the area. During the great earthquake of 1906 in San Francisco, the Fitzpatrick Building survived with minimal damage and for safety reasons, the dome was temporarily removed.

I love to see a plaque with a date.

The second entry of the Fitzpatrick’s building

Beautiful Ionic columns and decorated pilasters visually support a secondary entry. It must be pleasant working in this business building and be part of history, even if I think that the daily routine of those who work there, does not give much space to the imagination or to the realization of spending most of their days in a beautiful building that still stands after 112 years and that perhaps was part of many vicissitudes. I know that feeling, I studied fashion in a building 400 years old.

I hope you enjoy my findings and my participation in the Thursday Door Challenge organized by Dan Antion. Ciao.
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Mediterranean Door

It’s one o’clock, businesses are closed, schools are closed, and everybody goes home for lunch. In the Mediterranean basin, life stops from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm every day. The main purpose of those four hours of pause is to have lunch with the family. After lunch, people have different activities, take a nap, read, talk on the phone, do house chores, help kids with homework, go out to exercise and many others. At 4:00 pm, all the businesses start again until the evening at 8:00 pm. This is the Mediterranean life, summer and winter.

The balcony above a business, as in my photo, often says the owner of the business lives above. In the Middle Age, it was a custom to live above the business to care for the family easier without having to walk or take the carriage to go home. Today, in Europe, the same work/living arrangement is still valid, unfortunately, there are only a few examples left.

Gioia del Colle, Puglia, Italy

The shutters of the French door on the balcony are real, meaning they have a real function, versus the decorative types I often see on houses in America. In the Summertime, the shutters are kept closed to let the fresh air in through the slats and keep out the ferocious sun. Behind the shutters, inside, the glass panels are always open.
If you are visiting Italy, make sure you eat during the hours Italians eat. Restaurants are closed for a good part of the day, as Italians love to eat under the moon and not under the sun. Lunch in restaurants is served between 12:00 and 2:00 pm, and dinner doesn’t start until 8:00 in the evening until the smallest hours of the night. In some areas on the coasts, restaurants have a full house even at 3:00-4:00 am.

I am happy to participate in the Thursday Door Challenge organized by Dan Antion, I am learning so much about doors in the world.

Ciao.
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Tapas, Wines and Doors

Often, when I walk, I feel curious about things I see in the streets and if I am allowed I push myself inside to explore. I saw these colors through the large windows of this place, they draw me in like a magnet. Warm, vibrant, bold, sunny, these colors spoke to me a Mediterranean language and feelings of savory epicurean delights paired with rare wines. I didn’t know it was a Spanish tapas bar and restaurant with the exotic twist of culture from Latin America.

“Old World taste meets New World appeal at Cascal”, says the advertisement. This is a place where friends could linger over exotic cocktails, music, the bold personality of the architecture and daring food. flavors.

Inside, rather than having a great dining open space, the arcade function as divider of spaces, providing privacy between diners without totally obstructing the lights while mixing the colors into each space.

In the Mediterranean culture, arches embellished with columns, capitels and stones usually surround beautiful doors, also enclose kitchens’ cooking areas and wine storage, but often many arches divide spaces that would be otherwise too open, too cold and too unmanageable.

Colors create cozy interior atmospheres. Painted doors are inviting and show the personality of the people living there. For the Thursday Door Challenge organized by Dan Antion, this is my contribution. Ciao.
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Doors To Wildlife

A friend invited me to this American place, she was sure I was going to like to see the wildlife. Wildlife lives outdoor, I thought, why are we going to a place with a door? Why didn’t she call it a zoo?
We approached an impressive sturdy wood door with antlers as the door pulls, the building didn’t show as the structure was surrounded by large rocks. I remember the cement floor had amusing imprints of bear paws and fish stenciled on the cement as directions for people. A small bridge with cascading water and real birds bathing in the water gave a pleasant feeling to the shopping centre, as if I was somewhere in the mountain for real. Well, I thought if the outside looks so natural, the inside of this place will be just as attractive.

Entrance door

Vestibule

The vestibule that divided the outer door to the street and the interior door to the store made me smile: “Welcome fishermen, hunters and other liars”.

Inside, the animals on display seemed to be real and embalmed. My impression of this place? It seemed like a taxidermy museum with clothes for sale, quite interesting and amusing.
The entire shopping centre is dedicated to natural activities, organic products, outdoor sports equipment, organic or fusion food, fish restaurants and it has been designed with symbols of nature.

Fish restaurant

I think by now, most of you living in the States have recognized this place is the Bass Store, of which some major states have at least one branch, I am sure.
Dan Antion is the organizer of the Thursday Door Challenge.
Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon’s Author Page


Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Gossiping By Ancient Doors in Polignano

Across the pond, on this side of the world, we network in offices, pubs, and various social places to talk about business. In Italy, networking is about neighbors and families coming together, to sit at the doorsteps of someone’s home to enjoy a bit of time out from daily chores, not to engage in talks of business.

People meet outside their homes, in the street, or in a courtyard to talk about their problems, challenges, kids, life in general and gossip about someone they know is the practice of the day. Each person brings a chair, no need for an appointment, no need for a schedule, nothing is planned, and whoever shows up will be the support or the leader of the conversation at that moment.

Men, women and often kids show up at these daily meetings with the neighbors. Kids play with kids the usual soccer in the streets, chasing a ball from corner to corner, men talk to other men or play cards and women stay with the women. There is always an exchange of food and drinks, nothing complicated to prepare, local snacks, homemade focaccia bread, pretzels, olives, cheese, fruits and nuts, accompanied with wines or beer, just to keep the conversation going.
This is an ancestral society where everyone knows the rules and their own roles.

Women in Polignano a Mare, Italy

Doors in this part of the Mediterranean seem to be built the same way, they follow the orderly classic style of architecture, travertine arches, usually with a keystone in the center, pillars on both sides and heavy metal or wood doors with a horseshoe or lion head doorknocker.

Polignano a Mare, Italy
Private courtyard in Polignano a Mare, Italy

When doors are not that great, courtyards, exterior stairs and balconies are made up cute and cozy. Courtyards attract tourists and visitors for their simple beauty. These are private little areas, where the locals living there meet to be social and of course help each other in case of need.

I am participating in the Thursday Door Challenge hosted by Dan Antion

Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

At The Golden Crown Door

Prague is a beautiful and very walkable city. History is well represented in buildings, monuments, and public places. I like that, history is about what we are today.
Going around the city, I noticed the elegant stores’ doors, at least in the center of the town all stores have pleasant, inviting entrances and in some cases they are monumental.

This is a jewelry store called The Golden Crown. A lot of gold details are visible on the doors of Prague’s stores, I wondered if it has to do with the city castle where the Crown Jewels are kept, as are the relics of Bohemian kings, precious Christian relics, art treasures and historical documents.

Jewelry store
Castle Private Area

Tourists are not allowed in the private area of the castle. Too bad, I am sure there are a lot of interesting things in there I wanted to see.

Prague is a magical town, its austere look makes it a bit alchemic on the dark side, in fact, a few “noir” European films were produced here, but when the sun shines, the city’s red roofs and spires designing the sky, give the impression of being in a fable book.

This is for Thursday Door Challenge hosted by Dan Antion. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Birds Landed On A Door

Leonardo Da Vinci bought many birds kept in cages only to take them home and set them free.
I thought of the same thing when I painted one of my interior doors with birds.

Master bathroom door painted by Valentina Cirasola

The flowers I painted don’t exist in nature, they exist in my fantasy and have big seeds. The birds I painted are also fantasy birds, they resemble parrots and in my imagination, they talk. I made them a couple, in my world, living creatures do reproduce.

Master bathroom door painted by Valentina Cirasola

I know one thing, I painted a cage and set my birds free, because in my home everyone is free even those characters living in my fantasy.

Master bathroom door painted by Valentina Cirasola

Are you curious to see behind this door? This is a bathroom and this is the immediate corner.

Designed by Valentina Cirasola

I have the tendency of painting every white surface and also like to design only one interior door in a different color or paint a mural on it, just to create an element of interest. I don’t know where this habit came from, but I started this trend a long time ago, then my clients followed it. Now, almost every client I have served has one different color door in their home.

Doors do close and divide spaces for privacy and functionality. The way I conceive them is about one world set into another world. I like to learn how and what people see in their doors through this Thursday Doors Challenge hosted by Dan Antion. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

The Doors Of A Flâneur

Flâneur is a French term meaning ‘stroller’ ‘observer’ or ‘loafer’ used by nineteenth-century French poet Charles Baudelaire to identify an observer of modern urban life. With high observational skills, a flâneur, usually a man, is able to see things that others fail to see. He wanders but remains detached from the world he encounters and generally, the world he sees conceals a story.

On the Adriatic Sea, a small quaint town of Polignano a Mare in Italy, showcases its own flâneur who writes poems and poetries on doors, walls, and stairs. Nobody erases his thoughts, he writes about love and life, he quotes classical authors, philosophers, and great thinkers.

On this door, the flâneur writes a W.Shakespeare’s phrase:
Love runs to meet love with the same joy pupils run from their books; love that separates from its love has the same sad face the pupils have when they return to school”.

On this door, he quotes R.Tagore:
The butterfly doesn’t count the year, it counts the seconds, that’s the reason its brief life is sufficient”.

Here the flâneur quotes Torquato Tasso, an Italian poet of the 16th Century:
“Lost is all the time that is not spent in loving”.

Here he wrote one piece of poetry from satirist Giuseppe Parini:
“May the morning raises in the company of dawn, in front of the sun that large appears on the far horizon to make happy animals, plants, the fields, and the waves”.

Many of the flâneur’s writing can be seen on the doors of this quaint town, and many are his own expressions on life. I hope you get a chance to visit.
Doors are the anticipation of what they conceal. This Thursday Doors Challenge hosted by Dan Antion is a fun opportunity to understand how people live, their dreams, their business, and their social status. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val_Pink

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Medieval Doors in Gioia

The legend goes that Emperor Frederic II, King of Sicily, King of Germany, King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor, King of Jerusalem all in the decade of the 1200s, ordered the incarceration of Bianca Lancia in the dungeon of the Castle in Gioia, Italy. To these days, nobody knows what crime she was accused of, maybe her only fault was her beauty, and that she was the lover of the Emperor, pregnant with his baby. At that time, it would have been good enough to lock her up to get her out of the public eyes. Once his baby, Manfredi was born, immediately inherited the Kingdom of Sicily.

On the dungeon’s walls, there are two balls carved in stone, they appear to be Bianca Lancia’s breasts, says the legend…. what a cruel fate reserved for lovers….!!!


Emperor Frederick II also surnamed “stupor mundi” (wonder or amazement of the world) seems to have been a well-liked Emperor then and now. He was a charismatic person with a fascinating polyhedral personality, spoke many languages, loved the arts and cultural innovations as a means to unify all races, and as often happens, his advanced thinking was contrasted by the Church. 

The theme of these painted doors is portraits of people and life in the 1200s depicting effigies of the Emperor’s era: soldiers, war scenes, courtesans, and lovers are all there to tell the story. Every few years, the city of Gioia organizes an international artist competition, during which artists choose one unpainted door and give space to their creativity in interpreting subjects Emperor Frederic II would have loved. These painted doors permeate the center of town with a great sense of history.

This is in response to the Thursday Door Challenge hosted by Dan Antion. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

The Door To Pleasure

Venice, the only Italian Venice I know, never stops to surprise me. Recently, I visited Giacomo Casanova’s exhibition at the museum in San Francisco. One of the rooms was set up as the “Putta House” (the prostitution house), the only one allowed by law in the Carampane district, often frequented by Casanova. The background wall in the exhibition showed how the lady of the night incited the trade by flashing their breasts from the brothel’s windows that overlooked the “Ponte delle Tette” (the bridge of tits).

The trade of selling sex was a common work in the Republic of Venice in the 16th Century, a city frequented by rich merchants, kings, gamblers, Italian and foreign nobles, art dealers, and a lot of the upper crust of society. The government made this kind of work legal and collected taxes from the women, but they weren’t free to live as they pleased. The government, with a decree, decided on the life of the brothel, limiting the area, time and days of operations, even dictated what the women had to wear such as a yellow scarf to distinguish themselves from respectable women. Although they were allowed to sell themselves legally, they were often scrutinized by the Inquisition for their licentious customs.

Inside a “Putta” House – Casanova Exhibition

The society divided them in two categories:
* the low-rank courtesans “cortigiane di lume” (courtesans of the light), poor and inexpensive;
* the high-rank courtesans “cortigiane oneste” (honest courtesans), very stylish and educated that could pass for respectable women regardless of their sins.

The high-ranking women were social climbers, depending on “la creme de la creme” of the Venetian society, and on influential lovers to accumulate wealth. Among these honest courtesans, Veronica Franco, became well known on the international scene. She was beautiful, educated, classy and was the subject of Tintoretto’s paintings. In the poetries she wrote, she encouraged women to stand up for themselves.

Inside of “Putta” House – Casanova Exhibition

Does this last view look real? Yes, it does but it’s not. It’s a tridimensional painting I brought from Venice.

This is my entry for Thursday Door Challenge, hosted by Dan Antion. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page


Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

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