Today, October 15 at 6pm the version of the 2000s of the square in the strategic and institutional heart of La Spezia: Piazza Europa.
At the beginning of ‘900 La Spezia was a very different city from what we see today: the city “finished” at the height of the Piazza Verdi, closed to the east by the Colle dei Cappuccini, and on which flowed Via Torretto from oldest the center , Via del Prione and Piazza del Bastione, leading to the sea. The radical transformation of the city from the late nineteenth century, with the advent of the military arsenal, inevitably changed radically its urban structure. For the city that grew out of proportion with the number of its inhabitants (La Spezia had grown at a pace equal tono other Italian city, in terms of population, in the last two decades of the twentieth century) they were made grandiose plans, sometimes futuristic, that contemplated the construction of wide avenues, squares and palaces, following the urban model of Turin and Paris.
The hill called “Dei Cappuccini” was cleared, to open the city to new areas in the east, and to allow a great avenue to cross it all, until the arsenal. Now a large space was opened in the new heart of the growing city : it was the current Piazza Europa.
The city-sized dreams have come true only partially, but the city has really grown on set new trim. In the new space now directly connected to the large Piazza Verdi it has developed the institutional activity of the city, according to a plan wanted by its administrators, which over time established here the seat of the Municipality, the Province, and other important public buildings.
Europe Square was designed as an integral part of the discussed building project of the great cathedral, that overlooks the square. The whole design and its realization took a very long time, with changes and second thoughts, from the ’30s to the ’70s of the twentieth century.
Today, a new inauguration of the modernized Square takes place, according to new functional needs of the city: a large underground parking lot, near the sea and near the pedestrian center, and a new design with fountains and trees.
Today at 6pm, La Spezia celebrates again its Piazza Europa, revised according to the new needs of the city: the more than 260 underground parking lots of “Europapark” is in a strategic position, perfect to leave the car and head for the boats on the sea front and to go on foot to the pedestrian and historical center of the city.
The new square contains few changes from the original: the characteristic design of the flooring in large boxes made of travertine marble is still there. The fountain, the object of imaginative reinterpretations over time (for a period was filled with earth to make it a garden) has been removed to leave more space to the sea, but many new jets come out of new tanks that are located along the perimeter of the new square, along which also new trees have been planted.
The opening ceremony includes a greeting from the Mayor with an open aperitivo accompanied by the traveling show of waders and actors in costume “Dream Baroque” of the Teatro Scalzo and aerial acrobatics. Female employees of the Municipality, the Chamber of Commerce and other offices Piazza Europa will be the faces of the Fashion Parade “Elegance and fountains in the Piazza”.
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)