These two maps are graphic elaborations of great sophistication and elegance, to be studied and pored over: they are unique examples that belong to the history of cartography, being prototypes of the highest technical, cultural and educational value. They are the results of typically nineteenth-century manual skill and careful measurement. Both maps are genuine works of art and of science, made by ‘silent and sapient operators’ – as they were called at a recent national conference – who laboured for the better understanding of our territory, specialists in a discipline that emerged from an ancient tradition of craftsmanship, and that had before it a future permeated by digital and satellite technology, with the rigorous codification of information for successive elaborations, and such instruments as the Geographical Information System (GIS). Compared with present-day technology, such as Google Maps and Google Earth that are within the reach of almost everybody, early mapmaking was very different: before the advent of properly measured maps, bird’s eye view were commonly used to represent cites. There are a number of famous bird’s eye view of Lucca, such as the one made in 1744 by Father Giuseppe M. Serantoni, which is also important for its format.
The occasion for the reproduction of the two maps – the one by Pelosi on an urban scale, and the one by Mirandoli on a territorial scale – and the chance to make them better known ( thereby raising awareness of the localities among citizens and operators in the sector, in connection with contemporary interventions ) are linked to a particular moment in the urban and rural culture of the Lucchese area. The Comune and the Province of Lucca are in fact completing a study and drawing up important plans, while the Tuscan Region itself has recently approved a new law for the government of the territory, as a Territorial Plan, which will act as a Regional Landscaping Plan.