I live on the first floor (one above the ground floor) of a palazzo (palace) that was built in 1925 — later expanded then converted to a palazzo in condominio (apartment building) — and overlooks Campo Marzo, Vicenza’s main park that lies just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Centro Storico (Old Town Center).
My floor — only two apartments — is where the original owners lived, and the floor was referred to then as the piano nobile (noble floor).
Way back at the very start of the Renaissance period — the 14th century — the piano nobile began to appear and referred to the principle floor of a palace or large house owned by nobility. Today, the term is little used, unless one really does live in an old palace; but, my building, designed in stile Liberty (Liberty style) — a late 19th-early 20th century interpretation of the classic Renaissance look — did, for a while, exist as the noble floor, as the original owners were part of Vicenza’s upper crust.
With some ceilings nearly touching the sky, the owners were able to use the extra height to add a soppalco (loft) with additional living space just under the original wooden beams. Up there is where the master bedroom, bath, walk-in closet and landing are located.
The park views, ample space, classic looks with modern upgrades and a large terrace overlooking the building’s interior courtyard, what’s not to like about it?
To be honest, I really fell in love with the apartment because of its colorful and decorative pavimento alla Veneziano (terrazzo floors). After just one look at that sparkling mosaic “carpet,” I agreed to rent my piece of the piano nobile — and history — on the spot.
From the moment I clear the main entry door into the palazzo, I take six flights of stairs (four outside my flat, two inside) and a total of 52 steps upward to finally get to the master bedroom on the second floor of my two-story abode.
More times than not, I take the stairs, not the lift, up to the piano nobile. After all, I’m just a commoner.
You wanna come on-a my house and have a look around? Terrific.
Hit it, Rosemary!