Totnes v. Cortona: Main Street Edition

Same concept:  “commercial, social, ritual, historic street.”   Totnes’ main street (first pic) follows the path leading to its Norman era castle; circa 1,000 years ago.  Cortona’s main street (bottom pic) follows the Roman road across the community;  circa 2,000 years ago.

Same functions:  each leads into the town, to the main civic spaces, etc.

Very different  design metrics in terms of width of the street, height of buildings and building materials.

Also very different architectural impressions:  Totnes is open, low key, wooden.  Cortona is fortress like.   Yet, both are inviting.  Cortona has a solid, eternal feeling while Totnes is more transient.

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No cars in Cortona.  Deeper shadows mean it is colder in Cortona in winter.  On the other hand, Cortona needs shade in the summer, so these streets are like walking the bottom of a cool canyon.

Cortona’s earth tones contrast with Totnes’ more vivid ones.

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