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Maristella Casciato on l’architettrice
29 January, 2021
Who is ‘l’architettrice’ – the woman architect in the title of this novel? She is Plautilla Bricci, or Briccia, (1616-1705), the first architect of modern history. Until recently she was ignored, and now is very much in the spotlight.
The author gives us the portrait of an extraordinary woman in the seventeenth century, who was very capable of keeping quiet about herself and concealing her audacity and dreams, while achieving the feat that would redeem her entire life: the construction of an original Villa Il Vascello on the hill of Gianicolo, overlooking Rome, designed, planned, and executed by her. Bricci’s long life was intertwined with the eternal life of the Rome of the Popes with its accompanying splendour, intrigue, violence, and misery; part of a feverish century that was both bigoted and libertine.