Close to Ponte dell’Accademia, one of the four bridges crossing the canal grande, there is an occupied building, abandoned for years and ex-property of Ca’ Foscari university.
This palace is called Ca’ Bembo and it has one of the very few free gardens in Venice. Old rooms have now several new uses: the former house of the palace’s ex-keeper, for instance, has been turned into a recording room built by recycled material. There are nowadays three study rooms and a library, while on the outside there is a picturesque garden, surrounded by high-walled buildings that give a mysterious touch to the place.
Every time I come here I find mothers and their children, students, improvising musicians, artists and more; it’s easy to discuss and have fun with random people. During the Biennale Ca’ Bembo, it even becomes an exhibition space, and generally it is possible to plan meetings, movie projections, little concerts and cultural events. Aperitifs and language classes are part of the schedule too.
Ca’ Bembo is open to everybody and it offers its spaces asking back only respect and collaboration. If you are having a hard day walking through Venice’s streets, chillin’ a bit under the trees of Ca’ Bembo is what you need!