11 May 2012

where i live: windows


I remember quite clearly the conversation with the "window maker" (What's the word for that profession in English?) who was contracted to supply the windows and doors for our house. He told me that he needed to visit the site to measure for our windows, precisely measure each and every opening (12 in our house), because evidently all windows are custom made in this country. What...no standard sizes? If you spend some time carefully observing, you will find his claim to be true, and, in my very humble opinion, that it's one of the things that creates the charm that helps us all fall in love with the aesthetics of Italy. (Of course, I might not be so enamored with it should I have a need to replace one of those custom windows!)


So...the same company supplied all windows and doors (interior and exterior) as well as the lovely red shutters. Before moving to Italy, I had lived only in houses with shutters that were permanently mounted to the exterior walls, essentially for decoration. When a hurricane threatened, my parents would board those windows with plywood that was then stored in the garage until the next threat. The functional shutters were a novelty at first, but I eventually learned to use them to aid in the heating and cooling of the house throughout the year, either harnessing the warmth of the sun or blocking out it's stiffling August heat or adding another layer (before the double-paned windows) against the freezing air. I've learned that while the light from the windows is important,  it is secondary to the ability to control the temperature a bit by using the shutters. In a house without central AC, understanding this makes a world of a difference.


For another look at windows in Italy, visit Francesca, who is hosting this "where i live" series.  My other "where i live" posts include rooftops and doors


  1. WOW! I didn't know they didn't have standard sizes. Go figure. Europeans never do anything the easy way. He he! Have a great weekend. It looks like the weather has been amazing. Happy Mother's Day!

  2. beautiful shots of the windows in your corner. x

  3. You're way ahead of us all! :)
    When we moved to this house, there were no windows or interior doors. They came to instal them two days after the move: I was frantically trying to find and unpack the basics, while keeping baby Jeremy away from the stairs (as we live on a hill, the front door is a flight of stairs down), and little Nicholas happy in the unsettling turmoil he was experiencing. Only after the window people left, I noticed that they hadn't cleaned up after their job: bits of metal, bits of wood, and bits of stone wall were all over the place. Not sure why I'm telling you this story, really. But I'm sure it would have been a cleaner job had they been standard windows and doors! :)