Cities and Centers of Art
Texts by Giuseppe Ricuperati, Massimiliano Caldera, Gabriele Reina
2012 / 334 PAGES
With neighbourhoods, churches, and palaces, created by great architects and urban planners under the supervision of the Savoy, this is a portrait of a city that is simultaneously industrious, modern, and the fulcrum of a thriving intellectual activity.
For centuries Turin seemed to belong to a hybrid and bilingual area more than to Italy, seeming half Cisalpine and half transalpine. The great moments that determined Italian identity (the age of the Communes, the Renaissance...) barely touched it; yet, when the moment came, it was Turin's turn to make Italy. The Savoy family came from the transalpine side, and in the second half of the 16th century, this dynasty made it the capital and expanded it.
The volume takes the reader on an exploration of the city, with curtain façades rippled by the late baroque and Rococo breezes, interiors decorated by an army of fine carpenters, cabinetmakers and stucco artists and an industrious brisk soul.
With texts by Giuseppe Ricuperati, Massimiliano Caldera, Gabriele Reina and an anthology of texts carefully selected by Caterina Napoleone, the reader then ventures into the network of straight streets, which to some might appear to be the work of a provincial Haussmann. Instead, it is based directly on the orthogonal layout of the ancient Roman encampments, with arcades, pastry shops with their names in golden lettering, capricious architecture, and scenic lookout points.