January 31, 2013
Passing by this wall today, I was reminded that in Sicily, when you renovate your house, you don’t just pick an exterior color and slosh it on.
Your neighbors get to weigh in first.
You paint three color samples on a wall, then wait a few weeks for their feedback.
In this case, the owners obviously (!) have their heart set on bright yellow, but the exact hue is up for negotiation.
A few years ago, my mason painted swaths of ripe peach, yolk-yellow, and Parmigiano on the side of the house facing my neighbor S’s house.
“Don’t choose the garish yellow,” S said one day. “Ti prego.” Indeed, it was she who would be most affected by the color choice as she stares right out at a large blank wall of my house.
“Which do you like best?”
“The light yellow.”
So Parmigiano it was. I was happy to let her choose the color of my house, as good neighborly relations are key to my survival here.