Vertical Construction In Italy, 2022

Join CSI in Italy, as we take a close look at the impressive vertical construction of housing on the Amalfi Coast! […]

August 4th, 2022

Category: News

Join CSI in Italy, as we take a close look at the impressive vertical construction of housing on the Amalfi Coast!


By this we mean houses built on steep faces, almost in a ‘stacked’ style.  The Amalfi Coast of Italy (Positano photograph) has plenty of such towns/villages.  Doesn’t bear thinking about, if there were a major earthquake!!

Most of this would be mass block and brick, very little steel reinforcement; gravity load buildings.  Fortunately Amalfi Coast is a stable region and at a low risk for earthquakes.

Apparently many of the lemon farmers have something to do with maintaining the stability of the land as well.  Amalfi Coast, known as the home of the lemon (limoncello and all things lemony) still uses the traditional terraces of the lemon farms (some many hundreds of years old).  

The traditional agricultural system — a remarkable 15th-century example of man and nature working in harmony — has proven resilient to climate change instability. Here is an excerpt from Georgia di Pasquale, a researcher from Rome University

“Sculpting the wild cliffs overlooking the sea, the orderly architecture of the lemon groves curb some of the area’s worst problems, including landslides caused by rain and wildfires.

“Farmers provide a systemic service to the whole area, protecting the coastline from landslides and other environmental disasters,” says De Pasquale. Without this agricultural activity, she adds, the landscape of Amalfi and the entire coastline would vanish, deteriorating year after year”.

The steep terraced cliffs, colourful stacked houses and beautiful azure Mediterranean sea make for a most picturesque part of the world.  The easiest way around is by boat (possibly helicopter), but most of us make it through the narrow cobbled streets on foot and would recommend some ‘stair training’ beforehand!!

Not to mention taking your life in your hands when walking the narrow streets and sharing the small space with buses, cars and fast moving scooters.

That’s all From us at CSI this month, we hope you are all well in NZ!

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