Join me for a virtual visit to my family’s home in Venice!! These days, you enter a Venetian house from the campo. Artisans, and their tools in case something needs to be restored or replaced, enter through the porta d’acqua, as it’s faster transporting their tools by boat, whenever this is possible. Via a heavy portone (door), you step onto the hall on the ground floor, from where a staircase leads up three floors, but you could also take the lift 🙂
To reach Grandmother Lina’s home, you need to take two flights of stairs to arrive in the area of the house where her main living room and kitchens are located. This house was restored 10 years ago, and until then had a really old Venetian kitchen, perhaps more than 100 years old, including a fogolar (open hearth, often used in the Veneto countryside, but also in the Lagoon). Grandfather kept much of this white and dark wooden furniture but did replace the oven during the restoration, so the fogolar was left here where it was, complete with its little shelf in the middle where ceramic herb pots and jars filled with dried blossoms are located.
I love this ancient kitchen, overlooking the canal, rather large and dark during the day, just right for the spices who need to be stored in a darkish place. In that manner, the cusina (kitchen) also served as dispensa (pantry). This meant it was rather cool in the summer, when the window is left open to let in the refreshing breeze from below. In the evening, the sun enters the kitchen, so that in June, you can sit here and enjoy the sun flooding the kitchen until after 9:30 pm. It’s rather dark in the winter, when the room is illuminated by candles on the corner table.
A long corridor, covered with Venetian terrazzo flooring, separates the kitchen from the dining area and the living room. I love drinking my morning coffee by the French windows with a fine view of the campo and beyond, on the little balcony adorned with geranium pots, oleander and aralia plants (which we must take into the room from June-August, because the sun is just too strong).
In the house on the other side of the little campo, Grandmother’s sprawling garden is located, spanning several floors, from ground floor, terraces, balconies, and altana (roof terrace). The terrace used as kitchen garden is easily accessible, and this is a fine place to rest amidst red, white and rose blossoms. is used as kitchen garden, just fine for sun-loving herbs. You can see the view from the balcony, and its evergreen plants, geranium and aralias, in the big picture below.