Inside, on the upper floor, the rooms are well divided, like they always are in the noblest palaces: a wide entrance at the centre and well distributed rooms at the two main sides.
The shape of furniture has left its mark on the brightly colored walls – Pompeian red and dark viridian to reclaim nobility – as if someone traced it to remember it. But the apartment is empty: only a wooden table – bright green, as well – has remained in the small kitchen. It was surely left there because it was not so precious.
It was built with poor wood, its top has rounded corners, its legs are slightly shaped and it has a small drawer with a knob. Its color is green, perhaps a bit too bright. “It is spezzati green!” promptly sentenced Luciano, an old time Venetian, caressing its surface with his hand.
We all know what he meant, as any proud Venetian would.
The split pea (spezzati) soup – a very popular, healthy and easy to make Venetian dish which everyone has come across with at least once – has ended up defining the name of an unmistakable shade of green, amongst many others.
Since then the table has been patiently sanded and brought to milder shades, in order to match the kitchen colors.
Years later it witnessed the best it could have, if it had remained alive as a tree: old friends coming from far away, with their stories and kind gifts, perfumed wines, delicious cakes… spezzati soups kindling memories of how we once were, including the table.
This small table is still with me: the kitchens have changed as we moved from one house to the other, the footprints of many years have not made it look older and its value is no longer that of a poor wood table. It makes me feel at home, just like this soup.