Fabrizio Nevola considers the form, function, and significance of shops and the other commercial spaces contained in the ground floors of the Renaissance palaces of Siena, Florence, and Rome. Home Shopping: Urbanism, Commerce, and Palace Design in Renaissance Italy also investigates the social interaction between the private environment of the home and the public space of the street. Contrary to much that has been written about the palaces of the fifteenth century, their designers did not abandon botteghe (shops), nor more broadly construed commercial functions. The resulting buildings are hybrid structures in which the proud individual façades of private patrons' palaces were configured to serve the needs of trade. Today, urban space is largely experienced as a succession of shop fronts, and commercial activities overwhelm all other functions. Early modern Italy was not much different.
- © 2011 by the Society of Architectural Historians.