Urban Edges and How to Define the Spaces Beyond

April 7, 2015 7:57 PM

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I doubt that before today, any urbanist writer has used an old, Latin term that lives on in southern Italy, to explain the particular wonder of certain city street-ends. The term, finibus terrae, meant one end of the Earth to the Romans -- the edge of the known extent of the land.

In Santa Maria di Leuca, at the tip of Italy's boot-heel, there is a longstanding basilica named for this ancient boundary. When we were there, in 2008 and 2011, and saw the seaward view from the basilica, it was clear why the place is legend. Surveying the expanse over the juncture of the Adriatic ...

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