Case cantoniere are small cottages built as homes for road workers during the fascist period around 1930. They are set out along the highways at regular intervals all over Italy, almost in a grid pattern. The workers who lived in them with their families were responsible for maintenance and inspection of a specific section of highway. There is a quite distinct architectural style that is typical for these houses, as is the very characteristic red painted on the façades and the green shutters on the windows.
With the upgrading of the roadway network, the significance of the state highways, and thus that of the case cantoniere, diminished. As a result, most case cantoniere have been abandoned and left to rot.
Schmidt quotation: “The missing purpose and loss of meaning of the case cantoniere, along with the aesthetic of decay, are the essential aspects that interest me as a photographer.”
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