15 Oct 2007


Don't forget the Halloween Party ! Infos see above !

Today I will show you an amazing appartment in an ancient monastery built in 1462. It is attached to the most famous church in Rovereto* (Northern Italy) the Chiesa San Marco.

I saw this appartment for the first time in 1968 when I met Nino and Ileana, Mr. Gattino's oldest friends. They were not married yet and Ileana lived in there with her mother since her birth. When they married a year later as we did too, Ileana's mother moved out and the young couple took the appartment over. It is under protection of historic buildings and monuments. They only pay a very small rent but have to well take care of the place.

Since then a lot of things have changed of course, but the outside is still the same as in 1462.

Window frames had been replaced by modern once in hard plastic and there are also double window glasses. Alarms had been put in, an electric door opener, central heating and airconditionning and other things to make life comfortable.

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This picture I took out of the inside of a historical book about Rovereto. Nino and Ileana are represented in there as occupants of this old place. Nino is a big Motorbike lover therefore the moto had to be on the picture too of course !

and here we go :

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To arrive to the church and the ancient convent you have to go through very small streets.

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and then a lot of very high steps !

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and steps again

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but then you arrive at this beautiful church, the Chiesa di San Marco (1462)

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The inside of the church is very beautiful.

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and just besides the church's entrance is the ancient convent which had housed
the "Ginnasio Roveretano" (academic high school) in 1672, the Library in 1764 and the "Accademia delle Agiati" (The Academy of the affluents) in 1785, before being transformed into appartments.

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The entrance with it's huge and heavy oak door

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Inside a court

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and if you look up you see balconies which are the entrances to the appartments.

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but first you have to climb up the old used stone steps

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and you arrive at the entrance door of Nino and Ileana's appartment

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Just behind the door you find a long corridor

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nicely decorated with old weapons. Nino is the peacefullest man in the world but he likes to collect weapons.

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A glance in the living room

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and the combined kitchen and dining room. The door in the front leans to the guest room where we have spent quite a few nights when we were in Italy. I always remember the church bells ! It rings all hours and when we were there once at easter it rang all 15 min ! Even during the night. I can tell you it's so close that you fall out of your bed ! The bells are just besides !

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The dining corner, here dressed for lunch in the evening the table was pulled out for the supper.

Behind you can see a beautiful acquarium.

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and this is the kitchen. Very comfy and modern nothing is missing to make your life easy ! And both are excellent cooks !

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On the toilet I found this and found it funny.

But this is not all, because deep down in the basement, Nino has transformed his cellar into a party room on one floor and and one floor deeper into a storage room where he keeps his wine and makes his own vinegar.

The monks used these cellars too for storage. And just besides Nino's celler is another one with old skeletons and skulls from the monks. The door is locked and you can't get in but they are there ! (and not only for Halloween !)

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The entrance is located quite deep and these are the steps leading to the door. It is rather cool so deep down with these old thick walls. In summer when it is 30°C ( 86 F) outside it is only about 16° (60F) down there and you have to wear a cardigan. But with good food and wine you quickly warm up !

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Look how thick the walls are !

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He opens the door

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and here we are. There is also a stove for cooking and even a grill

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From there other steps lead down more deeper

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and here he makes his vinegar
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and stores his wine, and food.

The rest of the pictures are shown in this slideshow.

I have to say I was deeply impressed how he had transformed his cellar, it hasn't existed the last time I visited them. The idea that already so many centuries ago monks had their food and wine storages here and even graves made me feeling strange somehow.

I also made this little video, unfortunately it is a little dark but it gives you a little overview of the atmosphere.

There are many appartments of this kind around the church, from outside you still believe to be in the middle age but once inside you have the modernest households.

*The town Rovereto I will show you on a future cruise stop.


eastcoastlife said...

Wow! What an eye-opener! Such an awesome place for a house! Your dear friends are very blessed, except for the church bells! haha..... I guess they have got used to it and don't hear it any more.

Thanks Gattina for your offer to help me change my header. I'm so excited! I appreciate it very much. I would like to have a Halloween theme too. What do I do first?

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Great photos! I came here from a Google Alert on Italy, and I see from your sidebar we've been just missing each other throughout the blogosphere--glad I've found you!

I'm an American living in southern Italy with my Italian fiancé; feel free to come check out my place :)

Anonymous said...

What marvelous buildings. I rarely watch TV but I do enjoy the programs which show the restoring and renovation of buildings in Europe. It is so important to keep the heritage and history they represent.

Dorothy said...

An absolute fabulous tour. So modern inside. So quaint and old outside. It was a very intersting tour. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Wow! It's absolutely magnificent! I always say I love old houses and I do, but this one I ADORE. And look at the romantic surroundings, really old and picturesque. I love the streets and stairs leading to it.

I'm so glad that you showed us this. It's a VERRRRY unique one.

I wanna go down in that cellar and stay there... *giggles*

What a place to celebrate Halloween at!

Though I can feel a very friendly atmosphere there too - time for partying! *giggles*

What a wonderful tour!!!!

I'm going to repeat it again...

Hootin' Anni said...

Oh Gattina.....I truly, TRULY think this is the TOP Cruise stopover we've had yet!!!

This was awesome, and the apartment is absolutely 'to die for' amazing!! I'm breathless.


Anonymous said...

Oh, have I told you that I love your new Halloween look? I'm having Althzeimers light, so it's not so easy.... *giggles*

Awfully nice of you to offer to help eastcoastlife with her too!

Anonymous said...

That was really cool. I would love to travel and see something so old yet still used today! The cellar us really quite nice. I see why you have a stove in there, once you have walked down all those steps and opened some wine you can't go back up! LOL Thanks for sharing this wonderful apartment with all of us!

Maribeth said...

What a lovely surprise this house is! Your friends are so lucky to live in such a beautiful spot!!!

Jeanette said...

Oh Gattina such a wonderful tour,and all those steps to climb but well worth it to see that beautiful church and your friends apartment simply breath taking....

sonia a. mascaro said...

Wow! Just a wonderful tour! Love this post, you did a good job here with these amazing photos, videos and slide show!

Beautiful place! And what a big, beautiful and well decorate house! I was very impressed with so many stairs to reach the house! Thanks Gattina for sharing this great tour with us!

PS: Thanks for your nice visiting on Leaves of Grass.

Merle said...

Hi Gattina ~~ What a wonderful tour you gave us. The apartment is lovely, but oh those steps and no rails to hold on to. The church interior was just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Glad you liked the Hug certificate and the jokes. Take care, Love, Merle.

TopChamp said...

that's so cool! very rustic looking - I like it.

Anonymous said...

Hello Gattina!
I come back again! After an hard week! No more than 12 personnalities in my classroom! If you could see the heads of pupils in front of all this gratin! L'inspecteur d'académie, l'inspecteur de ceci, l'inspecteur de cela et le maire... Merci pour cette magnifique visite! Just what we need for an Halloween party! In the cellar with the squelettors but in the same time so friendly!
I adore these old houses! And in the same time you can have a modern life! I love the halloween look of your blog!

eastcoastlife said...

Thanks so much Gattina for your help! Big hugssss!!!

My email : eastcoastlife55(at)hotmail(dot)com

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

What a great apartment! Your friends have made it a wonderful home.

I am impressed that the building predates Columbus coming to the America's.

What on earth is the Academy of the Affluents?

I don't think I could handle all the stairs. Everyone must keep themselves just by living there.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is an amazing place to live! I'd be a bit creeped out by the cellars and probably would avoid them!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful guided tour Gattina. They say pictures tells more than words, but you've given us both - thanks for taking your time and for sharing with us!

Going trough the time and history was amazing and it looks very pitoresk. It's amazing that its still the same as in 1462.

The slide shows where great too - your such a great photographer That goes for the video as well - yea it was a bit dark, but you really have given us the atmosphere.

A. said...

That is such a wonderful place, i don't know how you could bear to come home. Thank you so much for showing us those beautiful pictures. My son is buying an appartment in Itlay. I do hope it's something like that :)

Sandee said...

Love your Halloween look. Very well done. great trip as well. I really didn't expect to see the modern kitchen with all that old history. Very well done. :)

Renie Burghardt said...

Wow, what a fabulous tour! I really enjoyed it. Your blog is one of the most interesting blogs around. Never a dull moment.

Danke Schoen!

I used to speak German quite well, and my native Hungarian, now, I only remember fragments of either language.


Pamela said...

fascinating. you know we all want to come stay in the guest room and go downstairs and listen for the chanting of the monks -- from ages past. oh yah!....

bcmomtoo said...

I loved the pictures and the tour. Thanks for sharing.

There's a treat waiting for you on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Coucou Gattina
Mon reportage est prêt depuis cette nuit! J'aurais bien aimé être un peu plus technique car le sujet s'y prêtait mais je n'avais pas assez de temps. Bon je repars à l'école. Cette semaine c'est la semaine du goût! Alors on va cuisiner avec les pupils!

MaR said...

How beautiful!! loved seeing the pictures of such a lovely place . Hey, I even saw Che Guevara over there, lol.
Thanks to the thick walls the buildings are still there, I guess...Your friends truly love the place and have made so much out of it. I just couldn't bear the church bells, though, whenever we book a small hotel I first look for the church and then book the little hotel which is as far away as possible!

Unknown said...

Remarkable story that you told with your photos. Thank you for sharing this sight ... which I never would have known about otherwise.

peace, Villager

Unknown said...

Wow! Fantastic post! Thank you for sharing it with us!
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

peanut butter said...

great photos =]
i might get to go to italy this summer! =]

Anonymous said...

What a unique and interesting building, and to call it home to boot :-)

A person would certainly be kept in shape with so many stairs ;-)

Love the photos. Great job, thanks for sharing once again :-)

Vlado&Toni said...

What a wonderful home! Thank you very much for the detailed tour. I envy you that you have such friends who have such historical and quite unique homes, it's almost living in a museum. I wonder what those walls have seen or heard through the centuries. Hmm. if they can only talks.

Anonymous said...

What a dream home! Such an inspiration! I love the pictures of native American Indians and the dream catcher and the ivys. My ancestors are of the Apache Indians from the West in the US. My Pop's Mom was an Apache. That is so true, that one poster that had the U.S. flag over the Indians mouth. :/

I agree with with Renie's comment! :-)