Piazza Life

15 Sep

Recently, I read an article in a Chicago paper about a local community that created a new and different type of outdoor space. It’s a place where restaurants, shops, pedestrians and vehicles commingle. While this may be new to an Illinois community, it is a way of life in much of Europe, something that I have long referred to as Piazza Life.

What is it about Italian Piazza Life that is so appealing? Just about everything.

Each piazza has its own borders, if you will, created by beautiful ancient buildings that have been repurposed. An old prison is now a museum, a villa now a bank, and a stable now an enoteca.

The center of the piazza may have a fountain or statue, or be empty and provide a stage for any number of diverse events. Nowhere is this better seen than in Cortona, where Piazza Life is a way of life.

While there are several piazzas in Cortona, the two main ones are Piazza Republicca and Piazza Signorelli. They are physically adjacent to one another, yet each has its own identity and events.

You know you are in Piazza Republicca when you are facing the grand staircase of the Municipio or Municipal building.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

While it is used for several city functions, it also provides a beautiful setting for many weddings where everyone in the piazza seems to join in the celebration.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

In this piazza, you can sit in or outside of a number of cafes; shop at a grocery store, fruit market, wine store, or florist; and buy  shoes, handbags, linens, and even a borselino, all actually made in Italy.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

People gather, some doing their morning shopping, others stopping for a chat with friends.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Cars and cyclists navigate through pedestrians of all ages, and pop up performers are a common site.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

Celebrations commemorating historical events are held here.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

And while the piazzas are significantly quieter in the winter, they still draw people together for such delights as the incredible Christmastime lamp lighting celebration.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Piazza Signorelli, the adjacent Piazza, is also breathtaking in its beauty, whether bathed in sunshine

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

or glowing in the moonlight.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

Piazza Life provides a daily local gathering venue, be it day or night, for spontaneous and scheduled events, including

kids playing soccer;

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©Blogginginitaly.com

local musicians;

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©Blogginginitaly.com

vintage car enthusiasts;

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©Blogginginitaly.com

food and antique vendors;

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©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

annual traditions;

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©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

marching bands;

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

and avid sports fans.

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Whether you find yourself almost alone in an ancient Piazza, (and yes it is possible!)…

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or surrounded by friends you have not yet made,

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

just be prepared to be amazed by the sights and sounds.

Piazza Life – wonderful! …and no reservation required.

Ciao,

Judy

 

One Response to “Piazza Life”

  1. Alexis September 16, 2014 at 12:23 AM #

    Oh, gosh, this made me miss Italy!!!

    Like

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