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Friday, June 15, 2012

Piano Nobile

No, not a noble Piano
Piano Nobile (Italian, Noble Floor)

The Piano Nobile is an elevated storey immediately above the basement  (as it is in our case) or above the ground floor. Many country Villas in the Italian Veneto were designed by Andrea Palladio (16th c. Architect) featuring  a Piano Nobile to avoid dampness from the low lying Po Valley and the watery lagoons of the Venice region. 

Our house is built on a Podium with steps leading up to the terrace  and elevated above water level of our spring. The spring which provides us with  ever changing vistas,  natural beauty and a very important water source during the summer months. 

Historians have suggested that Land Owners could observe their workers from the elevated terrace.  Barchese or arcaded side wings were part of the design scheme which provided sleeping areas for farm laborers during the growing season.

Note:  We have terraces, we have arcaded side wings, but we have no laborers.

While we were building our house it occurred to me that it would be wonderful to have the elevated base broken up with flower boxes,

Every year the flower boxes look different.  Each exposure presents a different challenge.   But all of them are at perfect height.  No back breaking planting and weeding. 

My plantings always include Salpiglossis.

 These are last years' flowers.  Up and until a few days ago we had frost every night, my flowers are barely showing right now, but they will shine in a few weeks just as they have in years past.

Hopefully, the seeds I planted only yesterday,  in the front of the barn,  will hurry and grow just as they did last year.

Last years' vegetable garden.

My vegetable garden does not look like this yet, but it will soon.

Better head outside and get busy.

Have a great weekend my dear
Blogging Friends.



  1. Belissimo Gina, Una Giardino malto bello..
    Piano Nobile.. "A little noble"
    I am lost for words at the photos of your most beautiful elegant home.
    You both have achieved what you wanted. Your time is well occupied, between your ceramics and garden and home.
    Thank you for sharing today these lovely photos..
    your garden flowers are divine.
    Happy Weekend.. Val

  2. Your piano nobile makes perfect sense, and today's builders could get a few tips by studying a little history. Here in Florida I live in a flood zone, and most of the houses built under the new codes either sit up on a sort of mogul, or on what are essentially concrete stilts. And so my new neighbors seem more imposing!

  3. Hello Gina

    What a delightful home and so inviting. The rich sounding word Piano Nobile suits the elegance. I would love to spend time in your garden and paint all the beautiful vista.

    Thank you for sharing your home with us and wishing you a weekend of joy.

    Helen xx

  4. Dear Val, It's a good thing that we are retired and that we have enough space to keep us occupied. Often there are disappointments (as in this year with late frezes) but most of the time working on our land is very rewarding.
    Thank you for your lovely comment. It is so appreciated. Have a great weekend. ox, Gina

  5. Dear Mark, An interesting comment you made about your neighbors. Do you have issues with water damage because your house is not elevated? Palladio's designs were so practical as in our case where we can have a full basement (which was alo surveyed to be above water level)and which we use mostly for storage and where I fire my ceramics. Don't know how we would manage without it.

  6. Hello Helen, You would be so welcome. In fact, you should join our artists in September when a very important plein air competition takes place.

  7. Gina, every time I have the opportunity to see more of these fabulous views of your truly magnificent home, I also smile to think that an alfalfa field is not far away. You and your husband have created a wonderful addition that perfectly compliments the existing environment.

    Bravo! xo

  8. Ah, Gina, everything about your home and lifestyle is an inspiration. You and Gene have created all this with such detail, care and craftsmanship. And I can't even manage to get a bathroom remodeled! Your home is all fabulous – I love it to pieces.


  9. Ah the thought of chilling on an elevated terrace while surveying one's labourers! Only I'm sure that even if you had them you would be out there busily doing and creating things!
    Having returned recently myself from the watery lagoons of Venice (and nightly flooding of San Marco square with the tides), I can really appreciate this post. I do think your raised flower boxes are an inspired idea. Just beautiful pictures of your home as always.

  10. Dear Frances, Thank goodness for the Alfalfa field. I don't have to take care of it and it is always pretty and green. Have a lovely week, ox, Gina

  11. Dear Karen, Seeing your beautiful photographs of my favorite city, Venice, made me think of the many times we have come around the corner of the Grand Canal and seeing in front of us the most beautiful scene of Venetian Palazzi. You have captured the feel of Venice with your lovely photographs.

  12. Dear Georgianna, Bathrooms are very difficult to remodel. Don't give up. I know that you will do it well. You have trained your eye to see beauty through your very special photography. I still see the lovely flowers in your woodland garden of this Spring. Would love to see more...maybe a little book for inspiration when you have time. ox, Gina