Walled Cities and Towers of Tuscany: Lucca, Pienza and San Gimignano with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

Walled Cities and Towers of Tuscany: Lucca, Pienza and San Gimignano with Kate Bolton-Porciatti


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Join an expert for a cultural journey exploring the origins and architecture of three of Italy's most evocative cities, Lucca, San Gimignano, and Pienza, and how they have defined the landscape of Tuscany.

Many of the most beautiful towns and cities of Tuscany have grown up around medieval defensive structures: watch-towers, fortifications, and battlements that stand witness to the turbulent history of this area. Cultural historian Kate Bolton-Porciatti traces the origins and growth of the medieval cities of Lucca and San Gimignano and reflects on how their evocative skylines have indelibly shaped the Tuscan landscape. We also explore the walled town of Pienza – the jewel of the Orcia Valley - a place conceived as an 'ideal Renaissance city' whose balanced architectural lines create a perfect harmony with the surrounding scenery.

Led by an expert on Italian cultural history, Kate Bolton-Porciatti, this interactive seminar will explore the needs, ideas, and ideologies that form the foundations of Tuscany’s communes and city-states. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the social and cultural context of Tuscany’s historic towns.

This conversation is part of a series on the walled cities and villages of Tuscany with Kate Bolton-Porciatti. Each session is designed as a stand-alone seminar as well as part of the series.

Walled Cities and Towers of Tuscany: Lucca, Pienza and San Gimignano with Kate Bolton-Porciatti 

Walled Cities and Towers of Tuscany: Montalcino, San Quirico d'Orcia, and Montepulciano with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

Walled Cities and Towers of Tuscany: Certaldo, Monteriggioni, and Siena 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.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 78 reviews
87%
(68)
12%
(9)
1%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
T
Tara Anbudaiyan (Fulham, GB)
Outstanding Introduction to Hidden Gems of Tuscany

Having spent time in Florence, I was interested in learning more about the surrounding countryside, and Kate's presentation was the perfect introduction to three very special places in the region.

L
Larry Levine (San Jose, US)
Yet another wonderful presentation!

Kate Bolton-Porciatti’s presentations are always very well thought out, and excellent. The introductory historical context was very helpful, and the discussion of each town and especially its architecture was clear and interesting. Lots of beautiful photographs and maps. Kate’s personal on-site videos always add to the program. Kate’s a gem!

R
Rosie (Oklahoma City, US)
Another great seminar with Kate Bolton-Porchiatti

Fascinating seminar!

T
Toni Criscuolo (New Haven, US)
Best Tour Yet!

The was the best Context Tour I have taken. It was well- organized with video, pictures, history, art, architecture. and lots of detail. Kate must be a very fine lecturer. It is great to know your subject matter like she does but to present it in a way that brings it alive for listeners is really super. So glad I chose this "tour". Look for Kate in your browsing at Context!

A
Annie Peterson (Lake Stevens, US)
More Beautiful Walled and Towered Tuscany Towns

The presenter always does a great job of preparation and giving the information in a delightful way. The personal videos of her showing what she is describing is an excellent way to visualize what we are learning.

Customer Reviews

Based on 78 reviews
87%
(68)
12%
(9)
1%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
T
Tara Anbudaiyan (Fulham, GB)
Outstanding Introduction to Hidden Gems of Tuscany

Having spent time in Florence, I was interested in learning more about the surrounding countryside, and Kate's presentation was the perfect introduction to three very special places in the region.

L
Larry Levine (San Jose, US)
Yet another wonderful presentation!

Kate Bolton-Porciatti’s presentations are always very well thought out, and excellent. The introductory historical context was very helpful, and the discussion of each town and especially its architecture was clear and interesting. Lots of beautiful photographs and maps. Kate’s personal on-site videos always add to the program. Kate’s a gem!

R
Rosie (Oklahoma City, US)
Another great seminar with Kate Bolton-Porchiatti

Fascinating seminar!

T
Toni Criscuolo (New Haven, US)
Best Tour Yet!

The was the best Context Tour I have taken. It was well- organized with video, pictures, history, art, architecture. and lots of detail. Kate must be a very fine lecturer. It is great to know your subject matter like she does but to present it in a way that brings it alive for listeners is really super. So glad I chose this "tour". Look for Kate in your browsing at Context!

A
Annie Peterson (Lake Stevens, US)
More Beautiful Walled and Towered Tuscany Towns

The presenter always does a great job of preparation and giving the information in a delightful way. The personal videos of her showing what she is describing is an excellent way to visualize what we are learning.