Le Piagge

A Suburban Area of Florence

 

Le Piagge is a pheripheric area in the suburbs of Florence. Everything from buildings to human beings in the area communicates suspension, absence and isolation. Residents are lonely old people, poor Italian families and immigrants.

 

The area and the buildings are meant to contain people, not to stimulate social relationships. There are no squares and the green area is too large for people to enjoy it. The result is that people do not socialize. They do not interpret public space as a common place.

 

In recent years a "street priest", Don Alessandro Santoro, developed a Community which is open to anybody, regardless of religion. In 2010, Don Ale was moved away from the Piagge by the church hierarchy who did not share his progressive view. Despite the opposition of the Church, the Piagge Community is still alive, involving residents in several social projects and contributing to new social relationships to overcome the area's problems.