Author Archive

August 13 2014

Farewell to The Grid from Marilena Mela in Florence, Italy

August 13th, 2014Posted by 

When I applied to be a blogger for The Grid six months ago, I was in a phase of my life when I knew I should try a new creative activity. I was towards the end of my studies in the Architecture school, and eager to share my newly formed thoughts about architecture and urbanism. Although I […]

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July 30 2014

Impact of Tourism in the Italian Art Cities: Venice, Florence, & Rome

July 30th, 2014Posted by 

Il Bel Paese, the Beautiful Country, is distinctly used to describe Italy. It is indeed a gifted country, with a notable natural environment, a mild climate and a prominent cultural heritage. Therefore, its status among the most visited countries not only in Europe, but worldwide, is not a surprise. Tourists arrive to admire the artwork of Michelangelo and Da […]

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July 16 2014

Places of Non-Catholic Worship in Florence, Italy: Where Do Other Faithfuls Pray?

July 16th, 2014Posted by 

Florence is a city whose character has been dominated by Catholicism since the Middle-Ages. Throughout the years, religion has played a significant role in many aspects of its social life. Culturally and artistically, the city initially developed under the Papal Influence. This strong relationship becomes obvious also in an urban realm: Catholic churches are the […]

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July 02 2014

Green Spaces – Where and How are They Built into a City? Examples of Italian Urban Greenery

July 2nd, 2014Posted by 

Living in an Italian city makes one appreciate the importance of the outdoors and public spaces. Apart from the piazzas and the narrow paved streets that are always filled with people and happy noise, in many corners a beautiful and peaceful garden or a spacious park is to be discovered. But what were the circumstances […]

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June 18 2014

The Ethics of Reconstructing a Historic City: Florence, Italy Post World War II

June 18th, 2014Posted by 

During the final battles of the Second World War, the region of  Tuscany in Italy suffered great destruction. The German Army retreated in the historic cities of Florence and Pisa, significant centers for art and architecture, predicting the hesitation of the Allies to bombard them. Surprisingly, only a relatively small part of the original city of […]

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June 04 2014

An Architecture of the Exterior: The Renaissance Church Facade

June 4th, 2014Posted by 

The urban environment of historic Florence, Italy is strongly defined by the numerous majestic churches, and the piazzas around them. It’s almost impossible for the visitor to remember all of their names, but the impression of the typical white, red and green marbles of their façades remains indelible in the mind. There are however some […]

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May 28 2014

Connecting Buildings – Separating Social Classes: The Vasari Corridor in Florence

May 28th, 2014Posted by 

It may not be the most famous attraction in Florence, but it surely is the most intriguing one. The Vasari Corridor, an indoor passageway that defines the skyline of the Florentine center, has a total length of almost two kilometres and a rather interesting history.  Designed in the year 1564 by the architect and art […]

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May 14 2014

The Italian Notte Bianca and its Connection to the 1960′s Italian Radical Architecture

May 14th, 2014Posted by 

The 1960’s was a rather revolutionary period for worldwide architecture. The ideas of the modernists for a single, unified approach in architecture had started to be questioned, and new movements begun to arise in all parts of the word. One of the most important among them was the radical architecture movement in Italy, expressed by […]

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April 30 2014

Modern Florence Remains The City of Renaissance – But What About Other Eras?

April 30th, 2014Posted by 

Historic cities that have been continuously inhabited through the current day, usually bear apparent evidence of their past in their urban grid. In large capital cities like Athens or Rome an observer can easily read the evolution of the city in discrete layers. The different historic realities coexist with the noisy modern everyday life. Unlike […]

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April 16 2014

Siena, Italy: The Exaltation of the Medieval Spirit

April 16th, 2014Posted by 

What makes the relatively small town of Siena so special in comparison with the other former Italian city-states in the north? Is it the way its medieval characteristics have continued to influence everyday life? This strong relationship with the past is obvious both in the town’s urban development, and in the annual social events. The urbanization […]

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April 02 2014

An Exploration of Verticality: The Towers of San Gimignano, Italy

April 2nd, 2014Posted by 

Six centuries before the creation of the modern vertical landscapes that characterize cities like Manhattan, a city scheme of a similar form, although of a different scale and social background, grew in towns of northern Italy: The urban landscape of the medieval towers. The construction of towers started in the late twelfth Century. They not only […]

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March 19 2014

The Creation of the Italian Commune: Architecture as a Tool of Politics

March 19th, 2014Posted by 

Out of the darkness of the Middle-Ages, helped by the extreme economic power of commerce, and taking advantage of the turbulence caused by the constant fight for control between the church and the Holy Roman Empire, there emerged in Italy an urban form forgotten since Antiquity: the city-state. These states, also known as Communes, gained […]

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March 05 2014

The Duomo of Florence: A Symbol of Arrogance, an Eternal Landmark

March 5th, 2014Posted by 

In a city full of world-renowned architectural monuments, the Florence cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, with its glorious dome, is still the most immediately recognizable element of the city. Looking to the size of the Duomo, one cannot help but think it’s even too big for the scale of the narrowed-street medieval city. Thus, it […]

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