Right in the middle of Rome, just around the corner from St. Peter’s Square, sits an unexpected surprise. A 75 square foot home which used to belong to the Abbey of St. Peter in Chains had been left to decompose since the 1930s until architect Marco Pierazzi discovered it for sale and purchased it in 2010.
The home was in horrific shape: plaster fell from the walls and ceiling, wooden beams were rotten, and it was full of mold. Considering that the structure was built sometime in the 1700s, the fact that it was still standing at all was something of a marvel.
The one-room home had likely been used in previous decades as a home for a person who couldn’t afford anything larger. According to Pierazzi, this was common practice in the early 20th century. Italy’s poor were happy to have a place to sleep, eat, and wash. The architect wanted to prove that it is still possible to live in a minimalist environment. Although the home is less than arm’s width wide and just 13 feet long, it does have the benefit of a very high ceiling.
The new owner rehabilitated the home into a modern, stylish abode with space for sleeping, cooking, eating, and washing. A tiny table flips down from the wall to seat 3-4 people for a meal. There are plenty of storage spaces tucked away in the kitchen and bathroom which occupy the ground level of the tiny home.
A lofted bedroom/living room takes up the higher part of the home. It’s accessed via a small staircase which leads up through a trap door. The door closes once you reach the upstairs so you don’t fall down the stairs while reaching for your slippers in the morning.
The bed doubles as a sofa, and the bedroom is outfitted with a television and stereo system. Pierazzi and his wife lived in the home until they had their first child; now they rent it out to friends and family to make their stay in Rome even more memorable.