Celebrated Italian architect Italo Calvino considered Savannah America’s most beautiful city

Exploring the Built Environment

I have recently learned about the Italian writer Italo Calvino’s travels in the United States in 1959-60 in which he kept a journal, translated and published in the book Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings.  Calvino (1923-1985) is most famous for his book Invisible Cities (1972).  In his journal entry of March 8, 1960, he had this to say about Savannah:

“Consequently, my impressions of the South would be very dark if I had not discovered


I stopped at Savannah, Georgia, to sleep and have a look at it, attracted only by its beautiful name and by some historical, literary or musical memory, but no one said I should go there, no one in any State of the United States.  AND IT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITY IN THE UNITED STATES.  Absolutely, there is nothing to compare with it.  I don’t know yet what Charleston, South Carolina, is like…

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