Designing is fun, especially when it is inspired by the beautiful sites and sounds of Italy. I cherish my time in Italy, or anywhere I go, because it allows me to reset my lens. Travel enhances and influences all of my collections, which is why my trips to Italy are peppered with detours. My first stop this year was the isolated hamlet of Champorcher nestled in the far northwest corner of Italy amidst the Aosta Valley and the Italian Alps. I rented a chalet for three days with the objective of doing some strenuous hiking and taking in the silence. The roaring of the waterfalls, force fed by snow melt, is part of the natural silence. I was in the middle of nowhere. I had planned the trip this way because I wanted some time to settle in and set goals for my upcoming meetings.
As I drove to the chalet, the fog thickened and my ears popped as I inched my way around the hairpin turns. As long as I drove twenty kilometers per hour with a visibility of fifteen feet, I figured I would have enough time to brake before careening over the cliff and straight to the bottom of Aosta Valley. I made it. Upon getting out of the rental car, I was instantly baptized by the fog and a layer of tiny water beads collected on my puffy vest by the time I got inside. The place was small and cozy, and the bed was located in a loft at the top of a well varnished ladder that did not play well with my cashmere socks. The loft was completely open and overlooked the living room nine feet below. If I rolled off, there was a chance I could land on the couch, but it was much more likely that the coffee table or antique hutch would brake my fall, as they were more in line with the bed. This wasn't the type of place you wanted to wake up in the middle of the night disoriented. There was also a low cathedral style ceiling over the bed that I imagined had taken a few whacks over the years.
The owner of the chalet left fresh bread, cheese, honey, coffee, and yogurt from the local market. Between the weather, my jet lag, and the snacks, all arrows pointed to the loft, and I opted to relax. The next few days carried on this way. Going to the little market and buying Parma ham, salami, cheeses, olives, bread, and pears, and taking it back to the house and devouring it. I bought extra and told myself it would last two days, but it didn't. Maybe in real life, but not on vacation in a mountain town in Italy...