This module explores the social, cultural
and political life of the city as they relate to urban form.
The city’s division into 14 separate administrative
districts or Rioni, population concentrations within each,
districts based on national origin, centers of commerce and
religion as well as the patterns of quotidian life and the
complementary role of and ceremony are examined in this thematic
The nature of public space—streets
and piazze—as a focus for social interaction—both
ritual and routine—constitutes another major focus of
this thematic module. The goal is to demonstrate the relationship
between the pattern of human events and the spatial context
in which they occur.
Nolli clearly shows the administrative boundaries of the city using a distinctive dotted line to represent them. He not only was the first to clearly demarcate in graphic terms the precise limits of the newly defined official districts, he also facilitated their codification within the city’s administrative structure. Today, one can still see the marble Rioni markers along the edges of the districts (in a recent outing this author noted over 50). Each marker is approximately 75cmx45cm. The plaques are located typically in facing pairs at an intersection, at the boundary between two or more Rioni. Usually positioned about 3 to 4 meters above the street level, they were intended to be visible markers for purposes of identity and orientation.