Built to last

Everywhere in Tuscany are stone walls, cities, buildings, and bridges, endlessly repaired and reconstructed, showing layers of styles and materials, yet all displaying a continuing dedication to fine masonry skills. This is somehow coupled with the aesthetic (and economic) sensibility and the political will to preserve this style of architecture as a central element of the region’s identity.

The amazing thing is that this could NEVER happen here, of course. First, we just don’t have enough history. And second, even if we did, some developer would want to tear it down and build condos. And they would do just that. In America, the Aesthetic of the Moment is a passing whimsey, a momentary fashion, expendable. Everywhere are the tailings of our obsession with destruction, a shock wave that moves through time leaving one trail of new goodies, and ten others of Trash and Rubbish.

So there is something reassuringly stable about these stone walls, stone towns, stone streets. Solid. Substantial. Enduring.

SLIDE SHOW : Built to Last  (note: on some pictures the captions disappear for lack of contrast; sorry, could find no way to change font color in Picasa…???)

A little history of Montalcino

Tuscany Trip 2010 Sighs and Reflections

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