20 October 2019
Marcella, an 80 year old woman from Dorsoduro, can at least in part breathe a sigh of relief: her eviction has been postponed until after next summer. Her story – the 80 year old Venetian woman was supposed to leave the home in which she was born and has lived in as a renter for her whole life in a few days – is now known by all. Yesterday Gruppo 25 Aprile Venezia arrived in campo in her defense, just as reassurances arrived from the owner of the property.
The owner of the whole palazzo wants to remodel the building, but has said that she does not want to turn Marcella’s apartment into a B and B or tourist rental. In fact, after the remodeling if Marcella wants to return to live in the apartment she will be able to do so.
The situation now is much different than what appeared originally in documents that spoke of her removal from the building in 10 days and a possible visit from the Judicial Official and police on Monday.
Is this a gesture of good will from the more than well-off owner? A defensive action in response to the media clamor the situation has aroused? Was all the talk about this being mere real estate speculation a misunderstanding?
At the moment, understandably, there is no clear answer, what should be emphasized and is the undeniable step to meet the 80 year old woman in a time when private law would have allowed acts of genuine cynicism.
Certainly the remodeling cannot be stopped, and some questions remain open that may arise only in the future. It goes without saying that Marcella, who lives alone on a pension of about 600 Euro, sooner or later will have to find another home in which to live.
A change of residence and most likely of area, given that the area near the Salute where she lives, among the few Venetians remaining, has seen a large number of properties rented out to tourists, and that finding a home in Venice, in general, has become an impossible undertaking.
The woman, who has problems moving about and cannot live on an upper floor without an elevator, will therefore be forced to venture in to the market with those who are looking for homes in the historic city, and if she is lucky will still have to change her habits at an age in which it is not simple to do so.
The possibility of her eventual return to her home in Dorsoduro is above all a sign of openness on the part of the owner, but Marcella is 80 years old and it is not clear how long the work of remodeling will last, nor is it clear what the rental rates will be when she does come back.
Different needs, then, for the property owners and the inhabitants, in a Venice that does not offer many alternatives and has seen the loss, day after day, of all its citizens.
In recent days, meanwhile, the palazzo has become a symbol of the struggle of Venetians to remain living in Venice. Gruppo 25 Aprile, which has taken an interest in the affair, set in motion a full mobilization in support of the woman and her worries over being evicted.
Yesterday over 300 signatures were gathered in three hours. For those interested in offering their own support the book will remain open for signing at the decorator’s shop at 121A Dorsoduro.
Source: La Voce di Venezia