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Umari is the plural form of umarell, and umarell is a jocular Italian term for a person – classically a man of retirement age – who pauses to observe work in progress. The term might be used as light-hearted mockery in Italy, but we think more people ought to umarell; this website is dedicated to that effort. 

To umarell is to take an interest in the built environment – this world we move through that our species created, in which most of us spend most of our time. Our lives turn the city into a grey blur, a backdrop to our transits, an obstacle course to negotiate. This is a shame.

Buildings are the redwoods of our time: We’re surrounded by them, they tower over us, and nearly every building you see will be standing long after you’re gone. They ought to be a source of awe and wonder, as much as mountains are, or birds. They’re just as easy to ignore, because they’re so commonplace, and initially offer nothing to hold our attention. But attention is fractal – if you wake up to the city, the city will awaken around you.  

We hope you’ll give it a try.

  • Il Campionato

    The world championship of umarells.

    Register 
  • Il Taccuino

    Sketches, notations, and writing from leading umari.

    Read 
  • La Bottega

    Gear and accessories for your jobsite vigils.

    Shop 
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