Salvatore the Muratore

Salvatore the Muratore checks the placement of one of the rafters

This post is for all of you who have waited patiently – or should I say pantingly - for photos of Salvatore the Muratore.

We are feeling good. Round one of the problems with our neighbor is over. Everyone including our hunky Muratore (Moor-ah-TORE-ee, means builder, rhymes with Salvatore) agrees our documenti are good and our neighbor has not one legal gamba to stand on regarding a claim to our property. Whew.

Salvatore discusses the wall structure (note the double row of bricks with insulation between) with his Dad, Franco, as one of the workers listens.

The structural engineer scratches his head over how to solve the problem of a sagging floor as Salvatore the Muratore and Alberto the Architecto look on worriedly. The problem was fixed but we lost a precious 10centimeters of top floor head room

In the meantime two and a half months after commencing work, the project is really looking good, and I’m not just talking about Salvatore il Muratore. It was almost as thrilling to see the first of the Italian red roof tiles being put in place as it was to see Salvatore confidently balanced on the rafters directing the operation - almost. The new dormer windows will add much needed height to the third floor. Because the house sits on a hill it is visible for miles away and when the lights are on inside, the dormers will appear like bright shining eyes looking over the valley towards Terzo.

One of the first steps was the installation of the 'igloos' which add insulation to the subterranian floor. Note the beginning of the curved wall for the circular staircase.

The ultra-modern stainless steel countertops in the kitchen should contrast wonderfully with the rustic stone on the base of the kitchen island Salvatore is building for me. We are using real Piemonte stones, prized for centuries as a building material and now quite expensive. Salvatore found and excavated the stones from the hill next to our house. I’m hoping the stones will give the house both a visual and tactile connection to this ancient land. They couldn’t mean more to me if they were diamonds. And at long last we will have a bathroom bigger than a breadbox – and GORGEOUS. When the magnificent Cosima, our beautifully stylish and extremely confident interior designer described her ideas to me, I started crying. Could all this really, really be coming true? Could I be this lucky? Please don’t let this be a dream.
This shot from the top of our vineyard shows the roof off and the placement of the massive first roof beam

Texas style - we celebrate the 'topping off' of the roof with the placement of a tree at the apex. After a bottle of wine,, we should not have been climbing up on the roof, but we were giggling too hard to think straight

The dormer windows add much to the style of the house

Speaking of dreams, I must run and make the final decision on the floor tiles or risk holding up our Muratore. Hmmmm, holding Salvatore the Muratore, I think I’ll pause for a while on that thought.