About 400 years ago, in the Arcteri Observatory at the edge of Florence Italy, Galileo Galilei made a series of startling discoveries that confirmed the earth revolves around the sun. This breakthrough, along with the astounding discovery of America, represented a major paradigm shift in the European world view. It initiated a long series of dynamic developments that ultimately led to today’s technological revolution, a revolution that has broken the tyranny of time and space, allowing us to communicate with anyone on earth in an instant.

The inspiration for the Arcetri Piazza is Florence’s Piazza della Repubblica, as well as the many other piazzas across Italy. Going back further in time, we see the importance of the Greek Agora and many other ancient examples of early urban piazza-like spaces. Anthropologists now conjecture that humans have gravitated to these central gathering places throughout history. 

The piazza is a physical structure that human beings love. It exists today in hundreds of Italian cities and towns – a convivial meeting place, a point of inspiration. In America, the success of thousands of Starbucks (based on the Italian coffee bar scene) is an indication of the human need for a place to be together. And, in fact, most piazzas in Italy include coffee bars, cafes, as well as everyday conveniences such as banks, post offices, restaurants, and farmer’s markets.   

This human interaction is a primary source of the high-level, synergistic, idea-generating cultures that have sprung up in densely populated urban areas around the world. When a critical mass of ambitious, intelligent people gather (energized by the rush of delicious caffeine drinks), amazing things happen! Most of the world’s most game-changing concepts emerged from this culture of being together.

Generation after generation, people have lived and thrived in these centers. Now, the historical imperative of this moment calls us to create the Arcetri Piazza in locations across America as a response to the intense need people have to gather in places where they can experience community and creativity with maximum flow, ease and enjoyment.  

The Mysteries of the Universe

“The measure of a place and its space is whether you want to stay forever.”

Barry B. Scherr

The Arcetri Piazza concept is inspired by the Arcetri observatory at the edge of Florence Italy, where Galileo lived and worked, uncovering mysteries of the universe. It needed the invention of the telescope to move beyond our limited sensory experience. For millennia, it seemed obvious that the universe revolved around the earth, but Galileo’s research proved the opposite to be true – that it could only be that the earth orbits the sun. This was an idea so revolutionary that it shocked the world. 

Galileo’s Observatory – Arcetri, Italy

The Arcetri Piazza is a technology meant to culture a deeper experience of human nature and its relationship to the wider world. It’s a reminder of our connection to each other, in the same way that Galileo showed us something new and profound, beyond our sensory abilities.

It was a significant moment when humans moved beyond the limits of our five senses by utilizing scientific methods and instruments, such as the telescope to confirm subjective intuitions and cognitions.

Today we are faced with another version of the same dilemma:  there must be another way that human beings can inhabit the earth without threatening the very ecosystems upon which we depend for our existence.