Europe Blog

I recently returned from a month traveling in Europe.  It was a fabulous trip spent visiting the sites of ancient ruins and unique architectural landmarks.  My trip included Rome, Naples, Florence, Monte Carlo/ Eze; Greece including, Mykonos, Olympia, Corfu, and Santorini, I also went to Kusidasi, a resort village in Turkey and then on to Venice. 

 My trip started in Rome, I enjoyed seeing the beauty of the lines in the flying buttresses and Groin vaults of the Gothic arches.  This construction has stood the test of time and continues to maintain its original appeal.  I have used these elements aesthetically in many of my recent development projects.  I was surprised to notice that many of the oldest structures, such as the Roman Coliseum, were covered with unique pitted walls where the original marble had been removed centuries before to be used to develop new cathedrals and other major developments. 

 Now, on to Greece, in their architecture, the Greeks have demonstrated an understanding of perspective and would often design buildings which are wider at the rear or larger on one side so as to maintain balance and symmetry as the building is viewed from a distance. 

 Aside from viewing the amazing architecture, I also enjoyed hearing about the history of the great places that we visited.  For instance, in many of the old hillside villages like Eze, the city streets are narrow and walled on either side to make protecting the city easier.  If intruders should attempt to overtake the city they would not know how deep the city was or where the people were.  The city guards waited at the ends of the tunneled roads and easily defend the city.  Many of the streets lead nowhere, causing the intruders to be trapped and again at the mercy of the city guards.

 As a developer I find Venice simply amazing because it is a city built on water.  It is boggling to imagine how they manage the sewer system and other basic infrastructure.  All through the city there is an enormous amount of construction taking place, both restorations of important historical sites as well as and renovations to update homes, commercial sites to current standards.  It was fun to take a canal ride and pass by the construction supply companies.  I saw small boats loaded up with drywall motoring to development sites. The logistics of building in this city are certainly daunting for.  I was struck by the beauty in things that show their age for instance walls with stone chipped away and brick showing through.  Many of the buildings had been fit with heavy iron bars to assist in stabilizing and reducing additional movement.

 In all, it was a magical trip.  I can’t wait to return one day soon.

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