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 and at the British Institute in Florence. She has published extensively as an academic, a critic, and a journalist, and is a regular contributor to BBC Music and The Daily Telegraph. From 1989, for 17 years, she was a producer and broadcaster for BBC Arts & Classical Music in London. She did her MPhil thesis in Italy, exploring the musical and cultural landscape of 15th-century Florence.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 50 reviews
90%
(45)
10%
(5)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
P
P.H.
Loved this class

I really enjoyed this class. She made a very god choice to select just 3 walled cities and to give us a fairly in-depth look at each (there re loads of others she could have chosen). She knows a lot and clearly has a deep love of her subject. I had visited each of these cities but learned so much from her -- would love to have taken a Context walking tour with her. I especially liked the way that she shot her own little videos rather than relying on canned promos. She made me want to go back to all of them, which I will indeed do some time in the future.

A
A.

Informative with good illustrations, photos and on-site videos.

P
P.H.
Fascinating subject, stimulating presentation

A very thorough and well-integrated presentation, with great slides and video. I enjoyed it immensely. My first Context seminar; it was a great introduction, and I've already signed up for several more.

M
M.A.
lovely

Very well informed and interesting

M
M.B.
Lovely Journey

Kate Bolton-Porciatti's presentation on the Walled Cities and Towers of Tuscany was a fascinating compilation of the history, architecture, art, and culture of this region. It was clear, informative, and riveting; the perfect amount of information for the time frame, and a nice mixture of photographs, live videos, and literary quotes. I only wish I could have joined her in person for the journey from Lucca to Pienza.

Customer Reviews

Based on 50 reviews
90%
(45)
10%
(5)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
P
P.H.
Loved this class

I really enjoyed this class. She made a very god choice to select just 3 walled cities and to give us a fairly in-depth look at each (there re loads of others she could have chosen). She knows a lot and clearly has a deep love of her subject. I had visited each of these cities but learned so much from her -- would love to have taken a Context walking tour with her. I especially liked the way that she shot her own little videos rather than relying on canned promos. She made me want to go back to all of them, which I will indeed do some time in the future.

A
A.

Informative with good illustrations, photos and on-site videos.

P
P.H.
Fascinating subject, stimulating presentation

A very thorough and well-integrated presentation, with great slides and video. I enjoyed it immensely. My first Context seminar; it was a great introduction, and I've already signed up for several more.

M
M.A.
lovely

Very well informed and interesting

M
M.B.
Lovely Journey

Kate Bolton-Porciatti's presentation on the Walled Cities and Towers of Tuscany was a fascinating compilation of the history, architecture, art, and culture of this region. It was clear, informative, and riveting; the perfect amount of information for the time frame, and a nice mixture of photographs, live videos, and literary quotes. I only wish I could have joined her in person for the journey from Lucca to Pienza.