ARE BIKE LANES REALLY MAKING OUR STREETS BETTER?
Not all streets are created equal. Streets serve various purposes. They come in various shapes and sizes. Some are loved. Some are hated.
The Via dei Calzaiuoli is a street in Florence that connects the Piazza del Duomo to the Piazza della Signoria. It is one of the nicest, calmest, most enjoyable streets you could ever hope to walk along. Its simple brilliance is often overlooked, as eyes are drawn to Brunelleschi’s great dome at one end or the Uffizi Gallery at the other. The street’s role as a supporting cast member was set early on, when in the 1300’s the grade was lowered to make the height of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral seem even more otherworldly. But the Via has played a vital role in Florentine life for centuries. The sculptor Donatello had a workshop on the Calzaiuoli. Da Vinci, Galileo, and Machiavelli spent afternoons striding along this treasured corridor of art, history, and architecture. The Calzaiuoli is more than just a nice street that connects monuments; it is, in fact, a model for modern architects and planners.Read More