Bed and Breakfast “Casa della Nonna”

 

B&B “Casa della nonna” is dedicated to two basic figures in the village: the dressmaker and the cobbler. This B&B, as B&B del Castello, is a kind of museum, but it is quite different from it. The beautiful chest of drawers, the engraved chest and the valuable walnut bedside table testify the activity, the importance and the good economic condition of this two figures, whose furniture is more valuable than peasants’ one. In this craftspeople’s house tools are protagonist, but this is not a traditional museum, but a space to be lived everyday, a museum-area which will come to life with the presence of our guests. We would like you to feel the soul and the history of this house being tuned with the people who lived here. Wood smelling, soft by the touch and pleasant shaped furniture become particularly important.

All the furniture in the house is made of wood (arte povera furniture which expresses THE POETRY OF BASIC FORMS). WOOD is alive, breaths, moves, feels the weather and the seasons. IT IS THE ELEMENT WHICH BETTER TESTIFIES THE HISTORY OF THIS HOUSE: when you brush this furniture you feel a kind of sensuality, the furniture is soft by the touch thanks to a restoration technique with shellac which takes it back to its past. But this furniture is also pleasant to see, so you will be surprised and amazed by unusual solutions like an old small window which has become a mirror in the bathroom and other objects you will discover during your stay. Moreover we would like to underline the importance of the fabrics which, thanks to the magic of light and shade, create the perfect set for you to imagine everyday life in a past not so far away from us

 

  - Entrance

At first sight this B&B “Casa della nonna” is unusually original, not only for the position of its front door under an arch supporting the stairs, but also for original elements from the past like the old “vaccillo” where people from Giangiacomo family washed their face in the morning, the still working doorknocker on the front door and the hand roughhewn durmast architrave realized after the Second World War.

 

         

  

  - Kitchen

The entrance is also a kitchen, a room used in the past to go to the actual basement room, a shelter for animals in the past. Since the early 20th century this area has been undergoing interventions which have not modified its original structure, where rock and stone are protagonist. In the past they have always been mistreated and hidden under centimetres of plaster and covered by ceramic tiles. Only in our last intervention we decided to retrieve and enhance consciously these unique materials like walls frescoed by the nature itself. The kitchenette has a linear composition covering the only plastered wall left. This stylish and trendy kitchen resembles the rock and stone walls and highlights an unusual mix of styles. The fridge is built in a niche in the rock which housed the wood-burning oven built by the owner’s father, now demolished and substituted by a gas one. In the past there was a large fireplace so that all members of the family could enjoy of it. But today, in a house in the mountain, where it represents the only heating system, we preferred to have something functional, so a thermo-fireplace has been installed for production of hot water and heating. In order to exploit a narrow space, a small folding table has been put on the wall. Its utensils were used by Giangiacomo family daily: in the village the cutlery was usually put away in wooden boxes like the one on the fireplace, fine worked glass bottles, the mortar, terracotta pots to cook legumes and broth in the fireplace and coffee cups rack on the wall.

 

           

 

- Basement room

The basement room warmly welcomes you as a shelter thanks to the close embrace of its stone walls and its vaulted ceiling made of stone bricks manufactured one by one by ancient stonecutters from the village. The walls of this room speak about the birth of this village: long ago the shepherds living in the surrounding mountains found this side of the mountain suitable for them to settle. They started occupying the existent caves because they represented a suitable shelter for their animals. These shelters were later used as homes building walls to close them. This basement room was a shelter for animals in the past. As a token of it you can still see the very original manger excavated in the rock and the stone rings where the animals were tied up. It was later used as cellar to keep foodstuffs thanks to its low temperature. Today it is used as living room.

 

    

 

The simple furniture made up of an ancient table with straw-bottomed chairs fits in perfectly with the stones and the rock of the wall and of the vaulted ceiling. As a token of the old cellar you can still see some objects which have been found here such as glass demijohns, the old iron plate rack and the utensils for meals and breakfast in the wall cabinet. The sewing machine of the only cobbler in the village is the protagonist of the room. It is still perfectly working and expert hands can still create a pair of homemade shoes with it. The bench is also present (now it has become a table) together with wooden shoe lasts. It has been possible for us to exhibit utensils used to make a pair of shoes, but not the cobbler’s accurate and patient mastery who needed a week to make a pair of shoes. A pair of boots with nails in the sole is on show. They were necessary to walk in impassable mountain areas. Note the hand cut uppers, their hand made sewings using a special technique with chisel and thread (made by the cobbler with pitch and flax), hides, laces and all the accessories: a unique and unrepeatable piece of handicraft.

 

   

 

  - Sleeping area

You go up three steps from the kitchen and you are in the bedroom. This is the only room whose walls are partially covered by plaster to create a contrast with typical rural style. You can find genuine antique furniture in it: the granny’s chest and chest of drawers, the dressmaker’s corner, the plate bed with mother-of-pearl inserts, the bedside tables and the toilet table. The towels are laid in a “capancia”, a typical long wooden tray used by the granny to contain sauces, freshly baked bread and mixture for sausages. Now these “capancie” have become frames for pictures showing the ancient crafts in the village such as the straw chair stuffing. On the wall there are two laundry baskets.

The window which was small because of mountain chill and the small balcony are part of the furniture as well, not only for their dimensions, but above all for the fabrics used for the curtains: woven fabrics and filet crochet cotton for laces and window curtains.

 

   

 

 - Bathroom

The bedroom has a small bathroom for sole use. Usually this kind of houses didn’t have any bathroom, but around the 1990’s a parallelepiped was built in the bedroom and thanks to this it was possible to have a toilet. The mirror was previously the window of the bathroom, there is a lamp holder like the others which were present in the house, the toilet paper rolls are supported by a hinge which was originally on the door frame of the basement room and a terracotta pot used by the granny to preserve foods has now become a basket.

 

   

 

 - Laundry

Separated from the house there is a door leading to a small room resembling a shelter where a bathroom has been built with a toilet, a washtub and a washing machine. You can still see the original cement washtub, the blue painted mirror and the cloths peg so trendy in the 70’s. 

 

     (picture under development)

 

B&B “Casa della nonna” is the ideal solution to stay in a genuine one of a kind historic estate.

 

(Sonia Giangiacomo)