Piazza Italia returned to the citizens: An agora of conservation and modernization

2016-07-14 19.33.42Another historic site was returned to the people of Reggio Calabria. Yesterday afternoon was the inauguration of the new Piazza Italia, always the political/administrative heart of the territory and a tangible sign of the historical events of the city. With the accompaniment of music by the students and teachers of the Conservatory of Reggio Calabria, in the presence of the council members of the town council, religious and military authorities of the city, the mayor Giuseppe Falcomatà performed the ribbon cutting. A symbolic gesture, but which in which is hidden an important message: the council returns the square to the people, now it’s up to them to care for it!

Much care. Given the value of the restoration carried out by Pan Construction. To speak with us about the intervention was the architect, Daniela Neri, technical officer of the municipality and RUP of the restoration, together with the architect, technical project manager, Sabrina Prestipino.

“The redevelopment project of the plaza dates back to 2012. The intervention, however, was not completed – explains Prestipino – we then resumed work, modulating the project in order to highlight the the square’s central location, and its link with the territory.”  She explains the choices made regarding materials used: “The pavement was built with the stone of Lazzaro, in 17 different formats.” Precise work, emphasizes the architect Prestipino, which required a highly specialized workforce.

“From access to financing to the execution of the work – architect Neri reiterated – we felt a strong responsibility in this recovery effort regarding the historical meaning of the square in its enhancement and fruition from a modern perspective.”

The desire to create an osmosis between tradition and modernity is also used in the new, energy saving lighting system, (the facility will be operated in conjunction with the completion of the work and the inauguration of the Cathedral Square). Under the banner of “safeguards” however, it should be known that the restoration activities of the hypogeum, were carried out in collaboration with the archaeologist for the Archaeological Superintendence of Calabria, Rossella Agostino.

In the bowels of the square is, in fact, a great archaeological treasure: a site that, presenting in six meters, the overlapping of eleven phases of construction, from the seventh century BC until the early nineteenth century A.D., it is the true historical memory and the soul of the agora. After years of neglect, this extraordinary cultural symbol has been “cleaned up” and secured. A real business “Stitch and unstitch,” stressed the Prestipino, to keep intact the characteristic “dry” walls.

To avoid the risk of collapses, it was decided to use of Corten steel, which has excellent corrosion resistance and reduced maintenance needs. A precision job that required the intervention of skilled laborers, already used at other archaeological sites, for example in Greece.

We hope that soon all the Calabrians can admire this jewel of history and culture, feeling the  strong tie with that glorious past that belongs to us as they walk along the newly stone paved plaza.