The library is one of the common areas of Casa VerbaVolant. It is set up based on our grandparents’ book collections.
We also inherited the bookcase with wooden bookshelves and the metal studs dating back to the sixties from grandma Lina and grandpa Ciccio, as well as the desk and the swivel chair, which we had upholstered with an ad hoc woven fabric.
The OSB bookcase, which holds part of our typewriters, as well as the “Montessori” bookcase situated in the area dedicated to our youngest readers, were made to measure by our trusted carpenter.
You’ll find an office Olivetti – a strong Diaspron – on the desk, which you can use to write a message to hang on the notice board.
If you wish to read comfortably, you are spoil for choice: you may either let yourself be rocked on our swing chairs, stretch yourself out on the dormeuse, choose one of the armchairs in the adjoining Continental hall or just take the books into your room or apartment.
The library boasts titles for every taste and is divided into topics: science fiction, crime novels, historical novels, surreal fiction, fantasy, Italian and international classic books, Sicilian authors, children storybooks with pictures, specialist books about the publishing industry, typewriters, typography and much more!
And should you need to go the restroom… you may use the one of the floor where the books are stored… obviously theme-based!
The Continental hall
In the living area on the fourth floor, there’s the Continental hall: an area used as breakfast room overlooking the Porto Grande. The breakfast table, made out of old typed letters by a wood artisan based on our drawing, will include only farm-to-table products: ricotta pastries, almond paste, cannoli, granita, organic yoghurt and milk, a selection of cereal, tea, coffee and fruit juices.
You may also use the kitchen, which is equipped with induction hob, microwave, dishwasher, coffee machine, kettle and obviously a green VerbaVolant fridge.
The bergères, dating back to the forties and upholstered with our colours for the occasion, will accommodate your readings, the encounters with the authors and your interpretations. Additionally, you can also get comfortable in one of the chairs coming from a cinema that was abandoned many years ago.
Can you play the piano? Ours was fixed up, but is a bit old: it dates back to 1908! Therefore, the sound might be a bit weird. In fact, the piano works with a so-called “bayonet” system, which turns the clang colour less clear, but deeper and more suggestive.
The Continental hall also includes several typewriters. Actually, the oldest ones! The Mignon Aeg with its peculiar index may arouse your curiosity. Rather than featuring a regular keyboard, it comes with a pointer with two keys, an index card with a character set and a drum-type printer that prints the letters on the paper.
The dressers come from an old printing press of the province. Never seen one? Just open one of the drawers and you’ll see all compartments used by typographers to enshrine the lead letters they composed the words to be printed with.
Of course, the collection wouldn’t be complete without an icon of Italian design: the Olivetti Valentine, designed in 1969 by Ettore Sottsass, in ABS red. It is even part of the permanent collection of the MoMA in New York!
Additionally, this area also features watercolours made by Roberta Rossetti especially for us: some of the paintings portray the authors that are present in the room, others depict the most interesting and picturesque locations of Syracuse.
There’s also a little shop at Casa VerbaVolant. Obviously, you can buy all books of the publishing house, which are spread in the common areas, in the library, in the rooms and apartments, and along the walls. Among those, many titles of the book series Libri da Parati® are paintings that decorate our walls. Among those, many titles of the book series Libri da Parati® are paintings that decorate our walls.
In the shop reserved exclusively to our guests, you also find cups, place mats, customized shoppers, and a small selection of books by other publishing houses as well as items made by local artisans.
In this regard, the flowers that you will find in your room have been made for us by "Tania's house" and are... of paper!