An Introduction to Porto or The Republic of Evandria by Lodovico Zuccolo
Traditionally, scholars have considered Porto a conservative utopia that lacks the audacious vision and the spirit of reformation distinctive to this genre. Some (e.g., Firpo) have even suggested that Porto marked the decline of Italian Renaissance utopias. However, an examination of the historical and cultural context of this dialogue offers a different picture. In Italy, More’s utopian model was never fully embraced due to Machiavelli’s scathing critique of utopianism and the enduring influence of the myth of Rome. Against this background, Porto emerges as an original attempt to rethink the essential features of Renaissance utopias in order to accommodate this genre into the Italian context. In a nutshell, Porto did mark not the decline of utopia; it heralded a new chapter in its history.
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