Neighborhoods of Florence, Italy: Exploring Quartiere dell’Oltrarno with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

Neighborhoods of Florence, Italy: Exploring Quartiere dell’Oltrarno with Kate Bolton-Porciatti


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The city of Florence was divided into four distinct neighborhoods in the mid 13th century, and each one has preserved its own unique character and identity to this day. These four virtual tours – partly recorded on location in the city – offer first-hand insights into each area. 
During our time together, we’ll explore how the quarters have evolved and developed over the centuries, thanks to their different geographical locations, historical and political events, economics, and religion - all of which have indelibly shaped their distinctive personalities and cultural traditions. 
With the help of maps, videos, and photographs, we will tour each neighborhood, stopping en route to reflect on their artworks, social and cultural traditions. We (virtually) meet the great families that shaped each quarter, visit the towers, palaces, churches, and monuments they patronized, and explore the city’s artisan workshops and culinary traditions. Finally, we’ll reflect on how local Florentine communities have been created, and how they might be preserved in the future. 
Our fourth installment will focus upon the Oltrarno Neighbourhood – historically, the quarter that grew up around the basilica of Santo Spirito. Here, on the south side of the River Arno, we experience both aristocratic grandeur and Bohemian life. The most extravagant monument of the neighborhood is the Pitti Palace - the grand residence of dukes and royalty, set in the luxuriant Boboli Gardens - the ‘green lung’ of the city. Around it, in labyrinthine medieval streets, are some of Florence’s most skilled artisans: makers of masks and musical instruments, bookbinders, papermakers, and craftsmen who specialize in stone inlay work. At the heart of the neighborhood, Piazza Santo Spirito is the stage for food and bric-à-brac markets, open-air concerts, and atmospheric places to enjoy an 'aperitivo' while watching Florentine life go by.
Led by an expert on Italian culture and history, Kate Bolton-Porciatti, this Conversation will bring the neighborhoods of Florence to vibrant life. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding and appreciation of the city and its many personalities.
This seminar is part of a multi-part series that virtually explores the charming neighborhoods of Florence Italy. For more information, please click here.

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 11 reviews
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(11)
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A
Anonymous (Orinda, US)

Guest did not leave comment

M
Mariana (San Diego, US)
Excellent lecture!

Kate makes this so informative, entertaining, full of detail and takes us to places we might have missed on our own. Great storytelling with historic facts. Lecture has walking videos of main sites. Very interesting!

E
Eloise Carson (Dufur, US)
Very Informative

I enjoyed the combination of historical information and practical tips on where a tourist might want to visit today.

R
Ros Lowe (Marlborough, GB)
Another evocative visit

As ever, another wonderful exploration of one of the most fascinating neighbourhoods in Florence vividly presented and filmed by Kate Bolton-Porciatti. A journey through the familiar and not so familiar, linking past and present, all with Kate's inimitable style of accessible and engaging erudition, only made me determined to return to Florence as soon as ever I can!

M
Margaret DuMont (Austin, US)
A wonderful finale to the Four Quarters of Florence seminars

I have thoroughly enjoyed all four of Kate Bolton-Porciatti's seminars on the quarters of Florence, and especially appreciate that she follows up with printed reference material.

Customer Reviews

Based on 11 reviews
100%
(11)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
Anonymous (Orinda, US)

Guest did not leave comment

M
Mariana (San Diego, US)
Excellent lecture!

Kate makes this so informative, entertaining, full of detail and takes us to places we might have missed on our own. Great storytelling with historic facts. Lecture has walking videos of main sites. Very interesting!

E
Eloise Carson (Dufur, US)
Very Informative

I enjoyed the combination of historical information and practical tips on where a tourist might want to visit today.

R
Ros Lowe (Marlborough, GB)
Another evocative visit

As ever, another wonderful exploration of one of the most fascinating neighbourhoods in Florence vividly presented and filmed by Kate Bolton-Porciatti. A journey through the familiar and not so familiar, linking past and present, all with Kate's inimitable style of accessible and engaging erudition, only made me determined to return to Florence as soon as ever I can!

M
Margaret DuMont (Austin, US)
A wonderful finale to the Four Quarters of Florence seminars

I have thoroughly enjoyed all four of Kate Bolton-Porciatti's seminars on the quarters of Florence, and especially appreciate that she follows up with printed reference material.