Friday, November 2, 2018

Place Garibaldi Nice France

Statue of Garibaldi

Photos taken in February 2017

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Place Garibaldi is a beautiful, lively & venerable public space in Nice France. Located near the port, it was first conceived as an extension of Vieux Nice (the old city) in the late 18th century.  Work began in 1773.  Antonio Spinelli was chosen to create the design in 1780.  He modeled Place Garibaldi on the great squares of Turin.  Place Garibaldi soon became the terminus of the new road that connected Nice to Turin, the capital of Savoy, which then included Nice. The Royal Route of Turin is now the Rue de la Republique.  The square was primarily created to improve the movement of goods between the city, the port & the hinterlands. After a series of other names, it became Place Garibaldi in 1870. Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian general & politician who played a major role in the unification of Italy (the Risorgimento), was born in Nice.  His statue was erected at Place Garibaldi in 1891. The square was also planted at that time with trees for beautification.  Unfortunately, but probably inevitably during the 20th century, priority was given to automobile traffic & Garibaldi Square became a transportation hub with parking in its open spaces. Public space was limited to walkways under the porticoes. Commercial activity declined.  As part of the Nice's downtown renewal policies of the 2000s, the creation of a tramway line crossing the square reduced the influence of automobiles. New plantings & open spaces occupy areas previously dedicated to parking or traffic. As a result, Place Garibaldi has gained renewed vitality & importance in the urban landscape of Nice.

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