casa di ringhiera

  • What an interesting question!
    As far as I know, a "casa di ringhiera" is a kind of public housing, chiefly for the lower classes, consisting of a series of flats, typically two-room ones, aligned alongside a shared balcony. Originally, those flats often had no running water, so toilets were also shared. They are typical of the age of the first massive industrial development in Italy (early 1900's), and can be found especially in Milan and, more broadly, in Lombardy. Their inhabitants lived side by side and shared not only services, but also, more broadly, common social conditions, and necessarily spent a lot of time together; they didn't live in isolation, and community live was often lively and vibrant.
    Today, especially in Milan, those houses have become very fashionable and expensive.
    I don't know if there's a translation into English - as an option, I'd say that "banister's house" is silly. I've often happened to see that kind of flats, aligned on an external corridor, even in US and British films - if I'm not mistaken, the main character in Michael Winterbottom's "Happy Go Lucky" lives in one such flat, but they don't seem to have a distinctly "public housing" imprint.
     

    The Harper

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I'm afraid even 'railing style house' wouldn't make much sense. I think I'd personally just stick to 'block of flats with balconies' or something like that, or even just 'block of flats' (for BE) and 'apartment block' (for AE). But I'm open to other ideas!
     

    BristolGirl

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi !
    This is something you cannot translate - certainly not literally.
    How would you translate a Brownstone ?? Never literally - since it would just mean a house made out of brown stone in another language.
    What do we get in this category from the US and the UK apart from brownhouses ? - terraced houses / rowhouses / linked houses.
    In the US 'brownstone', 'rowhouse' and the UK 'terraced house' would go some way to describing the same historical oriigins eg through renovation they have all in many instances become fashionable like 'case di ringhiera'.
    You can't use 'council flats' because those would be 'case popolari'.
    Since 'case di ringhiera' aren't houses but apartments/flats - you would have to give a description like Stefano suggested.
    i.e. (originally) working class or 2 roomed apartments/flats, whose typical features are shared balconies with railings i.e.ringhiere, which is where they get their name.
    I don't think it can be avoided. :)
     

    furs

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Note, however, that many 'case di ringhiera' are (or were originally built as) 'case popolari', therefore -- depending on the specific context -- 'council flats' (BE) or an AE equivalent (HUD apartment buildings ?) could perhaps be used.
     

    ggp119

    New Member
    English
    What an interesting question!
    I don't know if there's a translation into English - as an option, I'd say that "banister's house" is silly.

    I wonder about the "ring" prefix. Etymology websites haven't offered more than "15th Century" when I've asked about the evolution of "ring". Where did it come from and how did it get here? The tenements are horseshoe-shaped and balconies are ring-shaped. That ring-shaped style might have been a prominent feature in the minds of people first naming the structures. Depending on the path of re-use and re-formation taken by that prefix over the centuries, that might be a clue to its name.
     

    ohbice

    Senior Member
    Sono troppo ignorante per tentare una traduzione di case di rinìghiera in inglese.
    Volevo solo dire che le case di ringhiera milanesi (e lombarde e, estensivamente, del nord italia) sono nate sulla scorta di una tipologia edilizia ben definita, quella delle "corti" (un cortile centrale intorno al quale sorgeva una cortina di edifici, i quali appunto affacciavano uno dei lati sulla corte comune). Le case di ringhiera conservano (in molti casi) questa caratteristica dell'affaccio comune su un cortile interno e, come è già stato ricordato più volte qui sopra, sono caratterizzate da questi corridoi/balconate di accesso esterni di uso comune nei quali le ringhiere metalliche fungono da parapetto.
     

    LetsZoom

    Member
    English (American)
    Please help me with the expression "casa di ringhiera" - what does it mean exactly?
    What we need here is an English or American expat who is a real estate agent, and lives in Italy. Or an architect? Even here in my small town in the US, I didn''t understand half the things my real estate agent said at first-- a split-level, a cape, a mid-century, etc. Anything with an internal courtyard with arcades supported by columned arches is called a Mediterranean here. Don't know if you can apply it to multi-family apartment buildings, but I don't see why not.
     

    A User

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    Sono troppo ignorante per tentare una traduzione di case di rinìghiera (?) in inglese.
    Volevo solo dire che le case di ringhiera milanesi (e lombarde e, estensivamente, del nord italia) sono nate sulla scorta di una tipologia edilizia ben definita, quella delle "corti" (un cortile centrale intorno al quale sorgeva una cortina di edifici, i quali appunto affacciavano uno dei lati sulla corte comune). Le case di ringhiera conservano (in molti casi) questa caratteristica dell'affaccio comune su un cortile interno e, come è già stato ricordato più volte qui sopra, sono caratterizzate da questi corridoi/balconate di accesso esterni di uso comune nei quali le ringhiere metalliche fungono da parapetto.
    Nel resto dello Stivale si chiamano anche Case a ballatoio. Se ne parla anche in un altro thread.

    casa in linea, casa a ballatoio
     
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