May 12, 2023

Armando Tiso, Casa decorata / Decorated house

picture from Google Streetview

Dolo is a city in the northeast of Italy, located about 25 km west of Venice. From west to east the city is bisected by the Naviglio del Brenta (Brenta Canal), once a river but now a canal. 

South of the canal is the Via Brenta Bassa, a road with varied, alternating buildings, such as -about halfway along the road- a small block of three houses, of which the center house is lavishly decorated. 

this picture and the next five courtesy of Giada Carraro

Life and works

These decorations were made by Armando Tiso (1939-2021), who came to live in the house after he, while working as a sailor, was disqualified on medical grounds and had to continue living on a disability pension.

Being in his mid or late forties he wasn't one to go idle and so he found an occupation in decorating the interior and the exterior of his house. For this decorative work he used small pieces of ceramics, which he obtained by crushing all kinds of plates, cups and tiles that he bought at flea markets.

The above and below images give an idea of the colorful patterns Tiso created with those small pieces of ceramics.

It can also be seen that the decoration was not only realized with pieces of ceramics, but that other elements were also added, such as intact cups, bronze figurines, vases and urns, small black characters standing around a goblet or a shield and more of these types of additions.

Tiso not only decorated the interior of his house, but also the area along the street in front of the house and the backyard, overlooking the canal, were richly provided with all kinds of creations. 

Where the front gardens of the neighbors on the left and right are screened off from the street by an open iron fence, Tiso's front garden, as can be seen in the very first image, has a solid stone wall, with a wide top provided with a series of connected characters, including a number of soldiers who seem to be on guard.

The stone wall separating the garden from the street was itself richly decorated, this in such a way that part of the public street was taken up with creations.

The images in this article mainly show the decorations that can be seen from the street.

The relatively small backyard of the house, shown in the image below, apart from a rear door and a small window, is fully equipped with a voluminous ensemble of mostly decorations, an exposition largely shaped like a buffet.

A narrow green strip separates the backyard from the Brenta Canal.

backside of the house, along the canal

Armando Tiso passed away on September 16, 2021. Soon after this happened, a petition -also supported by some people living near Tiso's house- was sent to the mayor of Dolo, asking him to promote that the decorated house would be preserved as a museum. The mayor expressed interest and wrote that he would investigate the conditions and possibilities of preserving the site together with the competent authorities.

At the time of publication of this article, no further information was available on the internet about eventual decisionmaking with regard to the future of the site, but Google Streetview shows that in  June 2022 the decorations still existed.

* Entry on the website Costruttori di Babele
Article in regional newspaper Il Gazzettino (September 2021) following the death of Armando Tiso
* Article by Giada Carraro on her new website Bric-à-Brac Italia

Armando Tiso
Decorated house
via Brenta Bassa 63
30031 Dolo, Metropolitan City of Venice, Veneto region, Italy
can partly be seen from the road

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