Walled Cities and Towers of Tuscany: Certaldo, Monteriggioni, and Siena with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

Walled Cities and Towers of Tuscany: Certaldo, Monteriggioni, and Siena with Kate Bolton-Porciatti


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

Cultural historian Kate Bolton-Porciatti continues her exploration of some of Tuscany’s most evocative towns and cities, with virtual visits to Certaldo, Monteriggioni, and Siena.
It is a paradox that many of the most serenely beautiful Tuscan towns were built as defensive military machines, complete with watch-towers, battlements, and fortifications that bear witness to their violent past. In this seminar, we trace the history, architecture, and culture of three places within a short distance of each other: the picture-book medieval hill town of Certaldo, home to the fourteenth-century writer Giovanni Boccaccio (‘father of the short story’); the early thirteenth-century fortified village of Monteriggioni, whose impenetrable ring of turrets was described by Dante in The Divine Comedy; and the majestic city of Siena, with its soaring Gothic belfries, towers, and spires.
Led by an expert on Italian cultural history, Kate Bolton-Porciatti, this interactive seminar will explore the social, religious, cultural, and architectural background of Tuscany’s communes and city-states. Designed to inform curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the area’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.

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 17 reviews
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(17)
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N.L. (Rhinebeck, US)
A fascinating look at the history of medieval towns

This was a wonderful, well-planned part of a larger course. Bolton-Porciatti is very well-informed, and presents views both of a Tuscan insider and of a scholar. The Siena material was particularly helpful to us, since our visit to Siena under the burning summer sun wasn't a successful one. Highly recommended.

T
T.G. (New Orleans, US)
Wonderful

The images of the cities were absolutely beautiful and the historical information was very interesting. I would love to go see these places and I hope I am able to do so in the not too distant future.

B
B.K. (San Antonio, US)
Wonderful experience

As always, this was wonderful.

M
Martin Yates (Woodford, GB)

Kate's presentation was clear, well organised, entertaining. A fine mix of history and travelogue! She clearly knows these lovely places very well indeed. I particularly liked her mix of styles - short lecture, then video. It worlked very well. Now I want to go and visit these places....

P
Paula B (Menlo Park, US)
Italian History Comes Alive

Ms.Bolton-Porciatti makes Italian history come alive. With a clever usage of videos combined with lecture, you are put right there in the scene as she describes history, art and architecture. A gem of an experience.

Customer Reviews

Based on 17 reviews
100%
(17)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
N
N.L. (Rhinebeck, US)
A fascinating look at the history of medieval towns

This was a wonderful, well-planned part of a larger course. Bolton-Porciatti is very well-informed, and presents views both of a Tuscan insider and of a scholar. The Siena material was particularly helpful to us, since our visit to Siena under the burning summer sun wasn't a successful one. Highly recommended.

T
T.G. (New Orleans, US)
Wonderful

The images of the cities were absolutely beautiful and the historical information was very interesting. I would love to go see these places and I hope I am able to do so in the not too distant future.

B
B.K. (San Antonio, US)
Wonderful experience

As always, this was wonderful.

M
Martin Yates (Woodford, GB)

Kate's presentation was clear, well organised, entertaining. A fine mix of history and travelogue! She clearly knows these lovely places very well indeed. I particularly liked her mix of styles - short lecture, then video. It worlked very well. Now I want to go and visit these places....

P
Paula B (Menlo Park, US)
Italian History Comes Alive

Ms.Bolton-Porciatti makes Italian history come alive. With a clever usage of videos combined with lecture, you are put right there in the scene as she describes history, art and architecture. A gem of an experience.