Venice and the Plague with Erika Cornali - Context Travel

Venice and the Plague with Erika Cornali


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As a major port city, Venice had to confront plague epidemics multiple times in the course of the centuries. Starting with the "Black Death" of 1348, plague epidemics affected the city of Venice almost every generation for 3 centuries. To save its people and its economy, the Venetian Republic carried out several strategies to control the spread of plague infections.

In this seminar, we will analyze the invention of the "lazzaretti" (plague hospitals), the use of quarantine, the role of the Health Officers, and the remedies used by physicians against the disease. We will also discover how art could be an efficient way to teach people how to behave in case of a plague outbreak and how it was used to celebrate the end of disastrous epidemics. Led by Venice expert Erika Cornali, this interactive seminar will describe how Venice reacted to the spread of the plague.

Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the strategies against the plague used by the Venetian Republic in politics, medicine, and art.

Originally from Genoa, Erika moved to Venice ten years ago to study Oriental languages at Ca' Foscari University, where she graduated with a thesis on Japanese art and architecture. She has a keen interest in the art and history of Venice and worked for some important cultural institutions, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, where she was in charge of special events, and the National Oriental Museum at Ca' Pesaro, where she studied and cataloged part of the collection. Her time at the Guggenheim collection sharpened her knowledge of contemporary art, which she continues to study. She is now a licensed tourist guide for the city of Venice.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.