Founder on the Move in Venice, Italy  By

Founder on the Move in Venice, Italy

This summer, founder Nadege Conger had the opportunity to travel back to Venice, Italy. It is such an inspiring place to us that the picture of the San Michele Cemetery Island has long held the honor of being the main image on our website home page.

Many of the qualities of this unique city are reflected in our mission at We remain committed to providing a website for our people to find temporary housing and tenants. We look at it as our contribution to the thinkers, writers, artists and academics working to improve the world.

Over the years, we have noticed that many of the people who are listing their homes in Venice on SabbaticalHomes are connected to the world of art. This isn’t surprising with the creative energy that seems to emanate from the city itself. It is no wonder that the La Biennale di Venezia started here in over a hundred years ago and draws in so many innovative minds in the worlds of architecture, film, visual arts, theater, dance and more. The 2022 Biennale is just finishing up, but if you’re inspired to experience it in the future, you have plenty of time to plan for the next one.

Related: SabbaticalHomes Listings Available for Rent in Venice, Italy

Meeting Dr. Mirjam Schaub at her Cannaregio apartment in Venice, Italy

Nadege Conger and Mirjam Schaub on the altane, wooden structures located above the rooftops of Venice characterizing the architecture of the city, a series of terraces supported by pillars.
Nadege Conger and Mirjam Schaub on the altane of the Venice flat. “Altanes” are wooden structures located above the rooftops of Venice that characterize the architecture of the city.

While visiting Venice, Nadege was able to meet with SabbaticalHomes member and professor, Mirjam Schaub. When they spoke, Mirjam was finishing her latest book. She writes at her desk next to a window, and from that window she feels like she has a view of the whole village.

Her flat is in the Cannaregio neighborhood with “real people living in Venice, it has a lot of life.” Writing can be a very lonely activity, but because she’s next to that street she does not feel isolated during her own creative work. It really is the ideal set up for the kind of focus she needs to brainstorm, plan, write – and of course, revise.

But every artist and writer needs a break sometimes. Mirjam was gracious enough to take time out of her busy schedule, and warmly welcomed Nadege to her home. After a tour of the apartment, they enjoyed a homemade bellini on the terrace and talked about their work, art, the process of writing and Venice itself.

Related: Make your own Refreshing Bellini

Chatting with Writer and Academic Dr. Mirjam Schaub about her Work

Mirjam studied philosophy, political science and psychology in Münster, Munich, Paris and Berlin. She has a world citizen family culture that led her into her work; Mirjam’s mother was a translator, which led to her love of languages. Mirjam is fluent in German, English and French. She is currently working on her Italian (using the Duolingo app).

She is a prolific writer and academic who has been affiliated with several universities, including a full professorship of “Aesthetics and Cultural Philosophy” at the Design Department of the University of Applied Sciences (HAW) Hamburg.

One of her books is about the work of Janet Cardiff, a Canadian artist who works with sound and sound installation. Janet Cardiff: The Walk Book, written by Mirjam Schaub documents the art of Cardiff’s audio walks in Paris, London and New York. The experiential sounds of voices, music and city life guide readers through the images and text of the book.

Related: Janet Cardiff: The Walk Book
Note: some versions of the book come with extras, i.e. The Artist’s Edition. You may want to do some research about what is included if you are interested in buying the book.

Doing the Impossible: Building The Floating City of Venice

Meeting Mirjam Schaub in Cannaregio, Venice, Italy

Nadege and Mirjam have a mutual love for “The Floating City.” When Nadege asked her what her favorite thing about Venice is, Mirjam replied:

“I think I love…everything of Venice. Especially that it’s a city built out of the impossible…And I think you can see how humanity can develop and to do the impossible, making it happen. And this is what I really love about it.”

Mirjam Schaub

This idea of doing the impossible has always resonated with Nadege as well, since sometimes our SabbaticalHomes mission feels a little impossible.

It is challenging in some ways to provide a housing platform for our community of Minds on the Move. But the feedback we receive from members who share their experiences using our website makes it so worthwhile.

It is especially rewarding when we hear from members who have been able to use our platform to make their travel and work financially possible. Often that is due to rental income for their own home or sometimes it’s being able to find a reasonably priced and welcoming home to stay in or to share. It can also be a home exchange where members found a match and no money was involved.

Related: How was Venice, Italy Built?

Looking for a Tenant or Planning a Stay in Venice, Italy

Many people travel to Venice to write, for research and also on holiday to refresh. Some of Mirjam’s past tenants have come from Michigan and Oxford University. Mirjam has future tenants lined up to stay, a couple taking deep dives in law research and jewelry making.

In addition to renting her flat out, Mirjam also plans her own writing and research stays here. People have to be lucky to secure a stay in her home since it goes fast and is so well-situated. If you are planning a trip to Italy yourself, you can see the variety of listings available there on And maybe pick up a few things to say in Italian at the same time!

Related: Basic Italian Phrases

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