I am featured on D.G. Kaye’s site today

I am honored to be featured on the D.G. Kaye, Writer, the Eclectic Memoirist and Conversationalist. Her Q&A today focuses on a bit of my life as a designer and an author.
Thank you, thank you, Debby, much appreciate it.

I find it not so easy to talk about myself, first I don’t know where to start, my parents made me an adult, possibly as soon as I was born, and although my life as a child was a happy one, I don’t have many childhood stories that have shaped me in the adulthood. I was born a practical person, knowing what I wanted and pursued it to the best of my abilities.
Without further ado, I leave you with the Q&A by D.G.Kaye, click on the link to read the full interview.

It’s my hope that through my writing and my stories I am enriching your aesthetic sensibility towards design, style, and inspiring you to live in beauty. I love to encourage my clients to show their personality through their home décor, or the clothes they wear. I have loved my profession as an interior-fashion designer since 1990. I am here ready to offer consultations on-line if you need it. Check out one of my books on the subject of colors, ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors, Second Edition. Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Life Is Too Short To Be Boring | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

I am a clown, outside my serious involucre of an interior designer, I am a clown. I am the type who likes to joke around, to make fun of others, myself, and any situation; I am the type who likes to wet food with wines and eat it with similar people who don’t count calories. I am the type who likes to be surrounded by artists and cultured people and have an intelligent conversation on fun subjects, often not touches among friends. If the occasion arises, I like to be boisterous in a civilized manner.

*
However, these days I am finding very difficult to be amusing to others and myself. The heavy climate we are breathing and the patch on the face we must wear is taking its toll. I can’t put lipstick on, I feel naked and I feel my freedom has been taken away.

To remedy the ugly feeling of helplessness, I am going through my travels and remembering the good times I had.
I am watching short videos I made and going through millions of photographs. Refreshing my brain with exceptional travel memories it’s very uplifting, people and events come back and make me laugh again.

This short video brought me back to that day in the countryside of Puglia with the friends I brought along from California during and my local friends who prepared lunch for us in their country home.

We ate for four or five hours and drank rivers of red wine. In between dishes prepared fresh on the spot, we harvested white berries and blackberries from the trees, such delicious treats, we talked about the collection of fossil shells laying in a bucket, and how to plant the lambascioni, the sweet wild pearl onions growing only in the land of Puglia. We danced, sang, and laughed so much our stomach muscles hurt.

Everyone wore the Adam and Eve apron just to be funny. I felt we were celebrating the Roman bacchanalia, only in a civilized way. After the long hours of lunch, it must have been five or six in the afternoon by then, we set in the mild sun of an Italian May to tell stories.

 

Sombrero

Telling stories

 

One guy put on a boat straw hat, took a broom from the kitchen, sat down on the chair and sang O’ Sole Mio mimicking a gondolier as if he was rowing a gondola and taking us somewhere on the water of Venice. We were down South, instead, a long way away from Venice.
We acted crazy with lighthearted intention, we bonded and the memory lingered. This book tells it all.

TheRoadToTopOfTheWorld

The Road To Top Of The World – Paperback and kindle 

 

Share your travel memory here, if you wish. We need to read about positive experiences. Ciao,
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page 

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina in RED

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer and a storyteller by nature. Stories are very important to her design career to convey ideas because making someone’s home or personal images is not only about building around shapes, lines, forms, and colors. It is about the story one can create around their spaces and how they want to appear to others. She trots the world and loves writing travel notes, from which she draws inspiration to design her interiors as well. She is the author of the book about her travel to Puglia:
©The Road To Top Of The World and four other books all
available on
Amazon and Barnes&Noble

All Aboard The Fiat 500 Book Launch | Valentina Cirasola | Author

It’s a glorious time in my city “Top Of The World, CA” expressing my power and happiness in written words. I am at my fourth published book and not counting.
Some years ago, in a conversation with friends, I said, kind of jokingly, I was going to write books on design topics, the field I know best. Up to that point, I had sporadically written articles for the local newspapers and magazines. Then, I opened up my first blog on home design topics, it was the year 2008.  However, being a very talkative person, I felt writing only about design was a bit reductive for me, thus, a year later, I opened two other columns on Friday Fashion and The Good Life. The writing career started and I didn’t even realize it. So many things were locked up in my drawers of thoughts, it was about time they all came out in some form of communication or another. I started caressing the idea of writing books, and do you know what they say? “If you can see it, you already have it” meaning if you can see your dream, it is already a reality. Dreaming about something is not enough without actions. I set aside time to write and made appointments with myself every evening after 8:00 and nothing else was important until I finished and ready to go to bed.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

My fourth book, ©The Road To Top Of The World  is a travel narrative. The small car Fiat 500 is an Italian invention of the ’50s, a snazzy car intended for young people, students, creative and open minds. The Fiat 500 was always stuffed with rowdy youngsters having fun around the town. With the same concept and the same free spirit of youth, I am stuffing a group of creative friends in my Fiat 500, to travel to their locations and see what they do in life. Get to know them and make new friends, while they are helping me in a pre-holiday virtual book tour launch and will share it on their blogs, Facebook pages or any social platform they like. All aboard my friends!


©The Road To Top Of The World is a book totally outside my design trade and I am happy I wrote it. I made it into short stories, easy to read, each story has a beginning and an end, without relation to each other. It’s a book about my native region of Puglia, in Italy, seen with the eyes of a native (me) who decided to expatriate abroad and live like an Italian in a foreign country.

 

 

The snazzy Fiat 500 will start the tour from my location “Top of The World, California”. Some people have asked me if such a town really exists in California. It is not a city, it’s a state of mind, that is where I live every day and where all the fun things happen.

(Click on each photo to view it larger)

 

Teagan Geneviene is a friend and an author.
She is doing the launch of her new book at this time “Atonement, TN” in a party bus.
https://teagansbooks.com/2018/10/20/book-launch-party-bus-atonement-book-fair/

 

 



Domenico Cafarchia is a dear friend and an
Epicurean Entrepreneur-Marketer-Relationship Manager
Rooted in Apulian tradition yet uniquely Italian.
https://www.facebook.com/cafarchia


 

 

 

 

Kez Wickhan St.George is an internationally known author and painter.
We follow each on Facebook.
https://twitter.com/KezSt

 


 

Sherry Woodward is a friend and a painter.
She appeared on my TV show: Intuitive Painting.
Enjoy her colorful art.
https://www.dailypaintworks.com/artists/sherry-woodward-7835/artwork

 


 

Carra Riley is a friend, an author and a realtor helping people in transition living.
She appeared on my TV show: Transition Living.
http://cosmiccowpie.com/book/

 


 

 

Carolyn McAndrew is the owner of Picardie Press.
https://www.facebook.com/PicardiePress
If you are writing a book and need a publisher, she is the person to contact.

 


 

Melissa Muldoon is a friend and an author.
https://melissamuldoon.com

 

 


 

Georgia Lee London leads an online consulting agency, inspiring women to the greatness they deserve, with a business they love.
She is a great teacher.
https://www.facebook.com/BeBoldlyBrilliant

 

 



Alessandra Chimenti is a friend, a festival coordinator and the owner of Pizzicali, a musical group featuring folk music of Puglia and Southern Italy. https://www.facebook.com/AlessandraChimienti1990

 

 


Georgia Griva is a dear friend, a designer who also creates many things by hands. This is one of her pieces.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156213070918375&set=pcb.10156213074123375&type=3&theater

 

 



Orlando Biagio is a virtual friend and the Administrator of the group Italiani a Los Angeles.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1626346047580432


From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you and more who want to participate in my Fiat 500 pre-holidays virtual book tour launch.
Sharing is caring. Ciao,
Valentina

Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior-Fashion Designer working in the USA and Europe since 1990. She specializes in interior and exterior, color analysis, kitchen, bath, wine cellar, and outdoor kitchen designs. Often people describe her as “the colorist” as she loves to color her clients’ world and loves to create the unusual. Vogue magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work. She was a guest in a program on RAI – Italian National TV and has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15. She produces TV shows under her own label Valentina Design Universe and is the author of four published book. The latest book is ©The Road to Top Of The World – https://tinyurl.com/y7tuyfh8
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

My Personal View Of A Far Away Place | Valentina Cirasola | Designer and Author

 

With the release of my new book, I feel obliged to talk a bit about my hometown and offer the audience an unfiltered view of the city, just as I have always known it. Bari is a large sunny city in the South of Italy, located on the Adriatic Sea, six hours South of Venice and four hours East of Rome. It is the major city of the region of Puglia and it has been named the “Milano” of the South, without the fog and industrial smokestacks of Milano. Bari is lined with palm trees, embraced by warm weather, scorching, by some people’s standards, fresh fish, colorful people and a life of “dolce far niente” (sweet do nothing life).
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

People of Bari are warm, affectionate and sociable because the warm Mediterranean weather affects them. They know how to enjoy life, too much I say.
Their mornings start at the last minute when the notion of being late to work is a known fact. Too much traffic is always the excuse. Once they arrive and get briefly situated in their work post, it is already time for coffee. Around 10:00 am, coffee shops are brimming with people indulging in espresso, they like it hot, short and to the point, standing up at the bar counter, shooting the breeze with other colleagues while passionately tasting a fragrant cornetto (croissant). The talk during the coffee time is either the latest news on the local soccer team, politics, or the juicy romantic conquest from the night before and not necessarily in that order!

 

Via Sparano – Bari – Photo: ©Valentina Cirasola

On the way to school, students bite with enjoyment into savory focaccia made with Puglia olives and tomatoes (this is after they have already had a breakfast at home: caffe’ latte and biscotti). At 1:00 pm, on the way back home from school, they will go through the same ritual… they will have another slice of that savory focaccia that makes the dead come alive again.

Work in Bari takes a different twist. All businesses, stores and schools shut down at 1:00 pm every day to allow people to go home and have lunch with their family.
If you are a smoker, consider yourself lucky, as only tobacconist shops are open during this time to help feed your vices.

Between 1:00 and 4:00 pm people do whatever they like for relaxation, but having lunch with one or two glasses of wine is the most important part of that relaxation. In fact, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and no one will ever think drinking wine for lunch is a sin, you will never hear anyone say: “No wine for me, I must return to work” and they do return to work, alive and kicking more than they are in the morning.

At 4:00 pm, activities resume until 7:00 or 8:00 at night, the streets get clogged with cars and people crawl. Contrary to those who must return to work in the afternoon, there is a category of people who have full-time jobs whose hours are only from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Yes, people who work for the government are considered full-time workers with only six hours of work!
In the afternoon, students, independently wealthy, housewives, and teenagers stroll along Via Sparano, Corso Cavour, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza del Ferrarese, Piazza Mercantile and Lungomare arm-in-arm, like lovers, because Italians are touchy-touchy and kissy-kissy people and those are just a few of the most elegant places in the city, where to see and be seen.

The night stroll in Bari Vecchia is not completed without a cone of yellow butcher paper containing piping hot fried “sgagliozze” meaning triangles of salted fried polenta, fried in caldrons set in the street, outside the home of the woman who makes them. You must burn the palate with hot sgagliozze, otherwise, they are not good, say local people.

 

(Photo sgagliozze) – http://www.sabrinabarbante.com/my-favourite-italian-veg-street-food/

View of the Adriatic Sea from the Fortino – Photo ©Valentina Cirasola

Bari is composed of Bari Nuova (new city) and Bari Vecchia (old city). The charming old city is mysterious and magical, especially at night. This part of the city has the most character. Centuries ago, this was the heart of the city called “Muratti” quarters where a treasure trove of millenary arts, history and culture developed.

Bari Vecchia looks over the balcony of the Adriatic Sea like a lady waiting for her sailor. The aroma of algae and salt water mixed with the delicious smell of food coming from homes and restaurants lined up along the bank will fill your nose and permeate the air. On the spur of the moment, you might find yourself going to a seafood restaurant as if some magic spell has been played on you. No, you don’t need a reservation as restaurateurs will welcome you at any hour of the night as if they were welcoming you to their own homes. The people of Bari are night crawlers, so when I say any hour of the night, I do mean any hour. It is very common to find restaurants working at their full capacity at 3:00 am.

Photo Author: Nikater – Wikimedia

In Bari Vecchia “Castello Svevo”, a Norman-Swabian castle stands tall. Emperor Frederick II built it in the Byzantine-Norman-Swabian style. The Cathedral of Saint Nicholas is another important historic landmark, proud of its presence in the city. There, celebrations of Christian Mass for Italian people and Orthodox Mass for Russian people downstairs in the Crypt happen together.

Barese people love to exhibit themselves while going to the theatre, dressed up to their teeth and competing with each other, it’s like going to the Oscar, they will show up with the best designer outfits and wonder who wears it better. The theatre Petruzzelli is the fourth largest in Italy for its dimension and stature, where many famous opera singers and international actors have marked the stage. Herbert von Karajan, Rudolf Nureyev, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Liza Minnelli, Juliette Greco have performed there, along with the unforgettable Italian comedians, dancers, opera singers, poets and cabaret singers like Eduardo De Filippo, Riccardo Muti, Carla Fracci, Luciano Pavarotti, Piero Cappuccilli, Giorgio Gaber.

Bari was founded by the Greeks and later became a Roman municipality. In 840 AD, Bari was attacked and dominated by Saracens pirates, an attack which lasted many years. The city was saved by a Venetian fleet and remained under the Byzantine’s power for some time. In the 12th and 13th century, Bari changed the ruling power and soon, the city passed under the possession of the Normans and Swabians (today’s Bavarians). The Swabians rebuilt the city, Emperor Frederick II revitalized all activities, the city port and remodeled the castle. In his court, arts and culture flourished. “Stupor Mundi” he was surnamed, meaning amazement of the world, attributed to his high taste for refinement. The history of Bari is so much more interesting than one short paragraph, this is a city a city with a rich heritage which continues to thrive and renews itself as civilization evolves.

Due to the favorable geographic position with easy passage to the East Road, the Middle Eastern countries, and the vicinity to the Mediterranean, Bari has been the main center for trade and commerce with Levantine countries. Modern Bari today is also an active economic center, with the second largest population in the South of Italy. It has become the principal center for technological research with the Polo Universitario and Technopolis, in addition to the annual Fiera del Levante, the international trade show where many countries exhibit their specialty and products.

The Road To Top Of The World, my fourth book, full of my photography and a lot of interesting stories is done and well cooked, it is available on Amazon  https://tinyurl.com/y7tuyfh8
Ciao,
Valentina
https://valentinaexpressions.com/trips-to-puglia-2/

Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

As a writer and cultural promoter of Puglia, her native land, Valentina’s intention is to let readers feel and experience a new ”wheel of emotions”. She wants to encourage them to visit areas of Italy not beaten by massive tourism.  Through stories of local customs, art, architecture, fashion, food-wines, shopping, she wants them to create their special adventures and live it up in Puglia! Check out her books on
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0

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