Tag Archives: buildings

Ghost Towns, Awake! Futures for Italy’s Abandoned Settlements

Kristen Sloan   University of Wollongong

craco

Craco, Basilicata, Abandoned 1963

The increasing number and visibility of abandoned places throughout the world, coupled with a significant change in the way space is perceived in contemporary societies, has sparked a growing global conversation about re-using abandoned elements of the built environment. In the past ten years thousands of projects have emerged around the world that involve mapping and ‘re-purposing’ abandoned places, notably the ‘re-awakening’ of entirely deserted villages. Italy is of particular interest here. It has at least 5838 historically valuable ‘ghost towns’ of which 2831 are either completely abandoned or at serious risk of extinction. The loss for the former inhabitants and for the collective memory embodied in the lost communities is severe. Their requalification for contemporary use has become an urgent task.

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Palaces, skyscrapers, villas, follies ….. and six styles of architectural luxury

9781409433217.PPC_Layout 1Today luxury and its celebration are hardly confined to European élites and the American leisure class. Apart from the adornment of the body, the displays of luxury surround us most visibly in built and unbuilt environments. In The Architecture of Luxury (2014) Annette Condello focuses on a range of contexts in Italy and Western Europe, Latin America and the United States to trace the myths and applications of luxury in architecture, interiors and designed landscapes. Moving from antiquity to the modern era, she identifies six historical categories of luxury – Sybaritic, Lucullan, architectural excess, rustic, neoEuropean and modern – and relates them to their different historical periods and cultural contexts.

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Il Paroliere: Italian Word of the Week – 21

italian-language-courses-300x240Volete andare in vacanza? Le possibilità sono numerose. Grillo & Co. vi offre alberghi solo cinque stelle, l’Agenzia Arcore all’Antica vi propone la pensione completa (cene eleganti e intrattenimenti di burlesque compresi), Renzi e Letta Spa avrà qualcosa da suggerirvi ma non ha ancora deciso che cosa. Insomma l’imbarazzo della scelta. L’importante è non seguire i consigli di Tedesco Tours come vi spiega oggi la nostra consulente Gregoria….

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