This article examines the impact of German architecture and urban planning upon the work of Marcello Piacentini (1881–1960), one of the most influential Italian architects of his time. Research contextualising his travels within his broad oeuvre of the early 1930s reveals how Piacentini took on the design strategies he observed during his stay in Germany. It also shows that Piacentini’s practices of travelling and sketching correspond to the importance he attached to the principle of site specificity in architecture. The paper helps to understand Piacentini’s efforts to modernize his architectural language in competition with the rationalist movement and reflects on different modes of travelling in the first half of the 20th century. It also sheds light upon the migration of architectural ideas in Europe during the first half of the 20th century.
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