The Native House
The native house of John Paul I is located at about 200m far from Piazza della Pieve (square of the old parish) towards Garés (it is the fourth house on the right after the first crossroads). The building dates back to the second half of the 19th century. It was gradually acquired by Giovanni Luciani’ s family, Albino’s father, at the beginning of the 20th century. He was an humble and poor worker.
In its former structure, the house was divided in two parts. On the right of those who looked at its main façade there was the living zone whereas on the left there was the typical tabià (hayloft) with its stable below. The window overlooking the small balcony on the right was that of the stua (living room), that is to say the only heated room in which little Albino Luciani was born on 17 October 1912.
At his birth, Maria Fiocco, the midwife, baptized him “because of imminent danger of death”. The room on the left next to the stua was the kitchen, where Bortola Tancon, mother of the future pope cooked the meagre daily food. Upstairs on the right there were the bedrooms for the family: the parents’ bedroom, that of Albino’s sisters Amalia, Pia and Antonia and that of the two brothers, Albino and Edoardo.
Potatoes were stored in the cellars below where there was Albino’s father’s workshop. The latter supplemented his income by working as a joiner in winter. In the sixties, Edoardo, Albino Luciani’s brother, who had a big family (twelve children!) was forced to enlarge the house. He demolished the tabià and built new rooms, giving the house its present structure. In one of the new rooms – the one with the small balcony on the second floor facing north-west (on the left) – Bishop and later on Patriarch Luciani retired when he came to see his brother Edoardo, Albino Luciani’s brother and Antonietta Marinelli, his sister-in-law, lived in this house until respectively 10 March 2008, date of Edoardo’s death and 5 December 2005, date of Antonietta’s death.