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Palace Women: Oltrarno and Beyond

September-December 2023

FULL PROGRAMME




The ‘Palace women’ programme rediscovers female forerunners

in the monumental Florentine venues in which they lived and worked


In Florence, numerous notable women working in government, the arts, patronage, literature and philanthropy lived and worked in the Oltrarno and beyond, over the course of centuries. From September to December 2023, lectures, tours, original artisanship, music, an exhibition and an original video and photography catalogue form part of an events series, organised by The British Institute of Florence, Il Palmerino Cultural Association and Calliope Arts, which spotlights past excellence and modern-day creativity from a female perspective.


SCORING SUFFRAGE

September 29, 2023 at 6pm

Lecture / Violin and piano recital – Claudia Tobin, Ruth Palmer, Alessio Enea

Lyceum Club Internazionale di Firenze. Palazzo Adami Lami, Lungarno Guicciardini 17 Florence


How did music score and underscore the swell of women’s increasing liberties at the turn of the twentieth century? Writer and curator Claudia Tobin, with violinist Ruth Palmer and pianist Alessio Enea, set out to uncover the musical sisterhood between a network of European women artists, writers and music critics who took inspiration from Florence. For more information and reservations.


FEMALE FORERUNNERS: ‘A ROOM OF THEIR OWN’

October 18, 2023 at 6pm

Lecture by Linda Falcone (online and on site)

British Institute of Florence, Wednesday Lecture Series. Lungarno Guicciardini 9 – Florence

Lecture admission: 12 euro, reservations recommended

Vittoria della Rovere’s role in inspiring and supporting art and craftsmanship at the Poggio Imperiale, Violante di Baviera’s cultural salon at Villa Lampeggi and even Bianca Cappello’s unique palace on via Maggio. This talk explores the role of noblewomen and how they were ‘influencers’ in their day. Details of how to attend in person or online at Special Events - The British Institute of Florence


FROM BIANCA CAPPELLO TO THE BOBOLI’S GREENERY

October 21 (in English) at 4pm

Tour with Freya’s Florence Admission: 25 euro per person


Explore a female-run artisan workshop specialised in egg-yolk tempera and gold foil, courtesy of Veronica Balzani in via Pandolfini, before crossing to the ‘other side of the river’, for a walk along via Maggio, past the Palazzo di Bianca Cappello to Elizabeth Browning’s home, Casa Guidi and sites linked to Bianca Cappello and Eleonora de Toledo. For more…


Curator-led visit

FROM ISABELLA DE’ MEDICI TO EMMA BARDINI, VILLA CERRETO GUIDI

October 24, 2023 at 10.30am (in Italian)

Hosted by Villa La Petraia curator Giulia Coco. Admission free


Once a Medici hunting lodge, the villa was designed by Buontalenti by order of Cosimo I. It hosts artworks by Lavinia Fontana and Angelica Kaufmann, but it is most famous for being gifted to Cosimo I’s favourite daughter Isabella de’ Medici. For more...


PALACE WOMEN: PHOTOGRAPHY AND ARTISANS EXHIBITION

October 30 to December 15, 2023

Gruppo Fotografico Il Cupolone

Il Palmerino Cultural Association. Via del Palmerino 6 – Florence

Exhibition open Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays until December 15, from 3.30pm to 6.30pm and by appointment


Ten women photographers from the award-winning Florentine cultural association Gruppo Fotografico Il Cupolone capture the essence of the project ‘Palace Women: Oltrarno and Beyond’. From riverside to countryside, they will start with Oltrarno sites and female-run workshops, inspired by Elizabeth Browning, Vittoria della Rovere or the women of Villa la Petraia. For more…


Curator-led visit

PRINCESSES AND PIOUS WOMEN AT VILLA LA QUIETE

November 21, 2023 (in English), 4pm

Villa La Quiete – a favourite site of Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici (1667-1743), the last Medici heir – which also provided education opportunities for secular and religious women for centuries, including the Montalve congregation and their order’s founder Eleonora Ramirez de Montalvo (1602-1659). For more...


Curator-led visit

FROM BALLROOM TO BOUDOIR, VILLA LA PETRAIA’S WOMEN

November 28, 2023 (in Italian), 3pm

Hosted by Villa La Petraia curator Giulia Coco. Admission free

Villa La Petraia, one of Tuscany’s most celebrated Medici villas, seen from the perspective of the many women whose presence can be felt there, starting with Christina of Lorraine, to whom the villa was given after her marriage to Grand Duke Ferdinando I in 1589.


PRE-RAPHAELITE ‘SISTERHOOD’ IN THE VILLAS OF BELLOSGUARDO

November 29 2023 at 6pm

Lecture by Francesca Baldry (online and on site)

British Institute of Florence, Wednesday Lecture Series. Lungarno Guicciardini 9 – Florence

Lecture admission: 12 euro, reservations recommended

Elizabeth Boott, whose alter ego Henry James captured in Portrait of a Lady, lived in Florence’s Villa Castellani at Bellosguardo and her experience shines a light on the pre-Raphaelite ‘brotherhood’s’ female perspective, as she and other ‘muses’ carved their space as painters in their own right when they sojourned on the hills of Florence.


BOOK PRESENTATION

December 4, 2023, 6pm

Palace Women: Where Florence’s Women Made History

Il Palmerino Cultural Association. Via del Palmerino 6 – Florence

Family palaces, spiritual retreats, cultural salons, hunting lodges and garden oases – native and adoptive Florentine women carved their place in history inside the venues they frequented: Villa La Petraia, San Francesco di Paola, the Medici Villa of Poggio Imperiale, Villa di Cerreto Giudi, Casa Guidi and Palazzo di Bianca Cappello.


Participating institutions: Lyceum Club Internazionale di Firenze, Gruppo Fotografico Il Cupolone, Intreccio Creativo, Liceo Artistico Statale di Porta Romana e Sesto Fiorentino, Villa Medicea La Petraia, Villa Medicea Cerreto Guidi, Palazzo Spinelli.


Project Coordinator: Linda Falcone, Restoration Conversations


Special thanks to donors Alice Vogler, Donna Malin, Margie MacKinnon and Wayne McArdle


This project is made possible thanks to the support of Enjoy, Respect and Feel Florence, funded by Italy’s Ministry of Tourism, the Fund for Development and Cohesion, the Municipality of Florence and Feel Florence.


Palace Women image: Virginie Houdet, Oltrarno Gaze, 2022





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