Some Easy (?) Detective Work Identifying the House Across the Valley

While looking at some earlier pictures, I noticed a house in the background that I’d noticed before but never really thought about. Here it is in a picture from my October trip. It’s right in the center of the view from the back of our house, almost straight to the west.

Le Foglie Ridenti in distance
House across the Valley

I went to Google Earth and it was easy to identify. In fact, it popped up with a place name: Le Foglie Ridenti.

Update: July, 2017 – OK. In the end not so easy. I found the wrong house. Read all the way to the bottom and I’ll show my mistake.

Here’s the Google Earth view. Our house is the pin on the right.

overhead view of Le Marche terrain
Avventura and Le Foglie Ridenti

Here’s Le Foglie Ridenti from above. If you look closely at the first picture, you can make out the pool that you see in the overhead shot.

Le Marche propert from above
Le Foglie Ridenti

From the topological map, you can see: just down the hill and back up.

topological map Avventura
Terrain around the Houses

I found Le Foglie Ridenti on Google. It’s a house for rent, owned by Saranne and Graham, who live in the attached house with their two children. They describe it as an “eco-friendly farmhouse.” The name means, “the laughing leaves.”

The site says Graham is Irish; it doesn’t say specifically about Saranne. In addition to renting the house, they offer catering and wine expertise. Here’s the link to their site: Le Foglie Ridenti

On the site, I found a picture back across the valley. Our land is right in the center.

Casa Avventura from Le Foglie Ridenti
Our Land in the Center

Now, the question is how they’ll feel when they find out about the Americans across the way. We may contact them and see about staying there on an upcoming trip.

Mea Culpa Update

I thought I’d found the right house, but after we visited in July, 2017, Anne noticed that the house I had picked had a regular concrete pool, not the natural pool at Le Foglie Ridenti.

Here is the corrected overview. The red circle is the house I identified earlier. The correct house is in the green circle:

updated le foglie ridenti image
Correct Location in Green
Click image to enlarge

And a closer look:

Le Foglie Ridenti
Notice the Natural Pool at Top Right
Click image to enlarge

You can read more about Le Foglie Ridenti in Anne’s post from July.

First image: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure
Images 2, 3 4, 6,and 7: Google Earth and Google Maps
Fifth image: Le Foglie Ridenti |

Final Sorting on the Windows and Doors Muntins, Arch Window, and Upstairs Terrace Door

We had three questions after seeing yesterday’s version of the windows and doors contract and spec sheet. They were about:

The easy one to solve was the terrazza door. The design is as expected: 3/4 glass, 1/4 wood.

The muntins question raised some concern by Kevin, as I knew it would if the budget didn’t already include true divided lights, rather just a wooden grid on top of the glass. As is true here in the US these days, true divided lights are rarely done and they are much more expensive. They also need a thicker muntin to support the weight of the pane of glass. He said we’d need to do some major reworking of the budget to do them.

(There is some irony here. Originally, muntins were used because it was expensive to make large panes of glass. Now, the labor to use small panes is too expensive.)

While we’d like to have the muntins, we don’t want the grid type, so we ditched them. Now the windows and doors will each have one pane of glass.

The arched window is the unresolved issue. We’d like to have it to keep the entry hall from being too dark.

After some discussion with the architect Alessandra and structural engineer Primo, Kevin came back with two options: a 35cm high arch and one 45cm. He said these were smaller than typical, but that we are constrained by a vertical support beam. Here are the options:

36cm high arched window
35cm high arched window
Click image to enlarge
45 cm high arched window
45cm high arched window
Click image to enlarge

The beam appears much lower in the structure than we expected, raising some concern by Anne and me that the ground floor ceiling would be too low.

We went back to Kevin with questions about whether the small arched window would let in enough light to make it worthwhile and to clarify ceiling heights.

I’m thinking Kevin is probably going crazy with all our detailed questions.

An Update

We decided to go forward with the elliptical arch, 90cm wide and 35cm tall.

Since we aren’t sure about the light issue, Kevin and Alessandra recommended we do two things: take the tettoia, the little roof above the door, out of the plan for now, and test the light situation closer to the end of construction. Alessandra also thinks that we can raise it to a higher place on the wall, which may solve the light issue.

Windows and doors budget package
Final Windows and Doors Contract
Click image to view

After deleting the muntins and adding the arch window (and accounting for the extra interior door that was in the original spec), we’re left with a cost of €28.6k, €600 above the budget, down from the €30.6k from the original spec.

(The €28k budget didn’t include the extra stairway window or the arch window, so we are coming in at or below where we expected.)

Also, Kevin sent along a diagram from the drawings that showed that the ground floor ceiling will be a nice height at 270cm (8.9ft), just what we expected from our plans in July.

He also mentioned that he’s fine with all the questions. He wants to get as much as possible right from the start, so we have only minor issues later.

I’m glad he shares our philosophy.

All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

Sorting Out the Windows and Doors True Divided Lights?

windows and doors spec package
Revised windows and doors package
Click image to view

In response to yesterday’s questions about the windows and doors, Kevin came back from the supplier with a much improved specifications package. It addresses nearly all the open issues and includes attachments that show clearly what the windows, doors, and hardware will look like. It also includes a dimensioned drawing of a sample door.

On the cost front, they removed the interior door that had been added to the budget by mistake, which lowered the total cost to €29.7k from €30.6k.

As expected, as we got more information, it raised a couple more questions. There are three important ones:

  • The windows and doors need to have true divided lights. Are they budgeted that way?
  • The plan has eliminated the arched window above the front door. Kevin says this is related to the need to have a single panel door, as the opening is not wide enough for a double door. (We had discussed this in December.) I’m confused why the two issues are related.
  • The design of the upstairs terrazza door was not specifically addressed.

I expect we’ll get this all sorted out and ready to sign tomorrow.

Drawing of a simulated divided light window
Simulated divided light window
Drawing of true divided light window
True divided light window

First image: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure
Second and third images: |

Redoing the Road Post-Winter Repairs

We’re still waiting for water at the site, but now the trench for the water line has been dug. I hope this means the line can be completed and connected soon, so Francisc doesn’t have to continue to truck in water.

After all the rain and snow in January and the work on the trench, it was time to regrade the road and the driveway. It’s great to see the structure of the house at the end of the driveway.

House construction site at end of driveway
Down the Driveway to the House
Click image to enlarge
Reinforced columns complete
Ground Floor Columns Complete
Click image to enlarge

Here are all the pictures.

An Update

Here are a few more from a day or two later. I’m not sure why the are so tilted.

All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

Beam Us Up Chestnut Beams Instead of Pine

We received a small bit of nice news today about a quality step-up in the ceiling beams with no additional cost. Here’s Kevin:

Swiss stone pine sample
Sample: Swiss Stone Pine
Pinus Cembra
Click to Enlarge
Europeam chestnut sample
Sample: European Chestnut
Castanea Sativa
Click to Enlarge

We had in the plan standard 16cm x 16cm pine beams. In getting ready to order the beams Alessandra and I got to discussing if a bigger beam might look better (though the 16s are perfectly nice and regularly used). We discussed this with Francisc and he came back to us with this: we will go to 18x18s and we will substitute CHESTNUT for pine, at NO extra cost … these will look better and add more character.

Wood images: |