Letter from Venice – A home in Venezia, Calle delle Canne
Inside a Venetian home.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The first floor window usually remains open during the day. A pedestrian walking on the street outside just have to crane his neck upwards to have a glimpse of jam-packed bookshelves. This is Pia Nainer’s drawing room.
One early afternoon The Delhi Walla enters her dimly lit apartment. She lives in Calle delle Canne, near the Bridge of the Three Arches on the west side of Venice.
Ms Nainer is a painter, though for many years she gave flute lessons in a music school. She shares this 4-room apartment with her husband, Giovanni, daughter, Giulia, and dog, Lilla. Her husband is a professor of architecture. Her daughter attends college.
The ground floor consists of a corridor that goes to the kitchen, beyond which lies a wildish sort of garden. (An e-book is lying open on the small kitchen table, beside a cup of coffee.)
The room above is devoted to books – it is the window here that looks down to the street. There is also a sofa, a reading lamp, two chairs and a small TV.
Ms Nainer’s room is on the second floor; it is filled with her paintings, music instruments, CDs and books.
The door to the adjacent room has a notice in English – CLOSE THE GOD DAMN DOOR. This is the daughter’s room. It is a different country, with another idea of the world. All sorts of dresses, books, paintbrushes and other miscellaneous items are strewn across the floor. The bedside wall has posters of rock stars, including of Kurt Cobain. One handwritten note says:
I hate my
They make me
who I am
The facing wall is almost entirely scrawled with handwritten slogans. One is more prominent:
Art is the weapon
“This house dates to the 17th century,” says Ms Nainer. “We moved here 25 years ago. It was originally a farm. The kitchen used to be a cowshed and the upper floor was used to keep the fodder. We had to rebuilt the walls and the roof but we did not touch the stairs.”
The mother and daughter then sit down on the kitchen table to have a quiet meal of pasta with canned tuna; while Lilla receives a fair share of the lunch from Ms Nainer’s plate.
Pia Nainer’s apartment
10. (Pia Nainer with her latest painting)