Casa Carbone – a typical bourgeois home from the 1800s in Lavagna, Genoa, on Liguria’s Riviera di Levante – was ceded to FAI by its last owners, Emanuele and Siria Carbone.
Its rooms are cozy, elegantly decorated, and perfectly preserved: it has an everyday air to it, as if its owners had just stepped out. Through its many common objects – ornaments, kitchen utensils, linens and porcelain dolls – it tells the story of how life was lived in the 19th century, before “our society’s needs took away our home’s personality”, as the Carbone brothers used to say. Casa Carbone’s treasures include a large collection of Wedgwood ceramics (the lady of the house’s true passion); a woodcut Latin Bible printed in Lion, France in 1566; various scientific instruments; a series of fans Emanuele used to give his sister as presents; and a collection of puppets he created himself, including characters from “Pinocchio” and from classic Commedia dell’Arte.
While mosaic floors feature geometrical and floral patterns, ceilings are decorated with celebratory tempera paintings from the end of the 19th century. On the walls, a number of fine works of art – including a portrait of the Bishop of Veimer – add to the suspended atmosphere of this distinguished home, bringing out the best of middle-class aesthetics.