In 2008 the council board organized a redeveloping intervention of Piazza Dante, a public garden in the heart of the city, which binds together the historic centre to the severe and distinguished ‘Muratian’ chessboard-like road system.

Using the language from the1900s, with a certain reference to the tradition of the formal Italian garden, we conjured up the idea of nature bent into traits of urbanity.
The rigid symmetry, the construction carried out with repeated axiality, simple and straightforward syntax , all allude to an attempt and sought connection with the surrounding urban context, founded on clear relationships, although basic and of ‘academic’ nature.

The design idea is born from the careful consideration of these features, convinced that the institution of new meanings in urban spaces may establish a specific appreciation of the historical character of the place.

Following a complete survey of the existing wooded area, the project proposes:

  • a restoration intervention of the Villa grande, through the removal of incompatible plants and the addition of a few other examples
  • optimization of urban features in the area of garden facing the cathedral, through the construction of a proper ‘walled’ square marked with palms, placed besides the three magnificent existing examples of  phoenix canariensis , thus keeping with the Arab-Mediterranean tradition.
  • a decisive intervention for the reutilization of the central part of the square, by adding integrated services for the public (coffee shops, open coffee shop, toilettes and play area).


design team mimma caldarola (team leader),paola cavallini,
stefano della santa, ivano fiamma, elisabetta ghetti
consultant laura gatti
woodland aspects gabriele villa
client council of ruvo di puglia