Art: Dialogue in Stone

The Forte di Belvedere straddles a hill to the south of Florence. From the air, its weathered bastions and parapets give it the shape of an immense starfish. Completed in the 16th century, it gradually lost its strategic value and nobody ever found much civilian use for it. After the disastrous flood of 1966, it became a storehouse for damaged books from Florence's national library. But a problem remained: how to integrate this masterpiece of obsolete military building with the tourist life of the city below? The answer was to turn it into an...