Neighborhoods of Florence, Italy: Exploring Quartiere di San Giovanni with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

Neighborhoods of Florence, Italy: Exploring Quartiere di San Giovanni 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 first installment will focus upon the San Giovanni Neighborhood – named after the majestic 11th-century Baptistery, one of the oldest buildings in the city, and also home to Florence’s most famous monument: the Duomo. Historically, this was the quarter of the Medici whose imprint remains on the great Renaissance Medici-Riccordi Palace, the frescoed convent of San Marco, and the monumental complex of San Lorenzo where members of the dynasty are buried in tombs sculpted by Michelangelo and adorned with ‘commesso fiorentino’ – a form of stone inlay work and one of the city’s great artisan skills, which we also explore. Today, this neighborhood is alive with traditional leather stalls and the impressive food market of San Lorenzo where we sample typical Florentine culinary traditions. 

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 13 reviews
92%
(12)
8%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
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0%
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A
Anonymous (Orinda, US)

Really excellent presentation. Looking forward to the other three.

J
John Goslin (Marietta, US)
Another Great Look at Italy with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

I have done several Conversations with Kate Bolton-Porciatti. All have been absolutely excellent. This look at one of Florence's neighborhoods was similarly done --- organized and well presented with great slides, pictures, videos, and details.

R
Rhoda, Silver Spring MD (Silver Spring, US)
Always informative and engaging

This is our 4th lecture by Kate and we registered for the entire Florence neighborhood series as we know it will be very interesting and engaging - Kate always is!

M
Margaret DuMont (Austin, US)
Very informative !

We are planning a first-time trip to Florence next Spring. After taking this seminar about Quartiere di San Giovanni I immediately signed up for the seminars about the other 3 quarters. Kate did a wonderful job of explaining the history and relevance of the area and its fabulous architecture and art. She is so knowledgeable.
Thank you.

S
Susan McG (Brooklyn, US)
Neighborhoods of Florence with Kate Bolton-Porciatti - San Giovanni

These seminars are just delightful. This session looks at some of the most famous parts of Florence for those of us from overseas - the Duomo, the Baptistry. But Kate takes us even deeper to see the nooks and crannies. Just delightful.

Customer Reviews

Based on 13 reviews
92%
(12)
8%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
Anonymous (Orinda, US)

Really excellent presentation. Looking forward to the other three.

J
John Goslin (Marietta, US)
Another Great Look at Italy with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

I have done several Conversations with Kate Bolton-Porciatti. All have been absolutely excellent. This look at one of Florence's neighborhoods was similarly done --- organized and well presented with great slides, pictures, videos, and details.

R
Rhoda, Silver Spring MD (Silver Spring, US)
Always informative and engaging

This is our 4th lecture by Kate and we registered for the entire Florence neighborhood series as we know it will be very interesting and engaging - Kate always is!

M
Margaret DuMont (Austin, US)
Very informative !

We are planning a first-time trip to Florence next Spring. After taking this seminar about Quartiere di San Giovanni I immediately signed up for the seminars about the other 3 quarters. Kate did a wonderful job of explaining the history and relevance of the area and its fabulous architecture and art. She is so knowledgeable.
Thank you.

S
Susan McG (Brooklyn, US)
Neighborhoods of Florence with Kate Bolton-Porciatti - San Giovanni

These seminars are just delightful. This session looks at some of the most famous parts of Florence for those of us from overseas - the Duomo, the Baptistry. But Kate takes us even deeper to see the nooks and crannies. Just delightful.