teCLa :: Rivista

in questo numero contributi di Pina De Angelis, Elvira D'Amico, Carmelo Bajamonte, Giuseppe Giugno, Iolanda Di Natale, Angela Giardina, Roberta Priori.

codice DOI:10.4413/RIVISTA - codice ISSN: 2038-6133
numero di ruolo generale di iscrizione al Registro Stampa: 2583/2010 del 27/07/2010

Protection and safeguard of the cultural heritage & landscape in the eastern Sicily of XX century: a case of civil commitment by the pages of the magazine “Le vie d’Italia” di Iolanda Di Natale

The ancients used to talk about natura naturans and natura naturata with an impressive exactness of perception and expression. The relation between landscape and historic centre has been widely discussed in years following the Second World War, especially in relation with the challenges of preservation of what survived. The problems of reconstruction and urban planning pushed the protagonists of Italian culture to wonder about the relation between new and old, keeping and expansion, rebuilding and modernization, nature and city. In those years, the foundations were laid of the modern concept of landscape, considered among the property deserving to be preserved, both for its cultural and naturalistic values.

The same Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) meeting in Paris from 17 October to 21 November 1972, at its seventeenth session, represents the first official acknowledgment of a long-standing debate, aimed to bring both the cultural and natural aspect to the common term “legacy”, which is universally symbolized and symbolically expressed by the World Heritage List. This document, in fact, marks the start-up of the long cultural and conceptual evolution toward the definitive consolidation of the modern theory of “Cultural landscape” and toward the final assertion of a historical-critical approach based on the integrated environmental and cultural nature of landscape.[1] It crosses the limits of an exclusively aesthetic vision, to underline the intrinsic relations and the identity resources, whose comprehension demands a deep knowledge of interdependencies among territory development, living dynamics, local society lifestyles, and cultural and symbolic values linked to perception of the anthropic space.[2] The same article number nine of the Constitution of Italian Republic “The Republic promotes the development of culture and of scientific and technical research. It safeguards natural landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the Nation” have sparked the comparison of the definition of cultural property as a unique and compelling category in space and time of all historical, artistic and natural elements.[3] In 1985, Giulio Carlo Argan stated: «the so told beauty of nature» should also be read as «the product of intelligence, thinking and human work in the course of various millennia; a huge book, a sum in which are written millennia of history».[4]

Nowadays, the indivisibility of the relation between natural environment and human activity, landscape and historic centre is clear. However, this very close relation has been very slow in establishing respect to the usual town planning procedure.[5]

If the years immediately following the Second World War were characterized by the problems of reconstruction and restoration, soon the economic boom of the next few decades opened new impellent question about the potentiality of growth and exploitation of the city.[6] Architect and town planner culture foregrounds the building of contemporary cities, often by prefiguring a brand-new urban scenery, in which few selected and isolated monuments rise to the role of witnesses of the past. This theme had been discussed at international level during the third post war CIAM Congress held at Hoddesdon in 1951, and becoming one the main theme during all the ‘50s and ’60s even in Italy. Here, the uncontrolled building activity involves the historical centres of the city, as well as, the suburban areas. The former was affected by the Reconstruction Plans, which not involved with the bonds enforced by the Town Planning Law of 1942 (which governs “the trim and the increase in building’s towns and usually the urban development in the territory”), just operated within pre-existing alignments. While, the latter, without a General City Plan, were intended a completely free from rules expansion, often assisted by proper economic actions.[7]

Exactly in those years, lots of newspapers and specialized magazines pages (such as “Il Mondo”, “Casabella”, “Urbanistica”, “Restauro”, “La Critica d’Arte”, “Domus”) came alive for all the interventions on town planning problems regarding city centre, natural beauties and landscape.[8] Architects, historians, critics, town planners and intellectuals quarrelled animatedly, firing up the national debate. Protagonists of this debate were: Ernesto Nathan Rogers, Roberto Pane, Cesare Brandi, Leonardo Benevolo, Edoardo Detti, Luigi Piccinato, Gillo Dorfles e Renzo Men. All this, while in the Italian cities, as a result of delays of regulations and speculative interests, destructions continued and the expansion kept up uncontrolled towards areas once with farming vocation.[9]

In this atmosphere, an important moment of new methodological and regulatory awareness is represented by the writing of “Charter of Gubbio” with the Final Declaration adopted at the end of the debate arose from the National Conference “Preservation and restoration of historical and artistic centres” held in Gubbio in September 1960 and promoted by Giovanni Astengo. This meeting represented an important moment to take stock not only of the situation of old towns and on the evident inadequacy of zoning regulations on urban planning technique and legislative norms, bat also to compare and examine tangible experiences and concrete approach to the issue of intervention. The Chart pointed out the fundamental principles of safeguard and restoration of historic centres and reiterated: the urgent need of an identification and classification of the areas and of their introduction into the General City Plans (because “basis to the development of the modern city itself”); the immediate disposition of safeguard bonds; the halt to every building activity; the arrangement Detailed Plans of Conservative Renovation. Moreover, the Chart

refuses the criteria of reconstruction and stylistic additions, of mimetic rebuilding, of the demolition of buildings, also the unpretentious ones. It does not accept rarefaction of the texture, the isolation of monuments, nor new insertions in ancient environments.[10]

The results of this heated debate was evident also in the concluding statements of the II International Congress of Architects and Engineers of Historic Monuments, conference held in Venice from 25 to 31 May 1964. The “Charter of Venice” marked the definitive overcoming of the notion of “Monument” as well not longer isolated from the historical and social context that generated it, leading it to a wider environment (urban or landscape) as a testimony to a particular civilization and a significant evolution or a historical event.[11] The recognition of “cultural significance acquired over time” marks that passage from the closed dimension of “exceptional historical-artistic value” to the open one of “having the value of civilization”.

If the recovering of historic centres and their integration within the General City Plans have represented one of the main issue in the national debate, a special credit goes to ceaseless battles carried out by cultural association: ANCSA, Italia Nostra, Fondo Nazionale per la Natura, Istituto Nazionale di Urbanistica.

In those years, the historical campaigns of Antonio Cederna and Umberto Zanotti Bianco with the Association “Italia Nostra” have been crucial to prevent devastating demolition of Rome historic center. The action of Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli and Luigi Piccinato have preserved the historic center of Siena with its natural slopes. Very important ware the plans, respectively, of Edoardo Detti and Giuseppe Venuti for the defence of the hills of Florence and Bologna, and the plan of Assisi by Giovanni Astengo.[12]

All this Institutions and people had the asset of debating the problems of historic centers and landscapes in their multiple theoretic-methodological and technical-administrative aspects. They had busily acted, through actions of denunciation, awareness raising and promotion, for the identification of an intervention guideline that would be able to combine the socio-economic needs and the naturalistic-ecological ones.[13]

In the years after the Second World War, an important role had revised by the specialist magazine of the Italian Touring Club (ITC), the biggest and prestigious Italian tourism association, founded the 8th November 1894 by Federico Johnson and Luigi Bertarelli, together with some enterprising lovers of trips, knowledge, and progress.[14] Such awareness has widely been revealed within the fundamental principles of, the Italian Touring Club (TCI). The Constitution of ITC asserted that the goal of the association is to pursue the «development of tourism, also meant as mean of knowledge of countries and cultures, of mutual comprehension, and respect among people». The main actions are:

2) to exert oneself for preserve landscapes, distinctive natural environments, the geology, flora and fauna, the single monument and works of art in general, as well as urban complexes of remarkable historic, artistic, and ethnological importance; to facilitate knowledge [...] about the environmental and historic heritage and its touristic fruition; 3). to exert oneself to solve every problem linked to tourism, by helping the spreading of a more qualified touristic culture and entrepreneurship also regarding the city planning issues.[15]

The ability of tourism to represent an effective tool of mutual knowledge among people resurfaces during the debate about the recovery of tourism industry, which grew busy since the first few month after the end of the World War. Also in Italy, tourism seem to be the most suitable sector to catalyse the hope of those who foretold a return to a climate of international relationships dictated by peace and tolerance. The importance to share and promote the authentic national identity revival as world heritage was declared during the congress of Northern Italy Provincial Tourist Boards that took place in November 1945. I was the first confrontation point among the sector operators after the end of the war.[16]

These applications were kept for the following years too, taking the aspect linked to the natural-environmental heritage preservation and landscape safeguard, as well as the more and more emergent phenomena of uncontrolled urbanization and building, for the maintenance of “urban decorum” and the city aesthetics. In the following decades, the considerations about the effect of mass tourism on the collective identity had progressively imposed themselves. In the ‘60s, at global level, a tourist model emerged, and this, in a material point of view, turned into an overbuilding of touristic places, able to provide standardized services. In meanwhile, the town planning of tourism places has seen the speeding up of transformation processes into action in the previous decades, even at the risk of compromise the original environmental value.[17]

In the years after the Second World War the TCI, faithful to its principles, launched an awareness campaign to rebuild the country morally and materially, involving Ministries, bodies and local governments. It got ahead a constant campaign for the reopening of Italian museums, and it especially engaged in the fight for the tourism development and against the tourism-invasion.[18]

During the ‘50s, also the divulging activity restarted with a new ardour: guides map-making, and official magazines: “Le Vie d’Italia”.[19] The first number of the magazine was released in 1917, supervised by Luigi Bertarelli. The publishing went on until 1967; it was stopped only during World War. In 1920, the magazine became the ENIT (state-controlled body of tourism studies and promotion) official organ. For the first time, with the establishment of this body, the Italian State recognized the importance of tourism in the life of the country.

The collaboration between Giuseppe Agnello (Canicattini Bagni 5 February 1899 – Syracuse 28 September 1976)[20] and Italian Touring Club monthly magazine “Le Vie d’Italia” begun in 1928 with an article dedicated to the Cathedral of Syracuse. In the occasion of the reopening of the Cathedral, after the end of restoration, the 14th January 1927, the scholar attended the official conference with a speech that he repurposed in the mentioned article.[21]

In those years, Syracuse was living a climate of artistic and cultural interesting fervour, arouse around the famous figure of the archaeologist Paolo Orsi. He was sent to Syracuse in 1890 as Supervisor of Excavations and Museums; he was a scholar with a positivist education, whose activity, diverging from the antique tradition, put on a innovative nature.[22] Agnello shared the same education with Orsi. Both they went to the Higher Institute of studies of Florence,[23] a well-known school to which trace back the structure of the historicist-philological studies. Agnello taken this approach as hinge of his scientific activity, it is clearly recognizable in the whole methodological structure.[24] These general lines found the bases in the primary importance given to the historic document, to the discovery of the work, to its recognition, to the explanation, always accompanied by a detailed archive and source research that he considered unavoidable to the historic-philological investigation.

The filiation of Agnello’s studies was shown up more than once, coming from those themes, which had gained the interest of his master Paolo Orsi. The first and fundamental studies on Middle Ages and its architecture took shape under Orsi’s protection and pushing. In 1926 Agnello published Siracusa Medievale. Monumenti inediti (Medieval Syracuse. Monuments unknown). It would obtain the appreciation of important personalities such as Benedetto Croce and Pietro Toesca. In 1935, it was published L’architettura sveva in Sicilia (The Swabian architecture in Sicily), within the “Collezione Meridionale” (Southern Collection), thanks to the good offices of the director Umberto Zanotti Bianco. This volume was already prepared in 1931. It won the award from the Accademia d’Italia. Inside the same series in 1942 was published P. Orsi Sicilia bizantina (P. Orsi. Byzantine Sicily), in 1952 L’architettura bizantina in Sicilia (The Byzantine architecture in Sicily), and in 1961 L’architettura civile e religiosa in Sicilia nell’età sveva (The civil and religious architecture in Sicily in Swabian age). The interest of the scholar was not limited just to the investigation of Middle Ages. An important core of researches would involve the Renaissance and Baroque Syracuse: again, on “Collezione Meridionale” was published L’architettura aragonese-catalana in Siracusa (The Catalan-Aragonese architecture in Syracuse), in 1959 was released the essay dedicate to I Vermexio architetti ispano-siculi del secolo XVII (The Vermexio Spanish-Sicilian architects of the XVII). In collaboration with his son Santi Luigi, Siracusa Barocca (Syracuse Baroque) was edited in 1961 and, shortly after, in 1964, Siracusa nel Medioevo e nel Rinascimento (Syracuse in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance) would be released.[25] Besides, Agnello – who held the chair of Christian archaeology at the University of Catania – gave a remarkable contribution to the study of the history of art within the very first Christianity, by bringing to light the early Christian age, until then little known and investigated. Syracuse’s hypogeum area is second only to the Rome one, and its maximum expression is around St. Lucia, St. Giuseppe in St. Marziano, and Vigna Cassia catacombs. During his career as scholar and teacher, Agnello had fully embodied that ideal, inhering in Toesca, for which to train to understand the work of art means to teach how to “see”. Ability considered both intellectual and physiological, of the eye and of the mind. This deep sense of “seeing” was already theorised by Adolfo Venturi and become fixed in the famous formula “to see and to see again”, it had been introjected in Croce’s way also by Agnello.[26] Beyond the different periodization, the relation between the scholar and the monument, always accurate and systematic, firstly took place through recourse to a direct investigation on the field, based strategically on Feldforschung (investigation on the field, analysis live of monuments throughout photos and surveys). In these terms, he showed to already have a scientific maturity such that included both theory and the science of building, how Gustavo Giovannoni, a Camillo Boito follower, would reassert it.[27]

Therefore, the primary document identified with the work of art itself, strictly studied and well known. From this belief, it took shape the other fundamental aspect that characterised most of Agnello’s activity; it was focused on the preservation and the safeguard of the goods and of their environment. Since 1948, the scholar committed in a stubborn fight in favour of the defence and the safeguard of monumental and landscape goods, of which he powerless was witnessing the growing decay. This new campaign, carried on through the pages of National and regional newspapers and supported by researches and scientific studies, gave him the appointment as president of Commission for the Safeguard of Natural Beauty in Syracuse Province, which he held from 1950 until 1974. The 18th July 1969 the Syracuse section of “Italia Nostra” was set up, in accordance with the model of what Zanotti Bianco was doing in Rome.

It was created thanks to the will of Giuseppe Agnello and the marquis Gioacchino Gargallo from Castel Lentini. This was created with the exact intention to actively work for the control of territory and for the safeguard Environmental and Cultural Heritage. Also in Archimedes’ city, the town planning events, started from the ‘50s, were characterised by the devastation of cultural and historic resources, by the neglect of the historic centre, by the uncontrolled and often illegal growth of suburbs and peri-urban areas. If the years just after the Second World War mainly saw a city still concentrated within the boundaries of the old Naos of Ortigia, in the ‘60s, in the name of a demographic rise that would soon reduce, the city changed completely.[28] That process of expansion, started in the first half of XVIII century, sped up with a frantic rhythm. It was characterised by the massive occupation of all those areas that made «Urbem Syracusas maximam esse Graecorum, pulcherrimamque omnium saepe audisti»[29] already in classical age. The districts of the old Pentapolis of classical age: Acharadina, Tyca, Neapolis and Epipolis, all characterised by hill grounds, witnesses and keepers of monumental remains, were assaulted by agglomerate of concrete, incorporating the area of necropolis and the Monumental Archaeological Park of the Neapolis with the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, Ierone’s Altar and the Latomia. Everything was surrounded, almost submerged and concealed by building.

Already in 1958, Cesare Brandi threw himself against this attack to the monumental heritage from the pages of the “Corriere della Sera”:

with how much the foolish destructions in 1885, the buildings of the Fascist period, and the very recent ones had done to Syracuse, it is not possible to hope in a miracle [...] the situation is so compromised, for some crucial areas, that worse would not be possible. However, it is essential to check this, and that the barricade of buildings on the edge of the archaeological area would not move forward anymore.[30]

If the focus on the preservation of archaeological sites was somehow primary, a similar idea could not widen also to the areas of early Christian catacombs that, in those years, Agnello reported in the light and explained. Syracuse, in fact, has perhaps the most important complex of late antique tombs after Rome. Among these it is particularly important the group of the Catacombs which are arranged from north-west to southeast, according to an internal arc taking up again the one formed by Latomie. The localization of these cemeteries areas is very interesting about the planning history of the city in late imperial period: in fact, they are inserted inside of Neapolis, along the edges of Acharadina. It is a clear indication of the narrowing of the inhabited area. The catacombs, use by the early III century AD, are preceded by a necropolis dating back to the first and middle imperial age. This confirms, with great emphasis, the news reported by Strabo (Amasea, Pontus, before 60 BC - 20 AD approx) in the VI book of his monumental Geography (2, 4). In this passage, the Greek historian and geographer explain like the city, almost abandoned and partially destroyed during the war between Octavian and Sextus Pompey, was largely rebuilt under the reign of Augustus, but just limited to the Acharadina.[31]

From the second half of twentieth century, after more than eighteen centuries, the city returns to expand on the mainland towards uptown of ancient Pentapolis. The building occupancy came to compromise irreparably the green zone that stretched from the Forum of Syracuse to the Temenite Hill, reaching Dionysian Walls that culminate in the Euryalus Castle, an imposing military area built by the tyrant Dionysius between 402 and 397 BC. It faded the confident hope to protect the area, between the complex of Neapolis and the Capuchin Catacombs, expressed by the Superintendent of Antiquities and distinguished archaeologist, Luigi Bernabò Brea.

In an article published in the newspaper “Corriere di Sicilia” in 1947, he stated:

tourism was until a few years ago, and we hope it will return to be in a near future, one of the major resources, perhaps the major economic resource of Syracuse. The care of its beauty, the respect and the enhancement of its monuments are thus not just a luxury for Syracuse or the fulfilment of a duty to the culture, but an intimate breath of life and well-being [...]. It is now an area above all to protect and enhance from the expansion of the modern city [...]. This is what we would like to define the major tourist artery of Ancient Syracuse.[32]

With respect to this expansion of the city on the mainland, uncontrolled and unaware of the values of archaeological, historical and environmental heritage, we were witnessing the depopulation of the historical centre, Ortigia: an island within an island. The tradition handed down to us by Strabo tells that the first Corinthian settlers led by the oecist Archie came here around 734 BC. The Temple of Athena with its Doric columns still stands on the highest and better visible point of the island, now part of the Byzantine basilica that is frame by the exquisite Baroque façade.

The proposal made in '52s by Agnello himself, as Chairman of the Commission for Natural Beauties, to put the landscape restrictions on Ortigia was worth nothing.[33] The regulation, amid obstacles and bureaucratic delays came, in fact, only in 1969, when by then the most serious damages were done:

Now more than ever speculative needs were a burden, with such clear threat, to the remaining heritage, in defence of which rather than the sanction of the laws of the state should stand the open condemnation and rebellion of the citizens themselves.[34]

This is the intimate reason with which Agnello returned, after more than thirty years, to write on “Le Vie d’Italia”. In 1963, with a careful report he denounced The malfunctions of Syracuse; malfunctions that just a year later became symbolically The wounds of Syracuse.[35]

Both the articles complained the stages of urban transformation, the state of destruction and of caging in which the most outstanding city monuments were forced. Agnello explained the failures of the institutions often unable, more often wilfully obstinate to postpone the approval of the General City Plan (GCP), for which in 1954 was announced a public competition. A young architect won it, Vincenzo Cabianca. The plan was approved twenty years later because of several vicissitudes and different relationships. The GCP classified all Ortigia “special conservative Area”, approving the bond of “inalterability for everything that is already existing”.[36]

In the period between 1952 and 1969, the worst damages to Ortigia urban heritage took place. Dates back to 1947, the first official act of “the beginning of the invasion”. It was the alienation of two of the major squares of Ortigia:

the old town had very few squares: so few that, for counting them the fingers of one hand were too many. Two – Luigi Greco Cassia square and the castle square – had disappeared. In place of the first, which was also bordered by the sea, there is now a pretentious modern building, which, with difficulty, it was possible to obtain a reduction of the height. The other, very large, on the tip of Ortigia, which housed the superb Federico II castle, was spoiled by inserting a senseless building agglomeration that has eclipsed the view of the sea.[37]

It is clear from reading the two articles the scholar’s belief that the alleged work of restoration of the historic centre was too often interpreted by local authorities as an opportunity to alter and destroy, using for their aim the pretext of forced demolitions in order to allow freedom of action to speculators.

In the two reportage for the TCI newspaper Agnello writes about the case of the “splendid concrete box” cleverly inserted between the Baroque Church of St. Giuseppe and the theatre Damiani, the bank building built close to the “splendid ruins of Apollonion” the oldest Doric temple in Sicily. He mentions the project for “a six and more floors barrack” that would occlude the fourteenth-century Palazzo Mergolesi and the fifteenth-century Palazzo Gargallo. He also explains the incomprehensible events that led to pull down a baroque palace in Archimedes Square, to destruction of the district between Giudecca and Logoteta Street and to break down the last remains of the monumental city wall built by the Spanish Emperor Charles V.

However: «where the frenzied speculation has reached paroxysmal forms is out of Ortigia [...]. To the relentless aggression, which spreads in all directions, not even one’s palm of green does escape. The intervention of the Superintendent had managed to delay here and there the advance of new construction; but the resumption of the offensive, by speculators was violent and relentless».

The Civil Hospital was built in the place where Landolina discovered the famous Venus “Anadiomede”, in the early nineteenth century. The statue is today one of the top attraction of the Archaeological Museum “Paolo Orsi”. The archaeological area of Neapolis was surrounded and the beautiful view that from the Greek theatre opened on Ortigia was obscured. The building arrived to cover the “Grotticelle” necropolis, where legend placed the tomb of Archimedes; the same treatment was reserved to the beautiful Byzantine church of St. Giovanni and St. Marziano with its catacomb complex.

Among the most pervading interventions against Syracuse perpetrated in the years after the Second World War it is not possible neglect the events that led to the creation of one of the largest petrochemical settlements in Europe. In a speech that took place in Syracuse in the March of 2012, Vincenzo Cabianca, recalled the long years of work at GCP:

In the early post-war period the easier and more common resources for local economies was formed by the parasitic income urban housing. It happened in the absence of town planning schemes and for the higher-level economy formed by big pollutant industrial settlements of semi-finished products of the petroleum industry. It was an expansion based on the illusion of the possible development of their induced from petroleum industries, by the mythology of iron and steel industry and by factories, very concrete, in cement.[38]

Within the perspective of conquering international markets, it was decided to set in coast between Augusta and Syracuse the industries for the oil refining and basic chemical and petrochemical industries. The beginning of this industrialization that can be dated back to 1948, when a young Milan industrialist, Angelo Moratti, bought the facilities of a disused American refinery in Longview, Texas, thus the RA.SI.OM (Refinery Sicilian Mineral Oils) was born and subsequently sold to Esso. Taking advantage of the many benefits and economic incentives provided by the Cassa per il Mezzogiorno, in order to attract to the South both private and public groups, it began what was commonly called the “Economic Miracle”. After RA.SI.OM, other industries such as Liquichimica, Cogema, Eternit, Sicilfusti, Edison, Celene settled. In 1953 was built the thermal power plant, Enel Tifeo, while in the early '70s was built ICAM (Joint Undertaking Anic Montedison) that still produces more than 700,000 tons/year of ethylene. And were assembled also the Enel thermal power plant Melilli, the Consortium of IAS Purifier (Syracuse Water Industry), the ISAB refinery, built by demolishing more than 200 houses in Marina di Melilli and literally erasing it from the map.[39]

The ancient vestiges of the civilizations of Thapsos and Megara Ibla are “Cathedrals in the desert” incorporated between 30 km of iron. In this place, during «one of the many earthworks carried out at the foot of the hill where there are the RASION plants, the bulldozer invested time ago, and reduced to a heap of minute fragments a Greek statue of exceptional importance. In the little peninsula of Magnisi – the Virgil Tapsus iacens – a group of Sicilian tombs was destroyed to obtain blocks for the construction of the great dam of the port of Augusta».[40]

On 12th May 1976, the Sicilian Region issued the regional law for “The protection of historic centers and special rules for the district of Ortigia in Syracuse and for the historic centre of Agrigento”, on 28th September of the same year Agnello died.

«The Tourists who, after long routes through the Peninsula, ended their trip to Syracuse, remained fascinated by the sight of this beautiful coastal area, cut by the railroad, lapped on the one hand, by the tides, on the other hand, closed by an intense green frame extending up to the massive ramparts of the Ibleo plateau. Today everything has changed [...]. At the very least you left a good documentary, which fixes forever the face of the city that disappears: documentary that is jealously preserved in one of our museums, it would be able to leave in the tomorrow visitors that same moved and quiet admiration that the relics of past civilizations arouse in us».[41]


The article was in part published in: XII International Forum Le Vie dei Mercanti. Best practices in heritage conservation and management. From the world to Pompeii (Aversa-Capri, 12-14 giugno 2014), La scuola di Pitagora editrice, Napoli 2014, pp. 633-642.

1 In this regard: F. MUCCI, La valorizzazione del patrimonio mondiale culturale e naturale: significato e strumento di una tutela sostenibile, in La protezione del patrimonio mondiale culturale e naturale a venticinque anni dalla Convenzione dell’UNESCO, edited by M.C. Ciciriello, Editoriale Scientifica, Napoli 1997, pp. 269-290.

2 The first general Italian legislation has been the law n. 1497 of 1939, which distinguished the property in two great categories: singular or individual beauties (real estate, geological singularity, villas, gardens and parks) and overall beauties (panoramas, belvedere, aesthetic and traditional complexes). The law largely responded to purely aesthetic and view paintings criteria and protected “things” of “great public interest” or “having a great deal of natural beauty or geological singularity”. The property was protected in two ways: by means of a special list that bound any operation of the Superintendence to Architectural and Environmental; or by means of a territorial plan, which laid down rules for interventions in the area to be protected. These landscaping legal constraints, however, did not affect the dimensioning criteria of the plan, because they were considered just like simple “cut-outs” to maintain inside to a system projected toward the expansion and increase construction. M. Bencivenni, R. Dalla Negra, P. Grifoni, Monumenti e Istituzioni. Parte I, La nascita del servizio di tutela dei monumenti in Italia 1860-1880, Alinea, Firenze 1987 e Parte II, Il decollo e la riforma del servizio di tutela dei monumenti in Italia 1880-1915, Alinea, Firenze 1992; W. Cortese, Il Patrimonio culturale: profili normativi, Cedam, Padova 2007; P. Fusero, Ecoscape. Valorizzazione del patrimonio ambientale e paesaggistico, Sala editori, Pescara 2004.

3 The Constitution of the Italian Republic was enacted by the Constituent Assembly on 22 December 1947. Article no. 9 is part of the “Fundamental Principles”. In this regard: N. Greco, Stato di cultura e gestione dei Beni culturali, Il Mulino, Bologna 1981; M. Ainis, Cultura e politica. Il modello costituzionale, Cedam, Padova 1991; V. Caputi Jambrenghi, La cultura e i suoi beni giuridici, Giuffrè, Milano 1999; M. Fiorillo, L’ordinamento della cultura. Manuale di legislazione dei Beni culturali, Giuffré, Milano 2000; T. Montanari, L’articolo 9: una rivoluzione (promessa) per la storia dell’arte, in Costituzione incompiuta, Arte, paesaggio, ambiente, by A. Leone, P. Maddalena, T. Montanari, S. Settis, Einaudi, Torino 2013, pp. 9-55.

4 Giulio Carlo Argan pronounced these words at his speech to the Senate for the approval of the law no. 431 of 1985, also known as “Galasso law” by the name its proposer. This law, approved after decades of debates, obliged the Regions to draft, adopt and approve territorial landscape plans in a year. G. Chiarante, Argan politico: gli anni del senato, in Giulio Carlo Argan. Storia dell’arte e politica dei beni culturali,by G. Chiarante, “Annali dell’Associazione Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli”, 12, 2002, pp. 131-144.

5 Already since 1913, Gustavo Giovannoni wrote a series of fundamental articles in the magazine “Nuova Antologia”, in which argues about the value of historical and cultural testimony of urban tissues, and about the necessity of their integral protection and safeguard. Giovannoni, an engineer with a good background in art history and promoter of a systematization of the theory of restoration that goes under the name of “scientific restoration”, was able to bring together the skills and sensibilities of the technician and the humanist. In this perspective, he faces the difficult theme of the relationship between the historic city and its adaptation to the needs and developments of the contemporary city, a vision expressed in the theory and practice of “diradamento” and his “thinning” approach. In 1931, the Italian Charter of Restoration was drafted by Gustavo Giovannoni, just returned from the conference that produced the Charter of Athens, the first international agreement on the conservation of monuments. G. Giovannoni, Vecchie città ed edilizia, in “Nuova Antologia”, 249, 1913, pp. 449- 472; Il diradamento edilizio dei vecchi centri Il quartiere della “Rinascenza” in Roma, ivi, 250, 1913, pp. 53-76. These articles were reunited and republished in 1931 with the title Vecchie città ed edilizia. In this regard: G. Spagnesi, Il restauro dei centri storici la teoria del diradamento e Gustavo Giovannoni, in Il quartiere e il corso del Rinascimento, by G. Spagnesi, Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana “G. Treccani”, Roma 1994, pp. 11-47.

6 Regarding the evolution of restoration theory: C. Brandi, Teoria del restauro, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, Roma 1963, (poi Einaudi, Torino 1972); R. Pane, Attualità e dialettica del restauro, antologia by M. Civita, Solfanelli editore, Chieti 1987; L. Guerriero, Roberto Pane e la dialettica del restauro, Liguori editore, Napoli 1996. G. Fiengo, La conservazione dei Beni culturali e le carte del restauro, in Restauro: criteri, metodi, esperienze, by S. Casiello, Electa Napoli, Napoli 1990, pp. 26-46; U. Baldini, Teoria del restauro e unità metodologica, 2 voll., Nardini, Firenze 1981; G. Carbonara, Trattato di restauro architettonico, UTET, Torino 1996; G. Miarelli Mariani, Monumenti nel tempo. Per una storia del restauro in Abruzzo e nel Molise, Carucci, Roma 1979; L. Santoro, Il contributo italiano alla definizione concettuale e metodologica del restauro, in “Restauro”, n. 43, 1979, pp. 7-61; C. Ceschi, Teoria e storia del restauro, Bulzoni, Roma 1970.

7 To deepen the subject: M.B. Mirri, Beni Culturali e centri storici. Legislazione e problem, Sagep, Genova 1996.

8 In this regard: Centro di Documentazione di Ingegneria Civile, Architettura e Pianificazione Territoriale. Documentazione bibliografica sui problemi dei centri storici e del rinnovo urbano, ANCSA, Gubbio 1973.

9 To deepen the subject: L. Santoro, Restauro dei monumenti e tutela ambientale dei centri antichi, Di Mauro editore, Cava dei Tirreni 1970.

10 A year later, the same promoters of the conference will give life to the National Association for the historical and artistic centers (ANCSA). In this regard: La Carta di Gubbio. Dichiarazione finale approvata all’unanimità a conclusione del Convegno Nazionale per la Salvaguardia ed il Risanamento dei Centri Storici, Gubbio 1960; F. Toppetti, Paesaggi e città storica. Teorie e politiche del progetto,Alinea Editrice, Firenze 2011.

11 The Venice Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites is a set of guidelines, drawn up in 1964 by a group of conservation professionals in Venice, that provides an international framework for the conservation and restoration of historic buildings. Carta di Venezia. Carta internazionale sulla conservazione ed il restauro dei monumenti e dei siti, II Congresso internazionale degli architetti e dei tecnici dei monumenti storici (Venezia, 31 maggio 1964), adottato di ICOMOS 1965. Web Page: http://www.charta-von-venedig.de.

12 To deepen the subject: E. Salzano, Fondamenti di urbanistica, Laterza, Roma-Bari 1998.

13 To deepen the subject: R. Della Sella, La difesa dell’ambiente in Italia. Storia e cultura del movimento ecologista in Italia, Franco Angeli, Milano 2000.

14 Born with the name of “Italian Cycling Touring Club” (TCCI). In this regard: S. Privato, Il Touring Club Italiano, Il Mulino, Bologna 2006.

16 In this regard: Studi e Proposte per una riforma della legislazione turistica nazionale, Atti del Convegno degli Enti Provinciali per il Turismo dell’Alta Italia (Milano, 7-8 novembre 1945), Stamperia Conti S.A., Bergamo 1945.

17 To deepen the subject: L. Coccia, Architettura e turismo, Franco Angeli, Milano 2012.

18 In the next few decades, the considerations on the impact of mass tourism on collective identity will also be progressively imposed. In the 1960s, in fact, it imposed a tourist model characterized, in material terms, by uncontrolled cementation of tourist sites and in the construction of unconnected structures from the local context. P. Battilani, Vacanze di pochi, Vacanze di tutti, l’Evoluzione del turismo europeo, il Mulino, Milano 2001; A. Savelli, Turismo, territorio, identità. Ricerche ed esperienze nell’area mediterranea, Franco Angeli, Milano 2004.

19 English translation: “Routes of Italy”. The magazine is first published in September 1917 as a supplement to the monthly magazine of the Touring Club Italiano club and sent to members). The title, selected following a competition of ideas, was “Le Vie d’Italia” with the subtitle “Turismo nazionale. Movimento dei Forestieri. Prodotto Italiano” (“National Tourism. Forests Movement. Italian product”). In 1921, the TCI’s Monthly Magazine was included in the “Le Vie d’Italia”, preserving the subtitle “Monthly Magazine of the Italian Touring Club”. In 1968, he ceased publication merging with “Le Vie del Mondo” (“The World Streets”). In this regard: G. Vota (edited by), I sessant’anni del Touring Club Italiano 1894-1954, TCI, Milano 1954; S. Lonati, La scoperta dell’Italia. Letteratura, geografia e turismo nella rivista “Le Vie d’Italia” (1917-1967) del Touring Club Italiano, Touring Club Italiano, Milano 2013. For the on-line archive referring web page: https://www.bdl.servizirl.it/vufind/Record/BDL-OGGETTO-957.

20 About the figure of Giuseppe Agnello: Per Giuseppe Agnello, in “Archivio Storico Siracusano”, Supplemento n. 2, 1977; S.L. Agnello (edited by), Giuseppe Agnello, Atti delle Giornate di studio nel decennale della scomparsa(Canicattini Bagni-Siracusa, 28-29 novembre 1986), Flaccavento, Siracusa 1993; I. Di Natale, Giuseppe Agnello: contributi sulla stampa periodica allo studio della storia dell’arte siciliana dal Medioevo al Barocco, in “teCLa. Rivista di temi di Critica e Letteratura artistica”, n. 3, maggio 2011, pp. 106-143, ISSN: 2038-6133, doi: 10.4413 www.unipa.it/tecla/rivista/3_rivista_dinatale.php; I. Di Natale, Il contributo di Giuseppe Agnello allo studio delle arti decorative in Italia, in “OADI Rivista dell’Osservatorio per le Arti Decorative in Italia”, a. 3, n. 5, giugno 2012. ISSN: 2038-4394, doi: 10.7431 http://www.unipa.it/oadi/rivista/oadi_3.pdf.

21 In this regard: G. Agnello, Un monumento millenario che risorge. Il Duomo di Siracusa già Tempio di Athena, in “Le Vie d’Italia”, XXXIV, 1928, pp. 405-412.

22 To deepen the subject: G. Libertini, Centuripe a Paolo Orsi animatore e Maestro degli studi di antichità siciliane, Tirelli, Catania 1926.

23 The Institute is today the University of Florence.

24 I refer to the flourishing school of literary and philological studies of the Institute of Higher Studies in Florence (now the University of Florence), formed between 1860 and 1960 around the emblematic figures of Domenico Comparetti and Alessandro D’Ancona. In this regard: E. Garin, La cultura italiana tra ‘800 e ‘900: studi e ricerche, Laterza, Bari 1962.

25 For the complete bibliography of the writings of Giuseppe Agnello: S.L. Agnello, G. Palermo, Bibliografia degli scritti di Giuseppe Agnello, in “Quaderni della Società Siracusana di Storia Patria”, III, 1978.

26 In this regard: A. Venturi, Vedere e rivedere. Pagine sulla storia dell’arte 1892-1927, edited by G.C Sciolla, M. Frascione, Il Segnalibro, Torino 1990.

27 About Boito and Giovannoni: M. Guttilla, Camillo Boito e la cultura della tutela e del restauro nella Sicilia dell’Ottocento, s.n., [Palermo] 1990; A. Curuni, Gustavo Giovannoni, in La cultura del restauro. Teorie e fondatori, edited by S. Casiello, Marsilio, Venezia 1996, pp. 267-290.

28 To deepen the subject: S. Adorno, Siracusa 1880-2000: città, storia, piani, Marsilio, Venezia 2005.

29 M.T. Cicero, In Verrem, II 4, 117-119.

30 C. Brandi, Fermare l’avanzata dei palazzoni sul ciglio della zona archeologica, in “Corriere della Sera”, 13 June 1958.

31 Strabone, Γεωγραφικά, The Geography of Strabo, Translated by Horace Leonard Jones, Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge-London 1967.

32 In this regard: L. Bernabò Brea, Creare un piano paesistico e monumentale, in “Corriere di Sicilia”, 11 December 1947.

33 The D.P. April 11, 1968 n. 290 relative to the Bond of Ortigia. Dates instead 1961, another bond proposal, put forward by the Commission chaired by Agnello, relative to the entire littoral of Ortigia. In this regard: S.L. Agnello, C. Giuliano, I guasti di Siracusa. Conversazione sulle vicende dell’urbanistica siracusana, Fondazione Giuseppe e Santi Luigi Agnello, Siracusa 2001.

34 G. Agnello, I guasti di Siracusa, in “Le Vie d’Italia”, LXIX, Touring Club Italiano, 7 July 1963, pp. 950-956.

35 G. Agnello, I guasti…, 1963; G. Agnello, Le ferite di Siracusa, in “Le Vie d’Italia”, LXX, 7 July 1964, pp. 920-928.

36 About this: F. Cantone, S. Viola, Governare le trasformazioni del patrimonio edificato: un progetto per le corti di Ortigia e Siracusa, Alfredo Guida Editore, Napoli 2002.

37 G. Agnello, I guasti…, 1963, p. 922.

39 S. Adorno, P. Aloscari, F. Salerno, L’industria, la memoria, la storia. Il polo petrolchimico nell’area costiera tra Melilli, Augusta e Siracusa, Marrone Editore, Siracusa 2008.

40 G. Agnello, I guasti…, 1963, p. 926.

41 Ivi, p. 925.

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