Writer Polly Coles explores the curious coexistence in Italian churches of public grandeur and private domesticity. The Church is her final essay about Italy’s public spaces.
Writer Polly Coles explores the curious coexistence of public grandeur and personal domesticity in The Church, her final essay in this series about Italy’s public spaces. Italy is a country that famously lives out of doors. Its public spaces are prized and replicated far beyond its borders, and the world flocks to partake of its vivid, shared life of piazzas, streets, seafront promenades, churches and market places. For centuries, private and public business has been carried out in these spaces: politics, trade, display, ritual and social contact amongst much else. In this series Polly Coles looks at the public spaces of Italy, revealing them as places of rich and ancient cultural diversity.
Polly begins in the ancient cathedral of San Lorenzo in Genoa and ends in a beautiful temporary wooden chapel on the Venetian lagoon. This is the story of churches as places of many parts: from the public and highly formalized to the domestic, intimate and personally transforming.
Written and read by Polly Coles
Produced by Melanie Harris of Sparklab Productions