Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Views from Above

I have just returned from a trip to Venice, Verona and Florence, in part to pursue the works of Carlo Scarpa, a significant figure in both modern architecture, historic preservation and museum design.  He worked largely in Venice and the Veneto region, but he also played a key role in the redesign of the Uffizi galleries in the 1960s.

But more on him later.  Here are some panoramic views from high places in Venice and Florence.  When I look at them now, a few days later, I think not of the glorious skyline, but of the fabric of the city below.  Change the facades, the rooftops, the materials of the buildings, but retain the density, the orientation around the streets, the piazzas and their internal courtyards, and the essence of the experience of these city will remain the same.  Maintain each individual structure in a perfect "authentic" stye of preservation but remove the canals and the maze of pedestrians streets in Venice, the piazzas large and small across these cities, and you have lost Venice and Florence completely.

Venice from the Campanile di San Marco, with the basilica and Doge Palace in the foreground:

Venice, from the Campanile, looking northward from Piazza San Marco:

Florence from the top of the Duomo, with Giotto's Bell Tower in the foreground:

 Florence from the top of Torre Guelpha, with Palazzo Vecchio and the Duomo in the distance:

And a gratuitous final image, because the sunrise from Torre Guelph was so beautiful!

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