Symmetrical and harmonious, the piazza was an innovative urban design typology developed during the Renaissance in Italy. Setting aside its idealized depiction in treatises and sparsely populated paintings, I will instead discuss its everyday use and representation and ask whether we might consider the piazza a pre-modern social media space. In the latter part of the talk I will also ask how locative media practices and wider digital humanities approaches can be implicated in formulating new historical research questions by introducing my recently-published cultural history smartphone tour app, Hidden Florence.
Fabrizio Nevola is Chair of Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Exeter (UK). In 2007 he published Siena: Constructing the Renaissance City (Yale UP) and contributed to the National Gallery exhibition catalogue Renaissance Siena: Art for a City. He is currently working on a project that considers the physical and social environment of the public space of streets in Renaissance Italy, and has published a number of articles related to this research, including the co-edited collection Experiences of the Street in Early Modern Italy in the 2013 issue of I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance. Among other projects, he has created a mobile phone app that provides a mobile immersive experience of life in the Renaissance city, Hidden Florence published in 2014 and available on GooglePlay and AppStore.