On St.Mark’s square bell tower, the presentation of the cultural project “El Paron de Casa” to celebrate Venice 1600 years

16 November 2021

“El Paron de Casa” (the landlord), as venetians call the St.Mark’s bell tower, became the main character of the cultural project addressed to 250 children attending the year 4 of the primary school which has been presented this morning from the terrace of the bell tower, a very evocative location. Project conceived by the Lido Oro Benon association and fully developed by the Humanities Studies Department of the University Cà Foscari of Venice from 2021 to 2022, this initiative was born after having found on the San Nicolò beach in Lido, a piece of brick of the former St. Mark’s original bell tower crumbled on July 14th, 1902. The project is carried out in partnership with the Procuratoria di San Marco, Ordine Ingegneri Venezia (the order of the engineers of Venice), Confindustria Venezia and recognized by Veneto Sostenibile (Sustainable Veneto).

The opening, on June 30th, coincided with the day in which, 280 years ago, Pietro Grimani was elected as the Serenissima’s Doge. Moreover, on this same day in 1913, a document reporting the reconstruction of the St. Mark’s bell tower was released by engineer Daniele Donghinon the national newspaper of the Genio Civile.

"El Paron de Casa Casa" is one of the several official initiatives of Venezia 1600 (421-2021) and celebrates 110 years from the building of the new bell tower in 1912 by means of several cultural and educational activities addressed to the schools of the city with the aim of promoting sustainability. As a matter of fact, several are the objectives pursued by the project according to the 2030 Agenda and Veneto Sostenibile: n.4 quality education, n.5 gender equality, n.11 city and sustainable communities, n.12 consume and responsible production and n.13 combat climate change. The educational project will include, between 2021 and 2022, children from 9 venetian schools of the city centre, islands, and mainland, with a wide range of activities and cultural events very important from a scientific, historical, archaeological, artistic, literary, environmental, gastronomic and engineering point of view.

«We are very happy to present this project here – claimed Vittorio Baroni, President of the Lido Oro Benon association -, there was a strong participation, and everybody understood the cultural and educational aim of this initiative that will finish on October 2022 and will allow kids and teachers to rediscover the meaning of Venice, of its 1600 years of history as well as the laboriousness and genius of the venetians. The main aim of the "El Paron de Casa" is the one of allowing citizens from the islands, the city centre and the mainland, to live and rediscover the roots of the history of Venice, of its 1600 years and beyond ''.

“Gigeta” is the mascot of the event, the little girl drew by the pencils of venetian drawers Valerio Held and Maurizio Amendola. It was back in 1902, at 3 miles distance from San Nicolò in the Lido Island, that thousands of bricks were thrown at sea, parts of the enormous ruins of the original crumbled bell tower, in an event defined as the “funeral” of the symbol of the city of Venice, which was also used as lighthouse in the past and which history is long and complex.

«The wish for the 250 kids that will join the workshop activities – continued Vittorio Baroni – is that they will learn how to be little archaeologists, engineers, artisans, scholars and so to live a unique and multidisciplinary experience. Every workshop and cultural, playful and educational activity of the project El Paron de Casa will trigger effective skills, useful for a future as the real main character of the city».

Edison is the sustainability partner that joins sponsors and supporters: Meneghetti, the venetian goldsmith, Istituti Vicenza formazione, Caffè Florian Venezia 1720, Mitilla la cozza di Pellestrina, Pasticceria Milady, Pachuka Beach Club, La Pagoda, AVM SpA, Cooperativa Guide Turistiche di Venezia, Club della Gondola e delle attività remiere, Veneziane 360.

Program 2021/2022

  • PICTURED BOOK OF EL PARON DE CASA: at a developing stage, it will be presented on March 2022. The illustrated story of St. Mark’s bell tower, narrated by Vittorio Baroni with drawings by Valerio Held and Maurizio Amendola. The selection of the publishing house is in process.
  • “SUPER CAMPANON”: A GAME FOR PUPILS: it will be presented on March 2022. With St. Mark’s bell tower children learn the history of Venice and the goals of the Agenda 2030 by playing. Created by Vittorio Baroni, drawings by Valerio Held and Maurizio Amendola.
  • SEMINAR FOR TEACHERS: will be presented on November 2021. Multidisciplinary Pedagogy Archaeology, Engineering, Art and Sustainability of the Agenda 2030 with St. Mark’s bell tower at the Epigraphy laboratories in Ca' Foscari. Preparatory training activities for school teachers participating in the educational programme.
  • ST. MARK’S BELL TOWER IN SCHOOLS: activity scheduled for December 2021. The educational part of the project will be developed together with 9 schools of the City of Venice (Venice city centre, Lido, Pellestrina, Murano, S.Erasmo, Burano, Mestre, Marghera, Chirignago and Favaro). Year 4 class selection will begin on October 2021.
  • THE SWEET OF THE PARON DE CASA: presented on January 2022. For the special anniversary of St. Mark’s bell tower’s 110 years, a typical sweet will be created, with 100% biological ingredients. Research for the project has already begun. Tests for the project are conducted by Milady bakery, official partner of the project.
  • EL PARON DE CASA MOSAIC SCHOOL CONTEST: the project development will begin on February 2022. Every school participating on the project will create a 50X70 vertical mosaic by using tiny rests of the original St. Mark’s bell tower that were found along the beach together with shells and white pieces of wood.
  • SILVER MEDAL FOR THE 110 YEARS OF THE BELL TOWER RECONSTRUCTION the project will be presented on April 2022. A new medal will be created (diameter 6 cm and weight of about 30 grams). The production will be developed in partnership with the goldsmith school of the institute Vicenza Formazione together with Meneghetti the goldsmith of Venice. The original drawing will be made by Valerio Held and Maurizio Amendola.
  • CONTEST LITTLE ENGINEERS BUILDING THE BELL TOWER the project will begin on April 2022. Each participating school will project and realize a 2 meters high San Marks’ bell tower, including the angel. Building materials will have to be 100% recycled, and children may use several objects, such as shoe boxe to build bricks. Each school will customize the “Paron de Casa” with a symbol recalling their own territory. Some tiny little elements may also be added to create renewable energy in order to lighten some parts of the work. The contest will be judged by a jury 50% of technicians and 50% social media users, who will vote by means of like or love on facebook.com/elparondecasa.
  • SAINT MARK’S BELL TOWER AWARD: the project will be presented on April 2022. Confectionary contest for schools participating (for families only). Goal: create a sweet representing Saint Mark’s bell tower by using ingredients and 100% biological products. For each school the participation of a bakery partner of the territory is needed. The selection and the award ceremony will be fully available on streaming from the Sala delle Stagioni at the Florian Caffè. A Jury led by Cristiano Strozzi, Florian Chef Pâtissier. Silver Lions made by Meneghetti, the venetian goldsmith’s will be used as awards.
  • SCHOOLS TREASURE HUNTING THE BELL TOWER: beginning of May 2022. Little archaeologists and artisans grow. This event will be held at the al Pachuka beach club in the island of Lido, to find artifacts of the Saint Mark’s bell tower, shells, tiny pieces of wood; basically, ecological materials used to create mosaics. Participants, from the island of Santa Maria Elisabetta to San Nicolò, will be transferred by AVM 100% electric buses. A lunch with pizza and biological ingredients will follow.
  • FINAL EVENT IN SAINT MARKS SQUARE scheduled for the end of May 2022. Closing party for schools, authorities, partners, supporters and sponsors in the south-east area of Saint Mark’s square, between the Florian Café and the Napoleonic area. Games and climbs over the bell tower. Once the presentation to the public will be carried out, the likes and loves competition for contests and masterpieces (mosaics and bell towers) made by the little engineers and archaeologists will begin.
  • EBOOK PROJECT OF EL PARON DE CASA the project will be presented around October 2022. Ebook presentation conference with interactive material and a link to the articles on the website will be published on YouTube. The Ebook will include the whole experience of the project, the schools participating, partners, sponsors, and supporters. On that occasion, every child and teacher will be given a certificate as well as the awards for the best mosaics and bell towers.