Palermo vs Panormus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

When in the seventh century b.C., the Phoenician settlers arrived from the sea in the Gulf of Palermo (anticipated, at long distance, from the peculiar shape of Monte Pellegrino), they certainly understood as the valley that opened before them (the so-called Conca d’oro) - rich in vegetation, crossed by streams and protected by the deadly North/West wind, the Mistral - was the right place to found a new city. The following generations continued to build the city on the promontory, maintaining and consolidating the East/West orientation and entrusting to the main axis (the Cassaro) the role, not secondary and strongly symbolic, of connecting the mountains and the sea through the city, as well as the role of organizing the structure of the city itself. In time, the most important buildings of the city will be constructed in relation to these axial reference. This rule will be respected still today, although a second axis (S/N oriented) has been drawn in the sixteenth-century - that will cross longitudinally the entire valley of Palermo, between two optical sights of Pizzo Sella and Monte Grifone. Therefore Palermo can be represented through the two main orthogonal axes that cross the plain. The first one (the East/West axis) supports the relationships that exist between the city, the site and the sun. The second one (the South/North axis) shows the ways of the city’s development, from centre to periphery: a visible form of a space-temporal, non-linear, relatively autonomous process; or, again, a catalogue of architectures and of cities’ models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalARCHITETTURA CIVILE
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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