Archipelago: Mapping the Islands of the Venetian Lagoon
Ludovica Galeazzo is an architectural and urban historian whose research focuses on Venetian architecture in the early modern period with a special interest in new technologies to demonstrate the process of city’s change over time. She was a Kress Digital Humanities Fellow at I Tatti in 2019, and currently holds an appointment as a Digital Humanities Research Associate. She received her PhD in Architectural History from the Graduate School Ca’ Foscari-Iuav in Venice and was later a Research Fellow at the Iuav University of Architecture in Venice (2014-2016) and a Postdoctoral Associate at Duke University (2016-2017). She worked as assistant curator on three international exhibitions on early modern Venetian history displayed at the Ducal Palace in Venice and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke. Since 2011, she has been a member of the international research project Visualizing Venice/Visualizing Cities. She is author of Venezia e i margini urbani. L’insula dei Gesuiti in età moderna (2018) and co-editor of Acqua e cibo a Venezia. Storie della laguna e della città (2015).
In the early modern period, the network of islands encircling the Venetian lagoon served as capillary structures for the political, socio-economic, and cultural interests of the Serenissima. Scattered throughout the entire ‘gulf’ of Venice, these settlements were indispensable to the larger Venetian community as loci dedicated to the city’s food supply, spiritual places for religious communities, and centers for defense structures or public hospitals. The socio-political events that followed the fall of the Republic (1797) profoundly changed this understanding and totally altered the reading of the city as an organic entity that encompasses the watery ecosystem. In some cases, interventions significantly transformed the islands’ geographic configuration and functions. The Archipelago project aims to investigate the long-term history and transformation of the clusters of settlements scattered throughout Venice’s lagoon between the late fifteenth and seventeenth centuries through a systematic and geographic-based analysis. This combines historical and digital methods by employing a semantic research platform for mapping, visualizing, and exploring urban data over time.