Street Life in Renaissance Italy


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A radical new perspective on the dynamics of urban life in Renaissance Italy

The cities of Renaissance Italy comprised a network of forces shaping both the urban landscape and those who inhabited it. In this illuminating study, those complex relations are laid bare and explored through the lens of contemporary urban theory, providing new insights into the various urban centers of Italy’s transition toward modernity. The book underscores how the design and structure of public space during this transformative period were intended to exercise a certain measure of authority over its citizens, citing the impact of architecture and street layout on everyday social practices. The ensuing chapters demonstrate how the character of public space became increasingly determined by the habits of its residents, for whom the streets served as the backdrop of their daily activities. Highlighting major hubs such as Rome, Florence, and Bologna, as well as other lesser-known settings, Street Life in Renaissance Italy offers a new look at this remarkable era.

Fabrizio Nevola is professor of art history and visual culture at the University of Exeter.

“Fabrizio Nevola's beautiful book, Street Life in Renaissance Italy, is rich in detail and imagery.”—Emily Michelson, Times Higher Education

"The quality of the present work is indisputable. The book makes a valuable contribution to recent developments within the architectural and urban history of the Italian Renaissance, and to reflections upon the mechanisms that have shaped, and continue to shape, the cities we inhabit. With his ability as a storyteller, Nevola will surely engage a wide variety of readers in a fascinating discovery of street life in Renaissance Italy."—Nele De Raedt, Architectural Histories

“Nevola’s depiction of the multisensory everyday environment of Renaissance cities should be of interest to both the Italophile tourist and the urban activist.”—Maria H. Loh, Art in America

“This is a wonderful book that astutely captures the before and after life of a variety of Italian Renaissance cities. . . . Bringing together familiar and new Renaissance spaces, Nevola’s work illuminates the interconnections among the characters, communities, and events that constitute the civilization of the Italian Renaissance.”—Jennifer Strtak, Renaissance and Reformation
ISBN: 9780300267501
Publication Date: November 24, 2020
320 pages, 0.0 x 0.0
150 color + b/w illus.