October, 2007


Anne and GilbertDiana, Jon and Nicky gave me an amazon.co.uk gift certificate for Christmas last year and I finally got around to using it.  Woohoo!!!  I love buying stuff I don’t have to pay for.  Ding!  I bought the DVDs of Anne of Green Gables & Anne of Avonlea in Region 0 (so I can watch them both in Italy and in the US).  Woohoo!!  It’s been at least a year since I’ve watched them, so I think it’s high time.  (They even have Italian subtitles!)

I also got Pierre Herme’s Chocolate Desserts book–an old standard that I’ve read a couple times but never owned.  Yumm.  Can’t wait to make everything! 

In addition I got a balance ball workout video which I think I may just try out today too.

I love getting packages in the mail!

In other news, Brenda and Gerry came to visit last week and we had a great time!

Woe is My “Garden”

Once again my attempts at farming are fruitless this year.  The pumpkins are dead.  Alas!

Next year I’m planning on planting lots of zinnias and cipolloti (spring onions). 

What I Do

Nobody seems to understand what I do at work.  (And, honestly, a lot of what we do at work I don’t understand yet either).  But I thought I’d try to give you all a basic idea so that you’re not totally in the dark.

I work for a small computer programming company–small in the sense that there were three of us but one lady is having a baby next month, so she’s out on maternity leave.  Now it’s just me and the boss.  Our biggest project is the hotel/restaurant management software that Giuseppe (the boss) created a few years ago.  There are about 20 hotels/restaurants that use this online software (called Primohotel) to keep track of their reservations and monetary transactions.  (Click on Demo On Line to really get a handle on what the program does).

Primohotel is a fairly complicated program, and several hotels pay us to continually modify the program to meet their personal needs.  We use ASP and Visual Basic to create the dynamic webpages that make up the program.  At the Castello di Santa Vittoria, they use our program to manage everything–it keeps records of all of the accounting and tax information of every client, purveyor and transaction that comes into contact with the restaurant, agriturismo & hotel.

Another of our big projects (though I have barely begun to contribute) is the software that Torino’s Eataly uses to manage all of their transactions.  Eataly is new to Torino and reputedly one of the world’s largest food & wine markets.  They sell only high quality products (it’s not a place to go for your weekly shopping needs, but rather for a hard-to-find cheese or cured meat for a special dinner).  Inside the market there are several food corners where you can taste and enjoy products from 18 small artisan food producers as well as an elegant restaurant.  The store also organizes educational events & musical entertainment.  This week we’re creating the computer software needed to make gift certificates work.

We also create websites and the software needed to manage the sites’ extensive web of information.  I’ve had the most input on www.langheroero.it which we just finished completely redesigning.  (I made the Alba from Outer Space video…I know, it’s not very pretty, Google Earth has its limits).  Langheroero’s cicloturismo site, I created almost entirely by myself, with some help and advice from the boss.  (The site isn’t completely finished yet…still waiting for the final text, but you get the idea).  I also did www.castellodigrinzane.com almost completely by myself.

I’m also getting to be pretty good at making custom google maps:  this is my latest masterpiece.

We also created the software that all of the Osterie FuoriPorta use to handle their orders (the waiters have palm pilots).  This is our favorite place to go for pizza (my favorite is a personal creation: Burrata with Sausage and Rucola).

Some of the other sites we’ve done are:






….and there are lots of others, but for the most part the work we do is for the hotel/restaurant industry.