In 1970 a movie was released where Venice isn’t a mere background to the action, but rather a companion of the two protagonists, in their love-and-death story. While the plot is interspersed with past and present events, the city mirrors the events of Valeria and Enrico’s life, thanks to some meaningful places. And one of the places of the Anonymous Venetian are the rooms of Tessiture Bevilacqua’s.
Venice in the Anonymous Venetian
Anonymous Venetian is the first movie by Enrico Maria Salerno, and it tells a tragical story: Enrico (Tony Musante), an oboist of the La Fenice Theatre in Venice, is diagnosed with an incurable tumour, and this urges him to ask his wife Valeria (Florinda Bolkan) to pay him a visit in Venice. They are married and have a son, but have been separated for seven years and Valeria has a new companion.
Valeria, who doesn’t know about Enrico’s illness yet, accepts his invitation, although she fears he wants to try to make it up with her.
Walking along Venice’s calli and taking gondolas and water busses, the two quarrel, but experience some happy moments, too, when going back over their memories. It therefore seems that, despite the frosty atmosphere at first, they’re starting to make it up with each other. Finally, Enrico decides to buy Valeria a present, buying her a “queen’s dress”, in the place where “they make the most beautiful brocades in the world”. So they head for Campo San Zan Degolà and enter the building at Santa Croce, 1320, the Tessiture Bevilacqua.
The scene inside Tessiture Bevilacqua
While Valeria is trying countless elegant dresses, the camera takes a tour of the weaving mill, showing the 18th-century looms and the products created on them. Valeria conveys her thoughts on this weaving mill by calling it
A magic timeless place
She thus reveals the leitmotiv connecting her and Enrico’s life together to Venice and the Tessiture Bevilacqua. Venice, in this movie, is maybe decaying, because devoid of its past grandeur, but nevertheless charming, and what gives a new prestige to the city is exactly its keeping traditions alive. Memories are what connects the past and the present but, whereas her story with Enrico was already over years ago and cannot come back anymore, Valeria can anyway look to her future with her new family. And this is true of Venice and the Tessiture Bevilacqua, as well: timeless because lastingly bound to a wonderful past, but with their eyes fixed on the future.