Every kid dreams about having x-ray glasses to be able to see through walls or clothing. I bet there are at least a few Venetophiles (people who love Venice) who wish they could see under Venice’s skin–what’s under that layer of plaster. Yes, often the plaster flakes off in places and you get a glimpse of what’s underneath. But I’ve often hankered for something more than that.
I got the chance last Sunday. The Palazzo Mora in Canareggio is home to a Biennale exhibit right now, and the architect, Florencia Costa, has uncovered or stripped or knocked holes into various walls. In some places, she stripped off some layers of wallpaper, leaving others, including a room that had wallpaper mimicking wood paneling. See the pic with the most yellow in it. In the picture with the pink wall, she’s uncovered very small sections of plaster and labeled them so you can understand what each layer represents. The wall with blue left on it bares its bricks.
I think my favorites, though, were the ones where all the plaster is stripped away. I could see the bricks in some places, while some walls consisted of lathe–wooden strips. This revealed how much the walls have sagged, too, mostly in their middles, like so many middle aged men. But this palace is centuries old!
I went up to the top floor, where I could see the undersides of the roof tiles. Balconies were accessible, so I enjoyed the view of Venice’s roofs. Even with the heat pounding outside, the rooms stayed cool. I plan to return to hide out on hot days in this place that has revealed some of its secrets.