Skip to main content
Passa alla visualizzazione normale.


Palermo: the urban space of the market-roads.

  • Authors: GIRGENTI G.
  • Publication year: 2009
  • Type: Capitolo o Saggio (Capitolo o saggio)
  • OA Link:


The place of the urban market has a particolar role in the drawing and in the shape of historical city texture. The contemporary town seems to undergo a new polarity of waves and routes with the advent of “malls” and with the influence of new supermarket transformation in real “market-towns”: this process can turn barycentres and way of fruition of routes. In Palermo such phoenomenon risks to compromise the surviving of historical markets, which still showed a fairly good state till some time ago, notwithstanding the decay of the next buildings. The recent recovery operations of Palermo Historical Centre consider more and more the hypothesis of an “environmental” restoration: they start from the material restoration of buildings and they link their surviving to a harmonic connection to its context. The study recognizes the distinguishing items typical of the islamic Medina in road systems and in the urban structure of the Sicilian capital; they, even if they were tranformed by the interventions which were made after the culture of the ideal city of the Renaissance, have conditioned its development and growing, leaving the trace of a cultural heritage which today is probably forgotten, but which can be found in its identity. Then the study gives attention to the market road and to its main elements, starting from the close connection with the activity carried on there (which determines not only the geographic localization related to the centre or to the surroundings of the established urban hierarchies, but also to the history of its displacements and modifications); then to the architectural typologies present in it (strongly characterized by the presence of a trade corporation) and the quality of the born urban space, where the fixity of architectonic monuments faces the very vital mutability of human presence and of fleeting architectures (stalls and awnings).