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Italy Memories….On a Wall


I may have mentioned that we went to Italy this summer.

And I may have taken have tons of pictures.

I may have been really tempted to frame all 1457 of them and hang them around the house.

But I knew that would have been just a little overkill.

However there was this big blank wall right behind the chairs in the living room that had “Italy” written all over it.

(Just picture it….it was a blank wall of nothing)

And I just may have had that wall in mind when we planned the Italy trip.

Anyway this what we whipped up….


Because I wanted a way to remember our trip everyday. Without having everyone that walks into the house thinking that our travel photo album barfed all over the place.

My goal was to make look like we collected a wide array of pictures over a long period of time and make it say “Italy” without using all photos.  I think we achieved it and I am so happy how it turned out. 

It all started with this art that we bought for the old house because Derek really liked it.


And it hung over the buffet in the dining room for years until we moved.  But at the new house there was not great place for it, so it sat in the closet for the past couple of years.  Sad.

Since it happened to be a painting of St. Peter’s Basilica, it worked out perfectly for our Italy wall.  And it wasn’t a photo.  Good planning 5 years ago.

Also when we at ZGallerie we stumbled on a Rome sign that was also a perfect addition.  I told Derek I could make it myself, but I got outvoted.  Now we had Rome represented.

After we had our two pieces, we bough some random frames and with the use of our area rug and a measuring tape laid out the the display.

By random, I mean absolutely no plan.  We picked a variety of sizes and finishes.  And different mats.  No plan here.  Collected over time was the desired look.

Next, we hung them all on the wall according to our plan on the floor.  And our new best friends smiled at us from their frames for a month (or two) while I picked out the rest of the pictures to complement the art.


Finally finished….

On the bottom portion we have some photos of course.


In addition to the normal photos, I also modified a photo of the Cinque Terre to make it resemble a painting.


I used a filter in Photoshop to in order to achieve this effect.  And if I can do it in Photoshop, anyone can do it because I still have zero skill with that program.  Also if you don’t have Photoshop, there are tons of photo editing program online that can achieve similar effects.

Another “different than photo thing” I did was with some left over Euros that the bank would not take back when we arrived home.


So of course I had to make something with them.

My first thought was do a rubbing over them with a pencil or charcoal.  And be all all old fashioned and stuff. Bad idea.

So I reverted back to the computer and threw them on the scanner.  I then did multiple random effects in Photoshop and Picnik until I liked how they looked.  Don’t ask me which ones because I have no idea. 

Then there is the top section….


The top right is actually a retro travel poster from the Boston Public Library’s Flickr Photostream.

Tuscany - Siena

High Heeled Foot in the Door mentioned it awhile ago and I had the link safely tucked away until I needed it.  There are so many fun posters there for all sorts of destinations.  I had trouble picking just one poster and can see this becoming a go-to spot for future trips.  Definitely worth checking out.

And last but not least….our Italian phrase.


Il bel far niente.

Or the art of doing nothing.

Something we are both terrible at.  And I would like to pretend that having it written in Italian on the wall will make us stop and smell the roses sometime.


I spent a lot of time with my Italian travel dictionary to try to find the perfect phrase and this seemed like the best fit.

Although there were a lot of great runners up in the “amore” section that I was tempted to put up there and just tell people it meant something nice and romantic.

Non ho mallattie has a nice ring to it don’t you think? (I have no diseases)…..

Or how about “Sono ricco e single” (I am rich and single)….


Oh well…I guess I will have to get busy with the art of doing nothing.

And remembering our amazing vacation daily of course…..

15 comments on "Italy Memories….On a Wall"
  1. I love it! I'm finding you from thrifty decor chick, by the way. :)

    What is your green paint color, it's a perfect green! Cute home you have!

  2. that looks great! i am a big fan of grouping lots of photos. you did a great job making the grouping seem natural.
    also - i love that phrase. i have loved it ever since i read eat pray love. i too have a hard time doing nothing!

  3. I've been wanting to do a travel wall - not specific to Italy but to all of the places we've been together. This is amazing - thank you for the fabulous, beautiful inspiration (as always!)

  4. Wow, really lovely! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Beautiful collection! I would so love to go to Italy. :-)

  6. Beautiful photo wall! We did a photo wall in our living room (including our wedding invitation) instead of a traditional wedding album. It makes me smile every day. We're still adding photos to it... 5+ years later.

  7. Love the mismatched frames! And the photos are pretty cool, too! What a great way to remember your vacation.

  8. There are seriously so many things to love about this. A - It totally looks collected over time.
    B - I love the mixture of photographs, textures, different frames, sizes, and colors. Plus, words, coins...
    C - I want you to come to my house. Help me! SOS. I can't put together a wall grouping if I tried for days. And you do it so effortlessly. So here's the deal. I'm going to plan on you coming to the QCA when our house is done and we are going to spend a weekend putting things on walls. Okay? ;)

    Love it all, Jenny. You are so talented with this. And, I'm totally checking out the Flickr page. Who knew?

  9. Mindy-
    Thanks! It is Svelte Sage from Sherwin Williams. I think it is the perfect green!

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  11. GORGEOUS!!!

    It's even symmetrical enough for me. LOL Yet different!

    And, as someone who lived in Italy (Napoli - aka Naples) for 2 years....I WOULD love this wall. :)

  12. LOVE this Jenny! It really turned out great. And I love that phrase - sounds good to me!

  13. I'm not sure where to even start. How about I'M SO JEALOUS. I was in Italy three years ago and I've been daydreaming about going back ever since. I'm also jealous of the fact that you're creative and dude, I'm just not! I absolutely love love love the wall. That's amazing.