The past cannot be studied. It has vanished, leaving scars, tracks, stains.
— H. Glassie, Passing the Time: Folklore and the History of an Ulster Community
Abstract: The micro-history of one apartment block in the inner-suburb of Bovisa, Milan over a period of 100 or so years is examined using oral history interviews to trace the development of the block and its residents in relation to that of the city of Milan. The piece is bounded by theoretical reflections on the role of micro-history, oral history and other methodologies as tools for understanding the home and urban history, and concludes that the survival of a rural past, the role of gender, the importance of architecture and of nostalgic memory in a rapidly changing world were important influences.