“The home should be the treasure chest of living.”
[Le Corbusier, 1887-1965]
MAISON. CASA. HOME. This is a nighttime photo of the clothing boutique Maison 22 in Pistoia’s historical center. The road was dark. The store was closed. The lights were off except for these dim lights in the background. There was a glass door separating me from this dangling chandelier of lightbulbs and letters and I could barely see in. Something struck me, however, about this nocturnal view with the rounded arches of the medieval ceiling, the tree-shaped decoration on the top right shelf and the boots on the shelf below. It brings to mind the titles of the first two issues of the poetic and philosophical home life magazine in Florence, Home Sapiens, whose creators recommend we “seize the floating sense of a place”: My Home is Where My Shoes Are and My Home is An Adorable Mess.
The story inside this photo also reminds me of my home at night with fewer lights on and just small dim lights or lamps and candles that I always hope will persuade me to gradually turn off for the day and sleep. It doesn’t always work for a Night Owl at heart, especially in the winter months here, but I do try.
On making a place home and much more, the latest podcast episode by MuseRadio in Rome is an interview with Scottish painter, Clare Galloway owner of Art House B&B in the small southern Italian town of Guardia Sanframondi. In the conversation Clare says that she thinks of home “as a second skin” and talks about how she made it possible “to un-abandon a place.” It is worth taking a listen to for those interested in hearing about how she found a place to call home in this little town with its abandoned buildings and monasteries, yet with the generous and supportive spirit of the residents who she refers to as being “like a big family.” Such a close family were they that the local government gave her the keys to the town. I can’t think of a better way to represent CASA.