Umbria, A Harmony of Art and Nature: Orvieto, Todi, and Lake Corbara with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

Umbria, A Harmony of Art and Nature: Orvieto, Todi, and Lake Corbara with Kate Bolton-Porciatti


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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.

Today we explore one of the most beautiful and dramatically situated hill towns in all Italy: Orvieto, which clings to a red volcanic tufa outcrop dominating the Umbrian plains. We wander its streets, tracing its Etruscan and Roman origins, visit its soaring Gothic cathedral - radiantly adorned with frescoes by Fra Angelico and Luca Signorelli - and explore the labyrinthine caves on which it's built.

As we wend our way eastwards, we virtually trek through the luxuriant nature reserve of Mount Peglia, recently declared a Unesco world heritage site. We stop off at pretty Lake Corbara before reaching our final destination: the enchanting and unspoiled town of Todi. Dubbed ‘the world’s most livable town’, it’s a masterpiece of medieval architecture immersed in Umbria’s verdant hills.

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.

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.

Customer Reviews

Based on 17 reviews
88%
(15)
12%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
Annie Peterson (Lynnwood, US)
More Beautiful Sites in Umbria

This is another fine presentation full of great information on worthwhile sites in an area of Italy that is fascinating. Using lots of pictures plus short narrated videos is a great way to share the beauty of the area as well as promoting a better understanding of how the area fits into the context of Italian and earlier history.

J
Jerry Andrews (Sherwood, US)
Well Done!

Guest did not leave comment

S
Sandra S -- Boston (Saugus, US)
Lovely Tour of Umbria

I loved seeing and learning more about Orvieto since I visited this unique town atop tuff cliffs. The other areas were new to me so most enlightening. I enjoy Kate's intermittent videos shot with her narration; these really add to the seminar. Like with her other journeys, it was so relaxing to sit back and learn.

C
Cynthia Liss (McLean, US)

Very interesting & informative. Less time on the underground caverns and the national park with more time spent on Todi would be an improvement. Otherwise, good time was had on our end.

N
Nancy Leonard (Rhinebeck, US)
A richly rewarding presentation of Umbria

This seminar was extremely well-planned by Kate Bolton-Porciatti, to examine the built legacies of Orvieto and Todi, together with the scene of wineries and beautiful hikes near a lake and the river Tiber. She's economical in her presentations, but seems to miss nothing (or highlight the important things). Her attention to the natural environment's rock, river and contouring hills adds a usually ignored dimension to her analysis of the human culture of the hill towns. I really enjoyed this seminar.

Customer Reviews

Based on 17 reviews
88%
(15)
12%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
Annie Peterson (Lynnwood, US)
More Beautiful Sites in Umbria

This is another fine presentation full of great information on worthwhile sites in an area of Italy that is fascinating. Using lots of pictures plus short narrated videos is a great way to share the beauty of the area as well as promoting a better understanding of how the area fits into the context of Italian and earlier history.

J
Jerry Andrews (Sherwood, US)
Well Done!

Guest did not leave comment

S
Sandra S -- Boston (Saugus, US)
Lovely Tour of Umbria

I loved seeing and learning more about Orvieto since I visited this unique town atop tuff cliffs. The other areas were new to me so most enlightening. I enjoy Kate's intermittent videos shot with her narration; these really add to the seminar. Like with her other journeys, it was so relaxing to sit back and learn.

C
Cynthia Liss (McLean, US)

Very interesting & informative. Less time on the underground caverns and the national park with more time spent on Todi would be an improvement. Otherwise, good time was had on our end.

N
Nancy Leonard (Rhinebeck, US)
A richly rewarding presentation of Umbria

This seminar was extremely well-planned by Kate Bolton-Porciatti, to examine the built legacies of Orvieto and Todi, together with the scene of wineries and beautiful hikes near a lake and the river Tiber. She's economical in her presentations, but seems to miss nothing (or highlight the important things). Her attention to the natural environment's rock, river and contouring hills adds a usually ignored dimension to her analysis of the human culture of the hill towns. I really enjoyed this seminar.