Visiting the houses of famous authors is a very popular thing to do in the travel world. For what are we searching? Is it the font from which stories flow? Is the the chemistry that fills an inquisitive mind with characters and deeds? Is it a search for the elements of fearlessness and curiosity a writer needs when encountering the other? Is it just another thing to do before lunch?
The house in Nuoro, Sardinia in which Grazie Deledda was born in 1871 and the space in which she “caught sense” has been given a rebirth by ISRE, the Instituto Superiore Regionale Ethnografice, who bought the house for a token 1000 lira in 1997. The brilliance of their work is that it attempts to cast light on all the sensory elements of the house, down to the everyday smells of the foodstuffs in the pantry and kitchen.
The museum sheds light on the well-to-do family of brilliant thinkers and scheming scoundrels who lived in the house, and the frequent visitors Grazia’s father brought to stay for a bit while business was being discussed, all fodder for Deledda’s work and subsequent Nobel prize.
I was born in Sardinia, in a family of wise people, but also of violent individuals and primitive artists. My family had power and wealth, as well as books. However, when I was thirteen and began to write, my parents objected.
The philosopher warns: if your child writes poetry, correct them and send them out for a walk in the mountains. If you find your child absorbed in poetry a second time, punish them. However, if your child engages in poetry a third time, let them be, because they are a poet. ~ Grazia Deledda
The story is of a quiet, reserved, child with an elementary education who paid attention to the things around her. A perceptive Italian tutor encouraged her to submit some of her writing, and her first story was published when she was 13.
Grazia Deledda went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1926.
Alfred Nobel wanted the Prize in Literature to be given to someone who, in their writings, had given humanity that nectar which infuses the health and the energy of a moral life. According to his wishes, the Swedish Academy has awarded the Prize to Grazia Deledda for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture life on her native island, and with the depth and sympathy deal with human problems in General ~ from Henrick Schucks official speech, Stockholm, 10 December, 1927
How to visit the Museum in Nuoro
Visiting the Museo Deleddiano: The House Where Grazia Deledda Was Born is highly recommended. A visit includes and excellent Quick Guide from which the quotes in this article were taken. One might even want to visit some of the sponsors listed on the cover, which include our favorite hotel and restaurant Su Gologone.
To prepare for your journey, you may wish to read Grazia Deledda’s autobiographical novel Cosima, which is set in the house.
The address of the museum: Via Grazia Deledda, 42, Nuoro
At time of writing admission was 3 euro. The museum is closed on Mondays and free to all visitors on the first Sunday of the month. The house has been made disabled friendly. For disabled people and 1 family member or 1 assisting guide from helth or social services the admission is also free.