*How much of Italy looks more like the US? We always seem to see travel pictures that seek out the old world charm and to the extent that it looks like all of Italy is like that. If we went to Europe it would be very hard to decide where to go.
I've spent only a little time in Italy and that was in Rome and the nearby hill villages.* But I've spent a fair amount of time in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, etc.* And you're correct--- the photo emphasis tends to be on the historic, quaint, picturesque locations.* But almost*all the major cities in Europe, and many of the minor ones, have more modern areas than historic ones.* The historic sections tend to be the city centers since that's where the towns started.* But as you move away from the centers the cities start looking more like everywhere else, with modern (which does not necessarily mean good-looking) buildings, giant industrial parks, warehouse disctricts, you name it.* In many respects it's no different there as here.* The same can be said for Asia.
There are differences in basic architectural philosophy between Europe and the US, and this makes itself apparent from time to time.* For example, the large buildings at Aerospatiale in Toulouse where most Airbus aircraft are assembled are much more architecturally interesting than the assembly buildings at Boeing, which are huge but are little more than slab-sided rectangles.* Both sets of buildings were designed for the same purpose, but in Europe they often take a more interesting and innovative (at least by appearance) approach to what is actually a pretty utilitarian structure.
Here are a few photos to give you an idea of "modern" Europe.* The first is of the most recognized building in London, called the "gherkin" because of its resemblence to a pickle.* The second photo is of the "La Defense" financial district in Paris, which is otherwise a huge but very "low-rise" city.* The last two photos are of typical industiral buildings in Milan, one of Italy's main manufacturing areas.* Looks a lot like Wichita, doesn't it?* And take a look at the buildings that are surrounding the La Defense district in Paris in the second photo.* The apartment blocks and commercial buildings look pretty much like the urban sprawl that has infected every city in the US and Canada.
-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 2nd of September 2009 01:10:09 PM