WHERE GARDEN PATHS LEAD TO PAINTINGS: Springtime walks at Il Palmerino


In late March and early April, Art historian Monica Shenouda shares the history of a house that has hosted artists since its construction in 1400. Explore the 'English Colony' connection on the estate that was home to British writer Vernon Lee





From the turn of the last century until 1935, Il Palmerino's international literary salons hosted the likes of Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Henry James, John Singer Sargent and many more. The tour will conclude with a viewing of the exhibition 'Portrait Dialogues' where adoptive Oltrarno artists S. Bordley, E. Rogers and L. Chapman stand in 'conversation' with female painters of the past.



Il Palmerino Cultural Association welcomes artist and scholar residency programmes


Vernon Lee would purchase Il Palmerino in 1889 and call it ‘this little half villa, half farm’. It was far enough from the centre of town to avoid the cholera outbreaks affecting overpopulated areas of Tusany. Although Lee would be At the villa, Lee regularly hosted such literati as Edith Wharton, Henry James and Oscar Wilde, among others. Although Vernon Lee would be ostracized by many, with the outbreak of the Great War, due to her unpopular pacifist stance, exemplified by her satirical play 'Ballet of Nations', Il Palmerino would remain a reference point for the Anglo community in Florence… a trend that continues today. At Lee’s death in 1935, the painter Federigo Angeli, and his wife, painter and poet Lola Costa purchased the property. Their children and grandchildren host international scholars and artists under the auspices of Il Palmerino Cultural and seek to exhibit emerging talent.


Guided tours last 1.5 hours circa, in Italian and/or English. Admission 10 euro, light snack included. Maximum 15 people per group. Reservations required associazione@palmerino.it.



A vintage photograph of Il Palmerino at the turn of the century


"WHERE GARDEN PATHS LEAD TO PAINTINGS" forms part of 'Oltrarno Gaze 2022' cultural programme, organised by The British Institute of Florence and Il Palmerino Cultural Association. The aim of 'Oltrarno Gaze 2022' is to spotlight modern-day art and artisanship from the Florentine district, whilst exploring its connection to historic women artists of the past. It is made possible thanks to a grant by the Advancing Women Artists Legacy Fund, with special thanks to Alice Vogler, Donna Malin, Connie Clark, Pam Fortune, Nancy Hunt, Nancy Galliher and AWA Legacy Fund Director Margaret MacKinnon.


Project conception and coordination

Linda Falcone


Media and communication

Calliope Arts / Restoration Conversations

The Florentine


With the patronage of

Consulate of the United States of America in Florence


Participating partners 'Sotto al British' at the British Institute of Florence, Gruppo Fotografico Il Cupolone APS, 'Creative People in Florence', Freya's Florence, Amalia Ciardi Duprè Museum, Atelier degli Artigianelli and Spazio NOTA with Osservatorio Mestieri d'Arte


Have a look at the complete program calendar:

Oltrarno Gaze Complete Programme 2022
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