The Italian square has historically been a central place for meeting and exchange, in which culture and history, symbols and traditions, found a prominent and privileged fulfillment. In Italian architectural and urban history, the square has been the center of the city, a “stage” in which identity, the sense of belonging to a community, and the daily manifestation of the city’s power were displayed through its design features.
The class will look at open Italian public spaces and the relationship between their architectural aspects and functions. The most famous piazzas (such as Piazza del Campo in Siena, Piazza Navona in Rome, Piazza San Marco in Venice among others) were purposely designed to accommodate crowds for festivals, markets, and religious or political celebrations, and now incorporate completely new functions. The class will analyze a selection of Italian public squares with the aim of understanding and re-actualizing their current meaning, taking into account their new and completely different contemporary use, needs and functions.
In a historical moment in which public space has come back to the center of public life as the locus for the display of collective happiness or discontent, it is becoming urgent to rethink the importance of the Italian piazza. The class will provide the student with an insight into the contemporary meaning of Italian public space and the ways in which it could serve to create the physical setting for the activities of public life today.
Course-related fee: A fee will be billed from Syracuse to cover the costs of equipment rental and special printing (Spring 2018 fee = $75). Note: Students will also incur out-of-pocket expenses for independent travel to a research site.