Walled Cities and Towers of Tuscany: Montalcino, San Quirico d'Orcia, and Montepulciano with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

Walled Cities and Towers of Tuscany: Montalcino, San Quirico d'Orcia, and Montepulciano with Kate Bolton-Porciatti


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Cultural historian Kate Bolton-Porciatti continues her virtual visits to some of Tuscany’s most atmospheric walled towns. Today, she explores Montalcino, Montepulciano, and San Quirico d'Orcia.

In this seminar, we visit three walled towns in the UNESCO-protected Val d’Orcia: a hauntingly beautiful landscape of sandstone badlands sculpted by the elements and dune-like hills on the crests of which rise some of the most beautiful hill towns in all Italy. Our journey takes us from Montalcino, a prosperous medieval city built round a imposing fortress and girdled with vine-draped hills, to San Quirico d’Orcia and Montepulciano–towns whose history and architecture have been shaped by popes and dukes and the passage of merchants and pilgrims.

Led by an expert on Italian cultural history, Kate Bolton-Porciatti, this interactive seminar will explore the social, geographical, cultural and architectural background of these three jewels of Tuscan civilization. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the area’s historic towns and their relationship to the surrounding landscape.

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 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 not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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