Like William H. Whyte states “A good plaza starts at the street corner.”. The street corner is the open door for any open space like Piazza Novembre IV, it is inviting and it allows a person to explore the next corner. Although the terrace is not a plaza it is an urban space that few enjoy. Someone mentioned earlier in the semester that the sign for the terrace is very appealing but not seen from the street unless you look in the right spot. The sign is found of the left-hand side of Borgo Bello when you walk down the steps near Sant’Ercolano. The colorful sign is a good start to attract people along with the dandelions that tease you to follow them to a hidden place.
Last week my classmate, Morgan, and I went to the Terraza del Cortone for our first observation of the semester. On the way to Borgo Bello we stopped for a light snack so we could eat it while observing the terrace and I felt it helped make us seem like friendly locals of Perugia. We arrived to the terrace a little before 11 am on Wednesday and noticed that it was lonely! However, before making it to the stairs we saw that there was a car blocking them and that alone closed off the area. We walked around a little to see what was moved or used and there were clear signs of use. For example, the benches closest to the stairs had muddy footprints left behind and the cigarette butts laid in groups in between the trashcan and the benches. Unfortunately, we did not see anyone for the whole hour we were there but we were glad to know that there were visits.
It was interesting to see in what manner we were going to observe the terrace. Where do we sit? When should we take pictures? If there are people should we interact with them? We didn’t have to address some of these questions but where should we sit? We situated ourselves on the wall and proceeded to make notes of our observations. However, due it being late morning we didn’t see anyone, perhaps they were still in school or at work. Our next observation is scheduled at a different time and we hope to see people enjoying the terrace next time. The terrace is such a quiet place, it is a break from the busy center of Perugia, it is peaceful and I am certain many who do visit it use as an escape from their buzzing lives.