chapter  10
23 Pages

Locating experience in the Renaissance city using mobile app technologies: the Hidden Florence project


Introduction: the kinetic city Hidden Florence is a smartphone app in which a ‘contemporary’ character, a late fifteenth-century wool worker dubbed Giovanni, invites the user to go with him on two walks around the city. 1 The first walk is focused on the parish of Sant’ Ambrogio, the neighbourhood in which Giovanni lives; the second guides the user around the dense urban centre in which he works. Of all the seventeen stops on Giovanni’s itinerary, Site 3 of the neighbourhood walk, Via dei Pilastri, may well be the least visually spectacular, yet it quickly takes us to the heart of the agenda that underpins the project – to explore how mobile technologies can offer historians a tool and a methodology for researching and conveying urban experience as a dynamic relationship between place and identity.