A year of peace - my wife's 'Venetian Garden'
By Abbondio Rezzonico, 2021-10-09
Now a year ago - - then after a tumultuous year of events ranging from our lovely pixel wedding, to the dark rl plague, and back to the rise and demise of an 18th century roleplay-project in which we were invested - - I started to secretly build my wife a place to hibernate, as winter was coming and rather depressing in prospects. I built her a garden in the Venetian tradition: Hidden from the outside by walls, but glorious and open on the inside, on various intertwined levels, with many corners and vistas, and a couple of buildings to decorate. The gift was a success (for once she was actually speechless... ) and for a year we were very happy to enjoy our little domain in private, and with family and friends.
After a year, it has now become time to reconsider and renovate. And so a new estate will be built this Autumn/Winter. But before demolition I had to document the gardens as they were, of all the gardens I ever designed I had never made something so Venetian and private as this one. I might keep elements in the new estate, but it will always be different. This was once. We enjoyed it. And now we move on.
The first five pictures I posted are the first in a series. They are five views on the Giardino del Bosso, or: Boxwood Garden), it was the main of the three upper gardens and named after the typical Italian gardens of country estates where the (boxwood) hedges create the shapes of borders and paths. They can be found in: The Venetian Garden (Flickr Album) )
Nozze Nell'Alta Società! - A Report From Rome
By Abbondio Rezzonico, 2020-04-17
Translated from the Venetian newspapers
' NOTIZIE DEL MONDO '
Thursday, April 16th, 1790
a Report sent by Express Courier
from Our Correspondent in Rome
- ROME - April, 14th
This early morning, around the clock of nine, a small but distinctly curious crowd of people - among them your correspondent - were halted in their passing of the Venetian embassy, the grand palazzo situated on Rome’s Piazza Venezia. Apart from the usual coming and going of clerks on foot, couriers on horse, guards in variation, and the occasional finely dressed official in a carriage, the Venetian embassy is normally very much serene on any given day, to the point of inconspicuous. The number of carriages approaching the main entrance at the piazza, however, was clear proof of greater activity. Inquiries led to nothing as the guards remained austere and all staff leaving the building were clearly ordered to silence. Just before the half hour past nine, attention shifted to the embassy’s side gate in the Via del Plebiscito. Here a train of carriages had formed, waiting for their turn to enter as others left. The crowd walked up and down, trying to catch a glimpse of the dignitaries sitting inside. Not many of them were recognized, as the local nobility seems to be one of the most reclusive and never quite bothered to participate in their own city’s mundane life. A company of guards in Venetian uniform marched out and formed a square around the gate, shielding the entrance from the amassing crowd. Sometimes one could hear very clearly the soft murmur of a prestigious name going through the crowd, and then often accompanied by comments about the silks, satins, and feathers; and the alleged height of wigs, which tops could not even be seen through the glass. By the names overheard, and by the coats of arms seen on the carriage doors, it was clear that members of several of Rome’s great families were entering the embassy. With the location at first thought, your humble correspondent thought it wise to investigate further; especially as this occasion seemed to have a vaguely secretive nature, it not having been announced prior.
Rumours of another train of carriages, forming on the other side of the embassy buildings, caused the curious crowd to split up and manoeuvre through the various routes to the smaller Piazza San Marco. There, at the entrance of the Basilica di San Marco Evangelista al Campidoglio, a well-organized train of carriages, manoeuvring through more guards, had indeed started to arrive. Several known dignitaries and diplomats, and their wives, descended from their carriages to make their way into the basilica. No guards, nor any of the servants coming and going from the embassy were very willing to disclose any information to your correspondent. The bustling crowd, however, now started to assemble the pieces of an hour’s list of arriving names; and so one came to assume the possibility of a wedding between Venetian and Roman noble houses.
It was not before the sudden appearance of three pitch-black carriages, all adorned with an identical coat of arms, coming from the arch between the embassy and the Franciscan monastery, that your correspondent was able to slowly put the now puzzling myriad of illustrious names and appearances together to a point of logic. As these three carriages - decorated ever so subtly with gilded garlands and, with tall horses that can only be described as majestic in their gait and with coats as black and shiny as the carriages themselves, with footmen dressed in red and blue livery, the main colours of this prominent family’s coat of arms - passed in the most calm procession possible, taking a wide course over the Piazza San Marco as it was smoothly cleared from all other remaining carriages; it then dawned upon your correspondent they had come directly followed by carriages bearing the coats of arms of the houses of Savorgnan, Giustiniani and Boncompagni-Ludovisi - and from the direction of their residence in Rome, the palazzo at the end of the Piazza SS. Apostoli. Clearly the Venetian house of Della Torre di Rezzonico would be the one celebrating a wedding today; especially as the Basilica is not only the main church for the Venetians in Rome, but also - and not by mere coincidence - the current titular church of His Eminence, the Cardinal-Camerlengo Carlo Rezzonico. By ways of industrious inquiring with no expenses saved by your correspondent for obtaining this information, it later came to light from not one but two well-informed sources, this was indeed a wedding of such nature. - The only son of the late Don Ludovico Rezzonico, Procurator of San Marco and Senator of the Venetian Republic, and his wife, now dowager Donna Faustina Rezzonico (born of the Marquesses Savorgnan) will have wed today.
The young Don Abbondio Rezzonico, is the current Count of Rezzonico and head of his family’s widely spread banking and mercantile enterprises, as were his father and grandfathers before him. He is namesake of his much respected uncle, Don Abbondio Rezzonico, Senator of Rome, who was also seen today in the family procession with his wife Donna Ippolita (sister to the current Prince of Piombino). Albeit still distinctly Venetian in all their abstemious splendour, as proven today by their arrival, the house of Rezzonico as of recent years has become more prominent in Rome, ever since 1758, when one of theirs was elected and crowned to the most divine and highest of office: the now late Pontiff Clemente XIII. Their association with the Curia has far from ceased since.
And ranking among the highest nobility of Rome, it was of no surprise that among the coats of arms on carriages were also spotted those of the houses of Aldobrandini, Altieri, Borromeo, Braschi, Chigi, Giustiniani, Mancini, Odescalchi, Orsini, Pamphili, Ruspoli - and more notably those of the Count of Moriana, the Princes of Melfi, Cerveteri, Oriolo and Soriano, as well as those of the Dukes of Fiano and Bracciano.
As expected the bride was not seen or heard of today, she will have stayed within the embassy. Though on further inquiry it was learned she is not of native but English birth - a British peeress in her own right even, it is said – her name being called by one trusted source as Donna Renata Beaumont, Duchess of Aumale. Alas! No more information was to be gained about the bride or the background of this marriage - other than statements of the mere obvious fact that the British, already having been steadfast in their admiration and love for our lands for so long, are now keen on consolidating their continuous presence - not only by influencing the great gardens of Rome, but now also by sending their daughters and sisters to wed into the great families of our ancient peninsula!
Your humble correspondent, having spent most of the day inquiring and wandering around the closed embassy - where music has been heard for most of the day’s remainder - only found two additional sources willing to disclose that the newly-wed couple will shortly exchange Rome for the Neapolitan island of Rocca Sorrentina, where wedding celebrations shall continue among their mutual friends. And such before embarking on a later journey to Our Most Serene Republic where the groom shall most likely introduce his bride into Venetian society and show her the extent of his family’s estates. Your correspondent, albeit still slightly puzzled by the sudden and mysterious character of this unannounced event, cannot but affirm in any way that the entrance of this new and British Contessa Rezzonico into Roman society is one unprecedented thus far.
On French Situations & Strawberries (a letter)
By Abbondio Rezzonico, 2019-07-15
Rocca Sorrentina, July 15th 1789
Cara Madre ,
A brief note from Sorrentina, as I sit at the foot of the vineyard, overlooking the silver shimmering Bay of Naples. The port is all quiet. It is noon and the dock workers are having their luncheon, I can hear their talking and laughing from the tavern below. I finally have some time myself for a light meal between handling administration and correspondence. In the roads the ship's chimes of the hour glide over the water, as if the passing minute seems to visit one ship at a time. And then, discord from the middle: the bells from our ship, the brigantino Atalanta . They're late. I shall need to have a talk with captain Lombardi about that, before he sets the sails tomorrow for Algiers. Earlier today I have read the reports from Bianchi, our agent in Constantinople. Both rice and sugar have arrived in a fairly good state, only two packs of rice were slightly damaged. The sugar will now be sent to their respective destinations, hoping they will bring us good fortune in future . If you could be so kind to write to Rome about the arrival - although I am beginning to doubt the use of uncle's connection: the French ambassador. With all that is going on in his home country, he is probably soon either without a job or influence.
These past two months I have been mostly busy with rearranging our last business interests in France. Although we are not scared from any speculation, plain foolishness is a completely different thing. France is becoming a tinderbox of increasing proportions, the question can only be when the spark hits the powder. Therefore I have ordered our agent Perrenot to close the Bordeaux office for now, and send all accounts to Balotelli in Marseille for the time being. Auguste Perrenot shall be given a generous pay for his last services; but moreover he is probably relieved. He has been poorly these past months. On my last visit to Bordeaux he could not even receive me. His wife then presented the accounts, she seemed even more capable than her husband. So I permitted her to stand proxy for him. With him, her, and their fifteen year old son, I had thought we would have been secured of a decent bookkeeper in Bordeaux for future years, but with the current situation: everything is taken to the point of doubt. The boy however did seem to have inherited both his parents' wits. I've just decided to write to Perrenot. If he wants, he can send his son to Marseille to learn the trade under Balotelli.
The accounts from the Parisian office have been sent to Anvers; the distance may be inconvenient, but at least the Austrians are more stable. I also sacked that inebriate Danton, he was unfit to be our agent anyway. The brewery and distillery 'Le Cheval Qui Rit' has been liquidated. The grounds and building brought up a decent enough price. With all that settled, I'll be quite content if the last accounts and gold have indeed been brought over. I have ordered Marseille to keep the fastest xebec of our fleet, the Bellona , in a state ready to sail out within a day. Let us hope it will all turn out to be unnecessary precautions.
Anna is still traveling. From her last letters I understood she is well and visiting many friends in the north. She will also deliver some paperwork and review the accounts of Anvers from the last six months, which still (!) had not been sent to me. I have a feeling something might be wrong there as well. It is for some time now that I do not share your confidence in our agent Marot. I would much rather combine the offices of Anvers and Amsterdam, or open a new one in Brussels or Ghand perhaps. In any case: Anna will find out quickly enough if something is indeed out of order; she carries a power of attorney for when needed and knows what to do, as always she does. I just fear for her next bills, during her last visit there she bought so many gowns and shoes we could have ordered the construction of a new brigantino! I did however wrote to her to avoid France and only travel south via the Swiss cantons.
On a brighter note from France: The recently hired captain of the brigantino Elisabetta , Giambattista Salvatore has already proven himself an able man that looks out beyond his orders. While anchored at Brest he got the offer of some strawberry seeds. Seeds indeed. Apparently, during these past years, the Bretons have been working on cultivating the strawberry by crossing species, using half cultivated wild ones with Chilean strawberries. This has now resulted in a strawberry that can be grown in a more agricultural method. Very interesting news. He obtained some boxes and I have already given the first boxes to our tenants to plant them forthwith.
Cara Madre, I shall finish now by conveying all the regards and well wishes from our friends here; and send this letter to you with the courier to Bassano, and a copy to Roma in case you are currently there or passing.
- Your always grateful and affectionate son,
And with this, during these summer months the farming tenancies at the Queen's Hamlet will grow very unexpectedly something quite new: Strawberries are the latest release within the G&S system.
Sugar Coating Ambassadors
By Abbondio Rezzonico, 2019-05-13
The Banco Rezzonico has various interests in the great city of Constantinople. Old enemies as the Ottoman Turks may be, we Venetians will nevertheless trade with them. Alongside it, more hushed, are also some diplomatic relations we maintain with various European ambassadors at the Sublime Porte in the city. Through these favoured relations we can secure our trade and at the same time provide some clandestine intelligence to the Vatican and the Venetian Republic.
We had already learned about the sudden death of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire , Abdul Hamid I , now over a month ago. They say his death is the result of the astonishing defeat his army suffered by the Russian armies during the siege, and loss of Ochakov in the Ukraine, only four months ago. It is said that over 20,000 people have died. Despite the war between the Ottomans and the Russians , in which the Austrians now have joined in since last year - we have had a peaceful era of trade under his rule of nearly fifteen years. However, every time a ruler dies we instantly lose any and all favours and influence; and are urged to renew these as soon as possible. We have good hopes for the reign of the late sultan's nephew: Sultan Selim III , not yet 27 years old, is seen as a modern educated man, and a hopeful reformer of the Ottoman state affairs which have been shaken to the core because of this ongoing war.
As the news came out we were already trying to set out our strategies; and are glad to have a trustworthy agent in the city. He gave us a interesting report on the current situation. But by mere luck we also received a letter from the British ambassador at the Sublime Porte. Sir Robert Ainslie happened to be a favourite and friend of the late Sultan Abdul Hamid I. We hope his grace and reputation will continue with the new Sultan; it is of the greatest importance that we are sure he remains a friend of ours. In his letter he complained about the lack of decent tea, I have already written to him that I shall send him some for his personal use on the next shipment that is bound for Constantinople. He also expressed a desire to receive some bags of sugar which he can use not only for his personal use - he has a renowned taste for sweet tea - but also to use for gifting to the new officials of the sultanate.
Not yet a day after writing out the order for some additional rice, destined for our Constantinople agent - as well as the luxury crops tea and sugar for the British ambassador - we received more news that makes it possible to achieve our goal through another route. Our revered uncle Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico has his own informants, and according to him the new Sultan is still very much depending on the current Grand-Vizier , Koca Yusuf Pasha ; whom has been in office for three years since he was appointed by the former Sultan. As it happens the Grand-Vizier has befriended the French ambassador to the Sublime Porte: Auguste de Choiseul-Gouffier , who considers himself first and foremost a scholar and collector of antiquities. Albeit a man of undoubted vanity, he is said to be clever enough to use it to his benefit - and therefore to that of his friends. The Cardinal has requested to send in his name some sugar for the ambassador's kitchen - as he seems to be very indulgent in sweets from his home country.
Our agent reported he is in need of more high quality rice, as some of the cargo from the the last shipment turned out to be damaged during the sea voyage. This extra cargo of rice will at least cover the costs of the shipping. And so it is that both farms under our tenancy have received orders for rice, tea, and most importantly: sugar. It seems we are not buttering up to these two ambassadors, but sugarcoating them; and through them hopefully the two most powerful men of the Ottoman Empire. Time will tell if it will be of any avail to our future endeavours. And with the French ambassador, who knows - it might even bring us some fine antiquities for the collections.
NB | This is the backstory for the first two orders given out to the tenant-farmers of the Banco Rezzonico within the Queen's Hamlet; we are happy to welcome Satoharu Nakamura and Candace Ducatillon , who were both interested to try out for the position we wrote out to be filled in: WANTED - Tenant Farmer @ Queen's Hamlet
The Workings of the Banco Rezzonico (in G&S economy)
By Abbondio Rezzonico, 2019-03-26
* BANCO REZZONICO *
fondata nel 1634
TASSI e SERVIZI FINANZIARI
(rates and services)
Dated - April 1st 
By this publication the BANCO REZZONICO presents its current rates and services to the population of the Baroque Community of Second Life; currently restricted to the citizens and merchants of Rocca Sorrentina, Magritte and the Duché de Coeur (including the Queen's Hamlet). And we invite all considering to open an account to make an appointment with us. During a private meeting at the bank we shall do our best to answer all your questions and see what services might benefit your household and/or business.
With kind regards,
Abbondio & Anna Rezzonico
The Banco Rezzonico was founded in the first half of the 17th century in the city of Venezia by the family Della Torre di Rezzonico, then wealthy merchants and upcoming patricians of La Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia - the Venetian Republic. Now an established bank of well over 150 years, it is part of the Rezzonico holding which consists of a mercantile fleet, a network of trade agencies all over Europe, etc. The Rezzonico family has made herself a factor of power and influence; and of status, as about 20 years one of their scions was elected to lead the Holy See. The Venetians are a different kind of noble: They are very aware of their position and enjoy the status and luxury, but deplore idleness and bad economics.
Since some time the Banco Rezzonico has a roleplay-active (and G&S-related) office in the barony of Magritte. The bank holds over a dozen accounts of local citizens, merchants, and artisans. We are not only a rp-partner in their story, but also function as an intermediate for their banking affairs - stretching from paying wages to staff to paying bills. Each account is therefore meticulously administrated. With this the Banco Rezzonico is acting as a real bank within a roleplay setting.
The -ONLY- authorized and validly acting bankers of the Banco Rezzonico are:
- Don ABBONDIO DELLA TORRE, Conte di REZZONICO [eszterhazy2 resident]
- Donna ANNA DELLA TORRE, Contessa di REZZONICO [reinettebellefleur resident]
No others will speak or act for our bank, and we shall not take responsibility for any actions by others that claim to do so without our permission.
The Banco Rezzonico is a Venetian bank and by default follows the currency of La Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia: the LIRA. This coin is in the 'verbal' use (an from hereon in this document) for the G&S-Coin. As in: 1 (one) G&S-Coin = 1 (one) LIRA
For the purpose and promotion of inter-communal trade within the RPG-estates where the Banco Rezzonico is active, we accept the different local currencies on a value of equality:
The French Barony of Magritte - 1 (one) Livre = 1 (one) Lira
The French Duché de Coeur (including the Queen's Hamlet) - 1 (one) Livre = 1 (one) Lira
The Neapolitan island of Rocca Sorrentina - 1 (one) Piastra = 1 (one) Lira
EXCHANGE OF COINS
The following rate of G&S Coins/L$ is valid per this notice:
350 lira per 1 L$ (linden dollar)
NB: A reverse exchange is at this moment not yet possible, but might be considered an option for the future, depending on the economy and options for both the bank and its clients.
EXCHANGE OF GOLD
The following sums of G&S Coins we provided for the 'standard gold products' within the G&S-system:
125 lira for 1 basket of gold ore (5)
245 lira for 1 basket of gold ore (10)
290 lira per 1 ingot of gold
580 lira per 1 coffer of gold (20)
- Each registered account at the Banco Rezzonico will receive interest.
- Per this date [above] the annual rate of interest is 4,5 (four-and-a-half) percent
- At the first day of each month this interest will be calculated in proportion over the closing balance of the last day of the month, and credited to the account.
- New accounts need to be at least 15 (fifteen) days old, before they shall receive interest over the first month.
The Banco Rezzonico will charge a MONTHLY fee for her provided services, and this will be registered on your account-statement. The current rates are, for accounts with a balance of:
- under 25,000 lira - 50 lira
- 25,000 to 50,000 lira - 100 lira
- 50,000 t0 75,000 lira - 150 lira
LOANS & INVESTMENTS
The Banco Rezzonico will consider granting loans and/or investments to entrepreneurs individual and within cooperations, within the RPGs where she is active, whether it be a starting capital or extra funding to support an existing business. Sponsoring for projects is also an option.
For this we invite candidates to our office to present their plans and discuss the options. It would, for example, be possible to repay loans with profits (in lira) but also with products which are the result of the issued capital.
- Withdrawals under 50,000 lira will be processed immediately, but, again, only in the Bank (for the sake of roleplay). Small sums may be handed out directly, if the banker decides otherwise.
- Withdrawals above 50,000 lira are put under delay when the banker decides so (we might not carry it, we may need to exchange ourselves). in such cases the withdrawal is delivered by appointment later, or at least within a day.
ADMINISTRATION of ACCOUNTS
- All accounts will be opened at a maximum of 50,000 lira and administered to a maximum of 75,000 lira. This is set to make sure that the Banco Rezzonico remains a roleplay-activity and not to deposit fortunes for the sake of interests.
- At the opening of a bank-account the account-holder will receive an account-statement which declares: the opening balance, deposits, withdrawals and the current saldo (closing balance)
- The account-holder has, of course, full rights over the account.
- The account-holder will receive an updated account-statement, within the first week of each month. Or at any moment he/she desires so. This account-statement is privy only to the account-holder and the bank.
- The account-holder may give authorization over the account to designated persons, and may decide under which conditions (for example limits of withdrawal per month, the transfer of wages or allowances, etc.)
- Each transaction will be registered in the account-statement.
- In case two account-holders may desire to transfer lira 'on paper' between accounts, they both either need to be present at the bank or have an authentic warrant (notecard) from the other party.
- For existing clients, when it is their wish to transfer money from their account to the account of another (i.e. for payments etc.), it is possible to do so by sending a notecard to their banker. NB: It is a necessity for both parties to be clients of the Banco Rezzonico.
- Accounts that have not been used for 40 days, i.e. no other transactions than those which are defaulted by the bank (interest and fees), will be deemed dormant; by which the bank will freeze the account until it is used again by the account-holder.
For now -ANY AND ALL SERVICES- are only available under the following conditions:
- to all active and/or residential members of Rocca Sorrentina, Magritte, and the Duché de Coeur (including the Queen's Hamlet), whether they be nobles, bourgeois, or paysans.
- Through on-SIM roleplay (needed for hud-transfer)
- The roleplay is not performed on the streets, banking rp will only be performed at an office of the Banco Rezzonico. Appointments can, of course, be made at any point. Unless the banker decides otherwise.
It is stressed that this is an initiative only the House of Della Torre di Rezzonico; meaning this is a voluntary thing, and therefore a roleplay activity independent from any management or location where the Banco Rezzonico is active. We - the Banco Rezzonico - offer our services at our own discretion and willingness, and therefore also reserve the right to refuse. In no way bears any other management, but that of the Banco Rezzonico, responsibility for it.
The Banco Rezzonico reviews her rates and services regularly, updated versions are always published. The latest version can be obtained in our office(s) and/or by request from one the bankers.
G&S - Observations
By Abbondio Rezzonico, 2019-03-20
Drinking tea all day and stuffing yourself with cakes to build a base before moving to heavy foods and wine, and more, is a way of living. but it does get tedious after some time. Roleplaying is very mild and light these days and seems to have moved more to private and rural estates - personally I think that's a good development: it makes people move around to visit and what better than to visit and actually see something. I'm biased to this ever since I entered the Guardian y Sombras (G&S) system - which is, albeit originating in the muddy soils of Gor, thus far still the most suitable roleplay-system to fit our baroque era. But what to do with it - and could we do more with it to reaffirm the community as a whole in its purpose?
At the moment there are three estates producing, with a more than double number of producers (I think). The Queen's Hamlet sticks to her true colours by being a royal dairy farm and vineyard with a diverse side production. Magritte is a real rural estate in the Dordogne with special attention for its vineyards - and not to forget its function as a market town. To this the Barony's vintner Gaspard and I (present there as banker) opened a local brewery and distillery - Le Cheval Qui Rit . And, lastly, Rocca Sorrentina - which I consider my own laboratory for experimenting with genome strains within the wine system 3.0 (also used by the previous two estates); and which I have now updated to be an appellation vineyard as well with a small distillery to produce local specialties.
Both the Queen's Hamlet and Magritte have fully stocked markets that can boast a wide variety of local products, I would almost dare say that with these two the baroque community produces a near full range of what G&S has to offer.
Consuming is always troublesome if it doesn't have set consequences when you do not; same with G&S. So it's mostly G&S producers that consume to gain energy-points to be able to work and get good results. It would be nice if the rest of our community would take notice of what is produced and use it more. Personally I have tried to promote the use of it on Rocca Sorrentina by regularly bringing cakes and such to the coffee hour, and during the last Carnevale festival I supplied drinks and arranged, with the cookery and presenting skills of Madame Ragueneau of Magritte, banquet tables. I hope this will continue. Not all is suitable, but there are some fine items to display.
I'm so glad to see that where Magritte tunes down, the Queen's Hamlet is active again. I hope there will be more activity in trade, and am most willing to participate in it. Although I only produce wines/brandy on Sorrentina, I do need foods and tools. I purposely do not cook, make our barrels or do repairs, I'd much rather order my needs to give someone else the chance of taking up some part of the G&S-economy. And for this we do not need the Goreans or the public OOC-markets. Trade in materials and products that are not available in our own community could also be something to be picked up.
My point in general being: We as the baroque community could do more in using this system to make bonds that have a basic purpose to roleplay; it opens doors to a class diversity we haven't seen yet. After all this already has a set rp-currency that is easily entered in - I would consider expanding the banking activities to facilitate this - and a full range of applicable roleplayinng options to farming, producing, and consuming.
It is my belief that it has a purpose and could quite possibly the greatest way to make our community a sustainable one from the base. And on top of that you can still drink tea and gossip...