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Marilena Mela

Marilena Mela is an Architecture student at National Technical University of Athens, and is spending a semester abroad studying in the Architecture Faculty of the University of Florence, Italy. She is especially interested in the history of buildings, and the manners in which monuments affect the growth of the city. Also, her participation in restoration projects in traditional settlements has introduced her to the the significance of locality. She considers the past as a base we should fully understand before taking step towards the future. Along with studying urban history, the fact that she speaks several languages, including Greek, English, Italian, Spanish, French and Chinese, gives her an extra advantage in understanding rhythms and the local spirit of the places she visits.

Farewell to The Grid from Marilena Mela in Florence, Italy

by Marilena Mela

When I applied to be a blogger for The Grid six months ago, I was in a phase of my life when I knew I should try a new creative activity. I was towards the end of my studies in the Architecture school, and eager to share... Read article

Impact of Tourism in the Italian Art Cities: Venice, Florence, & Rome

by Marilena Mela

Il Bel Paese, the Beautiful Country, is distinctly used to describe Italy. It is indeed a gifted country, with a notable natural environment, a mild climate and a prominent cultural heritage. Therefore, its status among ... Read article

Places of Non-Catholic Worship in Florence, Italy: Where Do Other Faithfuls Pray?

by Marilena Mela

Florence is a city whose character has been dominated by Catholicism since the Middle-Ages. Throughout the years, religion has played a significant role in many aspects of its social life. Culturally and artistically... Read article

Green Spaces – Where and How are They Built into a City? Examples of Italian Urban Greenery

by Marilena Mela

Living in an Italian city makes one appreciate the importance of the outdoors and public spaces. Apart from the piazzas and the narrow paved streets that are always filled with people and happy noise, in many corners a b... Read article

The Ethics of Reconstructing a Historic City: Florence, Italy Post World War II

by Marilena Mela

During the final battles of the Second World War, the region of  Tuscany in Italy suffered great destruction. The German Army retreated in the historic cities of Florence and Pisa, significant centers for art and archite... Read article

An Architecture of the Exterior: The Renaissance Church Facade

by Marilena Mela

The urban environment of historic Florence, Italy is strongly defined by the numerous majestic churches, and the piazzas around them. It’s almost impossible for the visitor to remember all of their names, but the imp... Read article

Connecting Buildings - Separating Social Classes: The Vasari Corridor in Florence

by Marilena Mela

It may not be the most famous attraction in Florence, but it surely is the most intriguing one. The Vasari Corridor, an indoor passageway that defines the skyline of the Florentine center, has a total length of almost tw... Read article

The Italian Notte Bianca and its Connection to the 1960's Italian Radical Architecture

by Marilena Mela

The 1960’s was a rather revolutionary period for worldwide architecture. The ideas of the modernists for a single, unified approach in architecture had started to be questioned, and new movements begun to arise in all pa... Read article

Modern Florence Remains The City of Renaissance - But What About Other Eras?

by Marilena Mela

Historic cities that have been continuously inhabited through the current day, usually bear apparent evidence of their past in their urban grid. In large capital cities like Athens or Rome an observer can easily read the... Read article

Siena, Italy: The Exaltation of the Medieval Spirit

by Marilena Mela

What makes the relatively small town of Siena so special in comparison with the other former Italian city-states in the north? Is it the way its medieval characteristics have continued to influence everyday life? This st... Read article

An Exploration of Verticality: The Towers of San Gimignano, Italy

by Marilena Mela

Six centuries before the creation of the modern vertical landscapes that characterize cities like Manhattan, a city scheme of a similar form, although of a different scale and social background, grew in towns of northern... Read article

The Creation of the Italian Commune: Architecture as a Tool of Politics

by Marilena Mela

Out of the darkness of the Middle-Ages, helped by the extreme economic power of commerce, and taking advantage of the turbulence caused by the constant fight for control between the church and the Holy Roman Empire, ther... Read article

The Duomo of Florence: A Symbol of Arrogance, an Eternal Landmark

by Marilena Mela

In a city full of world-renowned architectural monuments, the Florence cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, with its glorious dome, is still the most immediately recognizable element of the city. Looking to the size of the D... Read article