A journey to discover an unpublished version of a snowy Venice depicted on those vintage postcards exhibited in San Polo

28 December 2021

Venice, December 23, 2021-  When Venice wakes up under a blanket of snow, whitewashed on a cold winter day. In the headquarters of the Regional Command of the Italian finance Police, in Campo San Polo, a hundred of black and white postcards are exhibited while kept inside glass display cabinets, as real precious jewels. Some of them contain wishes or greeting messages written by hand, others are just shots of everyday life. Simple pieces of paper, rectangular in shape, showing an unforgettable slice of the unknown life of a snowy Venice. The free exhibition is called “Il fascino della neve a Venezia nel ‘900” (The allure of snow in Venice in ‘900), and allows the public to take a dip into the past to admire, in the year of the 1600 anniversary of the city, a Venice that no longer exists when trying to recognize, between those shots faded by time, a campo or a calle that today we find familiar. All this precious material was collected by Gianni Berlanda a real collector, born in Trentino, who worked in the foreign trade sector for the fashion industry, and that, after years and years of travels, decided to came back in Venice, the city he always had in his heart, to spend his retirement carrying on the true passion for collecting, while living in the lagoon city. 

“I ended up in Venice by chance when I was just a young boy, but I started collecting postcard and photo of Venice almost immediately, because from the very first moment I stepped foot in this city, I find it utterly fascinating - says Gianni Berlanda- I came back here to study Economics at Ca’ Foscari University and today, 50 years after my degree and a lot of work trips later, I came back here to show everyone the beauty of Venice in its most magical dress”. 

Berlanda only collects black and white postcards, choosing to fix in his memory, and in that of anyone who visits his exhibitions, a pure and essential Venice, colourless. A Venice that he carefully holds in those 500 pieces of paper dated from the early 1900s to 1925, a hundred of which are exhibited at Palazzo Corner-Mocenigo. This is how by entering the palace in the San Polo district, you can fully immerse yourself in a typical Venetian landscape which was possible to admire only a few times during the past years. St. Mark’s square under a white blanket of snow, laying on the curvy profile of those 1900s gondolas, still adorned by the ancient “felze”, the old traditional central structure made to protect passengers, which today remains only in the memory of Venetians. From the small frozen canals to the lagoon during the great frost of 1929, when citizens were able to reach on foot the cemetery of San Michele and Murano from Fondamenta Nove.  

“I've been retired since 2008, and because I have all this free time I devoted myself to collecting- says Berlanda- I still have a lot of material to show the Venetians, and I hope they’ll appreciate this gift. Beside this exhibition I also have the desire to display some other collections to keep on showing the city through the eyes and messages of those who lived it in the past, offering the public an unedited journey among Venice postcards, divided by districts”. 

The exhibition is free and can be visited until January 6, 2022 at the following times: 
 - On weekdays from 10 to 12AM
- Saturdays and public holidays from 10AM to 1PM and from 2 to 4PM.

For further informations please visit www.palazzocornermocenigo.it