A series of ‘armchair journeys’ exploring the astonishing wealth of important art, historic architecture, and spectacular natural scenery in Umbria – an area popularly known as the ‘green heart’ of Italy which boasts numerous UNESCO-protected sites. Seminars may be taken as a series or individually, but each one is devised to be a feasible itinerary for anyone planning to visit the area.
Guided by cultural historian Kate Bolton-Porciatti, each conversation will interweave history and cultural context into a richly evocative virtual tour, taking in famous art cities and also wandering off the beaten path to offer the discerning visitor insights into places where man and nature coexist in serene harmony.
We visit the hilltown of Amelia, which some scholars claim to be the oldest town in Umbria, still circled with imposing walls that date back to the 4th-century BC.
Then, Narni – a place already ancient when the Romans conquered it in 299 BC; its name inspired CS Lewis’s enchanted land of Narnia, and its romantically ruined ancient Roman bridge – a favorite stopping-off point on the Grand Tour - prompted works by Turner and Corot.
Finally, we explore the charming scenery around Lake Piediluco - an alpine lake fed by the River Velino which in turn was diverted by the ancient Romans to create the spectacular Marmore Falls – a triumphant collaboration of man and nature and still the tallest man-made waterfalls in the world.
This conversation is part of a five-part series on Umbria with Kate Bolton-Porciatti. Each session is designed as a stand-alone seminar as well as part of a five-week series.
- Umbria, A Harmony of Art and Nature: Gubbio, Perugia and Lake Trasimeno with Kate Bolton-Porciatti
- Umbria, A Harmony of Art and Nature: Assisi, Spello and Mount Subasio with Kate Bolton-Porciatti
- Umbria, A Harmony of Art and Nature: Orvieto, Todi, and Lake Corbara with Kate Bolton-Porciatti
- Umbria, A Harmony of Art and Nature: Amelia, Narni, and Lake Piediluco with Kate Bolton-Porciatti
- Umbria, A Harmony of Art and Nature: Spoleto, Norcia and the Sibillini Mountains with Kate Bolton-Porciatti
Kate Bolton-Porciatti is a professor of Italian cultural history and music at the Istituto Lorenzo de'Medici in Florence, where she teaches BA and MA courses in the humanities. She also lectures at the British Institute, Florence, and at the Chigiana Music Academy in Siena. Kate has published extensively as an academic and a journalist; she is a music critic for BBC Music and a travel writer for The Daily Telegraph, UK. Before moving to Italy permanently in 2005, she was a senior producer and broadcaster for BBC Arts & Classical Music in London and has won prestigious Jerusalem and Sony Awards for her programs. She did her M.Phil. thesis in Italy, exploring the musical culture of early Renaissance Florence.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.