The Hills of Florence: Fiesole and Settignano with Kate Bolton-Porciatti
Can't make this time?
A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.
Series Description: The hills, towns, and villages around Florence offer an idyllic mix of art, history, and culture immersed in classic Tuscan landscapes: olive groves, vineyards, and cypress-lined paths that lead to historic villas, monasteries, and convents. Led by cultural historian Kate Bolton-Porciatti, this pair of Context Conversations meanders through the hills to the north and south of the city, with videos recorded on location, photos, and a narrative that threads together cultural and practical information. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a deeper appreciation of the serenity, beauty, and cultural riches of ‘the sweet hills’ of Florence.
Event Description: Fiesole and Settignano Couched in the hills to the north of Florence with ravishing views of the city, these two towns boast historic churches, monasteries, convents, and villas whose spaces still echo with the memories of their former inhabitants - from the Medici to Mark Twain.
As well as telling their stories, we trace the Etruscan and Roman origins of Florence and its environs through archeological remains that date back 2.5 millennia; we follow in the footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci who tested the possibility of human flight on Mount Ceceri; and we explore the work of writers, painters, and sculptors who have drawn inspiration from the surrounding hills.
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.