Timeless Cities: An Architect's Reflections on Renaissance Italy

By Professor David Mayernik

In Timeless Cities: An Architect's Reflections on Renaissance Italy (Westview Press), Prof. David Mayernik traces the continuity of the Idea of the City in five Italian cities from late antiquity through the 18th century, looking most deeply at the extended Renaissance, examining both the urban artifacts themselves and what the people who built them said and thought about them. The urban story that unfolds is a powerful testimony to the beauty of cities and the nobility of city-dwelling, but ultimately to the importance of coming to grips with what we want to say with our own urban legacy.

For Italian city builders, for over a thousand years, the urban realm was the great theater where the best aspirations were played out, the place where society said the most substantial things about who they were and what they longed for. In this blend of art and cultural history, Mayernik reveals how the very different cities of Venice, Rome, Florence, Siena and Pienza were all literally designed to be both models of the mind and images of heaven.