A chain of events

A few days ago, I went for a spritz at a local bar. The daily newspaper was on the counter, so I flipped through the pages, as I sipped my drink. The words Scuola Grande Della  Misericordia caught my eyes. This former vast guildhall is now largely not accessible to the public, but wonder of wonders, there would be a showing of drawings by primary school children on Monday.

This is a view of the side of this Scuola. It is so hard to convey in photos just how big this place is!

A young man on duty on the ground floor took me upstairs to the display. There were literally hundreds of drawings which had been done by school children in Venice, Rhodes and Istanbul. Each drawing was divided into thirds, so there were contributions from each country in each drawing. The aim was to try to promote some rapport between these children from different countries.

This was an initiative of a journalist, Signora Nadia DeLazzari. The project has taken one year.

The next link in my happy chain was the appearance of this very lady, to see how the showing was going. She explained that the drawings started in Venice, were sent to Istanbul, and finished in Rhodes. So, Not all of the children got to see the completed drawings.

Here are some of the pictures. (The children showed such imagination and artistry, I was very impressed.) Signora DeLazzari is shown in this first collage.

This might give you a little idea of the scale of this building. The scaffolding is present for the restoration work which is being undertaken by S.M.V. Spa, as explained by the young security guard. It will take so long ….  Fragments of faded frescoes are visible. The pavimento was removed during Napoleon’s little incursion. (That man has a lot to answer for.)

I was so happy, on many levels. First, I finally got into this Scuola. Then, I saw the inspiring drawings of the children, our future leaders. Then, I met the wonderful woman who is the driving force behind this (and other) projects.

It pays to go for a spritz!




Filed under Venice

20 responses to “A chain of events

  1. It’s so inspirational! More than sharing, this is true reporting. Thanks Yvonne.
    I believe the building used to be called “Palasport della Misericordia”.


  2. Thank you for so much for posting this great Idea. I shared this with the art teacher in my building and will certainly share with other teachers in the district.


  3. Bert

    Annie, perhaps it was in Hugh Honour’s Companion Guide that you read that the upper floor was used as a basket-ball court, or in the Blue Guide that it was used as a gymnasium.


  4. How special. Their art is fantastic and I love the way that project worked. Glad to learn they are renovating that huge old building; I read somewhere that at one time they used it as a gym for sporting events. Great post!


  5. julie

    What a lovely find Yvonne .. those kids have some talent for sure xx


  6. Super de découvrir cet intérieur caché…
    Fausto et vous même nous faites revivre ces lieux. Merci
    Martine de Sclos

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Michelle

    Wow! How totally wonderful. I’m sharing with my teacher friends.


  8. Barb

    You continue to put a smile on my face as I read about all the wonderful things you are experiencing during this visit. I am quite sure that the lovely teacher responsible for that exhibit came away from her conversation with you knowing she had done an outstanding job.


    • She is just a wonderful woman, more power to her. I wonder what will be done with all of those drawings? And, the thing is, there was hardly any advertising. If I hadn’t had that spritz ….


  9. A great exhibit of young talent! Thanks for sharing it with us and affirming the teachers/organizers. Yes, the building is extraordinary. We were fortunate to see it with the Pierre Case’s “Mystery of the Sottoportego” exhibit upstairs (quite a hike!) and Jan Fabre’s “Pietas” exhibited on the Ground Floor. I hope that the Scuolo stewards continue its use as a venue for major art exhibits.


  10. What a great day you had! The drawings are wonderful and the teacher inspired.


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