A Month in Europe | Valentina Cirasola | Designer and Author

Ah, it was so good to have been off the Internet for a month, I detoxed of some of the electromagnetism and it feels so good.
I was in Europe the entire month of May and what a month has been! On the return flight back to the USA, everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. I assure you it was painful, however, when I was finally up in the air acting as if I was enjoying the flight, I recollected the precious moments I lived in May, it was like images scrolled in a film and I relived the beautiful moments.
Life is much better as a comedy, I saw the funny side in every situation.

My hotel was a 16th-century building. I enjoyed my room in the mansard, the exposed wood beams in the room, the small windows on the roof, the stone stairs and the whole antiquity feel of it. The nights were so peaceful and warm up there, it was enveloping after being in the cold weather all day. The chirping of birds and the sound of a church bells wake me up in the morning at 6:00 am punctual.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

Prague - 16th Century Hotel

Prague – 16th Century Hotel

The weather was inclement, it was cold and rainy the entire month, I even experienced the “bomb rain” as people call it there. In Prague, one day, I was walking to the Alfonse Mucha’s Museum, the day was cold and sunny, it was a good day for a brisque walk. Right before I arrived at the Museum, rain poured down abruptly without warning, the sky turned dark grey and water came down like a furious hurricane, it got me totally soaked head to toes!
That was fun. 😱

Every day, I walked on cobblestone streets and enjoyed the changing of design from block to block. I also enjoyed the kind manners of some men when the sidewalk was narrow, stopping and yielding for me to pass first. In a world of rude people, that’s so precious!

Designed Cobblestones

Designed cobblestones

All stores had an antique feel to it, caryatids held the building gracefully. Antique, blackout wood doors, closed the stores at night, the same doors I had seen in my childhood in Italy. I am so in love with rich classic architecture and Prague is full of it!

Jewelry Store

Jewelry Store




I climbed many steps, visited many artists and folk art places.

Castle Stairs

Castle Stairs





Marionettes Shop

Marionettes Shop


Leather Money/Telephone Cases

Leather Money/Telephone Cases

I ate in the most characteristic places and not necessarily restaurants. Murals in this bistro resemble the style of Dutch Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder.




Murals in a Restaurant

Murals in a Restaurant


Mural in a restaurant

Mural in a restaurant

I admired beautiful panoramas, visited castles and cathedrals, took a boat ride, saw the change of the guards in the castle, and studied the character of some militaries on a post (humans are the same everywhere, there is always the leader in every crowd).

Tourists Boat on Charles Bridge

Tourists Boat on Charles Bridge




Prague, the city of 1000 spires is a beautiful walkable city, its red roofs nestled in a lot of greenery convey traditions, people are very kind and the bad weather didn’t stop me from having a nice vacation. Food is based on meat, potatoes, starch, and divine beers. 

Prague - Red Roofs

Prague – Red Roofs

The art I saw here will be a new inspiration for my design. My European genes are calling. See you soon, Europe. Ciao,
Trotting the world one country at a time


Copyright © 2019 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian interior designer in business since 1990. She is passionate about colors and all expressive arts. She is a “colorist”. To her, selecting art means to bring out the best energy of her clients and nourish their soul. She trots the world and loves writing travel notes, from which she draws inspiration to design her interiors. She is the author of four books, one of which is on the subject of colors: ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors available on
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w
She also wrote a travel narrative: ©The Road To Top Of The World
available in paper and Kindle version:  https://tinyurl.com/y7tuyfh8

Unwind, Ferragosto Is Coming | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer


The word Ferragosto comes from the Latin word Feriae Augusti, the pagan feast in the year 18 A.D. made in honor of the Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus.
On the 1st of August the Romans celebrated the harvest of grain, cereals and the fertility of the earth. This festivity would last until the end of August.
(Photo right: Unknown, credit given to the owner).

Feriae Augusti, or Ferragosto as it is pronounced in today modern Italian language was intended as “the relaxation of August” from the working year.
This festivity would develop with public rituals and banquets, excess of drinking and sex practices to which everyone was permitted to participate, including slaves, maids and the lower class, along with the nobles and emperors.
Horse racing, bull fighting and sports events were organized to add to the public entetainment.
Even the working animals, such as cows and donkeys were left to relax for the whole month of August and were dressed in the festivity attires with lot of flowers to decorate them. The workers would give good wishes to their employers and would receive a good tip from them.

The festivities would reach its peak on the 15th of August as it still happens today. Through the centuries the Feriae Augusti, or Ferragosto became so eradicated in people’s lives that the Roman Church decided to turn it into a legal festivity and made a holiday rather than suppress it.

Today in Italy and all over the Christian Europe, Ferragosto is celebrated as a religious holiday and as the mid-Summer holiday.
Modern Italians and Europeans treat this holiday as the longest vacation time of the year. Fun, amusement, eating, resting, dancing, socializing and absolutely no work activity is conceived. Therefore, if you are in any import business, when dealing with Italy remember not to place any order of merchandise in July and August. Factories are closed, people are enjoying their vacation and no one is in town.

A few suggestions to beat the heat

In August, being the hottest month of the year, people tend to wear light fabrics, such as linen and cotton. They are the breathable fabrics of all, luscious and delicate textiles that treat our skin in a delicate and gentle way.
People eat very light food to beat the heat, fresh fruit and vegetables to supplement the loss of water through copious perspiration.
(photo found on: http://thedecorista.tumblr.com/post/811680123)

Outdoor dining is very common in Italy. People tend to eat late in the evening to catch some cool breeze.
Restaurants and chalets/balere  (open air discotheques) are packed until very late at night and promenades pullulate with people.
Nighttime is magic for an intimate dinner, or to pull the small hours of the night talking and joking with friends.

In villas and Summer homes’ backyard vacationers organize their night life. Plain pergolas are easy to build and to dress up with hanging panels of sheer fabrics or inexpensive burlap. The breathable fabric provides privacy and it is sheer enough to let in the soft glow of the moon. A gazebo is an easy item to create. The portable types come in a variety of colors or fabrics and they can be installed in minutes. Like a woman going out for dinner, any patio can be dressed up too for the occasion.

Unwind and decompress, once a year at least, it is important to see life in a different perspective.

I have worked on remodeling single spaces or entire homes while my clients were gone on vacation. They gave me the keys of the house and said goodbye to the messy remodeling.  I am so very grateful of the trust people repose in me as a service provider and as a person. My workers and I treasure their properties as they were ours.

Please forward this article to anyone you think might be interested in reading it. Comments are welcomed. Thank you. Ciao,


Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior and fashion designer, working in the USA and Europe. She combines well fashion and interior in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to create the unusual. In her career she has helped a variegated group of fun people realizing their dreams with homes, offices, interiors and exteriors. 
Check out her books on

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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