Venice as an Archipelago: Mapping the Islands in the Early Modern Lagoon
Ludovica Galeazzo is an architectural and urban historian whose research focuses on Italian architecture of the early modern period. She was Research Fellow at the Università Iuav di Venezia and Postdoctoral Associate at Duke University. She was involved as assistant curator in three exhibitions displayed at the Ducal Palace in Venice and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke. Since 2011, she is a member of the research group Visualizing Venice. Author of several articles about the urban and architectural history of Venice, her first book, Venezia e i margini urbani. L’insula dei Gesuiti in età moderna, was published by the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in 2018.
“Venice as an Archipelago” explores the cluster of islands encircling the Venetian lagoon, focusing on their role as capillary structures for the political, socio-economic, and cultural interests of the city between the late fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Venetian state deliberately constructed synergistic relationships with its islands, assigning them various functions according to its needs. The research project sheds light on the early modern patterns connecting these satellite loci by comparing their histories along with their urban and architectural features. This systematic approach constitutes an important contribution to our understanding of Venetian urban dynamics by moving the discourse away from the typical schema of ‘center-to-periphery.’ Building on the idea of a comprehensive and geographically-based analysis of the Venetian archipelago, this work combines historical and digital methods by structuring a relational database (DB) with a geographic information system (HGIS) for mapping and geocoding urban data. Addressing the islands’ urban and architectural phenomena through the use of taxonomies and visual queries allows one to pinpoint commonalities and to highlight the cross-dissemination of forms among the barrier islands and the city.