Virtual Wednesday Lectures on ZOOM

Following the seccesfull first lecture given by Simon Gammell on Wednesday 1st April, here are the upcoming online talks using the ZOOM videoconferencing platform:


Wednesday  13th May at 18:00 CET

Richard Hodges will give the lecture:    

Tuscany, the Mediterranean and the birth of Europe

A world class archaeologist describes how a major project in West Tuscany yielded some fascinating new evidence which has transformed our understanding of the end of the Roman Empire and the making of Medieval Europe

Richard Hodges, OBE, is President of the American University of Rome and Professor of Archaeology at the University of East Anglia, UK; he was formerly the Williams Director of the Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, USA, and Director of the British School at Rome.  He has directed several major archaeological digs in Italy and Albania.

Due to technical issues, the recording of this lecture is not available.


Wednesday  20th May at 18:00 CET

Allison Levy will give the lecture:

House of Secrets:  Palazzo Rucellai

This online lecture tells the remarkable story of Palazzo Rucellai from behind its celebrated facade. The house has witnessed endless drama, from the butchering of its interior to a courtyard suicide to champagne-fuelled orgies on the eve of World War I and a recent murder on its third floor. Join art historian Allison Levy on a virtual tour of this historic house, peering into its private spaces as well as into the lives that have played out under its roof for the past 600 years.

Allison Levy is Digital Scholarship Editor and Visiting Scholar in Italian Studies at Brown University. An art historian, she has published widely on early modern Italian visual and material culture. Her most recent book, from which this lecture is drawn, is House of Secrets: The Many Lives of a Florentine Palazzo (Bloomsbury, 2020).

The recording of the lecture is available on our YouTube channel here.


Wednesday 27th May at 18:00 CET

Mark Roberts will give the lecture:

Oscar Wilde’s loyal friend Reggie: Reginald Turner in Florence

When Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for ‘gross indecency’ in 1895, one of the few friends who remained loyal to him was Reginald Turner (1869-1938). Oscar once prophesied that Reggie would end up living in Florence, and so it proved. This talk investigates Turner’s Florentine contacts with literary figures such as D.H. Lawrence, Norman Douglas and W. Somerset Maugham.

The recording of the lecture is available on our YouTube channel here.


Wednesday 3rd June at 18:00 CET

Jeremy Boudreau will give the lecture:

Twelve and a half Centuries in Twelve and a half Hectares

Jeremy Boudreau returns to contribute a third lecture on one of Florence’s historic neighbourhoods: his own! Join us for a virtual tour of the via della Vigna Nuova and its immediate surroundings, including the historical monuments and urban spaces contained within a 200-metre radius from his doorstep; the extent of the outside world made available to him through short walks and supply runs during 8 weeks of lockdown.


Wednesday 10th June at 18:00 CET

Peter Kennealy will give the lecture:

James Joyce was born in Florence

James Joyce was actually born in Dublin in February 1882, but his connections to Italy were many and varied.  Before moving to Trieste in 1904, he studied Italian at University College, Dublin and moved in Italian musical circles some of whose members later settled in Florence. He wrote articles in Italian, mostly about Ireland, for a major Trieste newspaper. It was in Trieste that he wrote Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist and began work on Ulysses before leaving for Paris in 1920.  He may have had an affair with a Triestine ‘Dark Lady’ who appears in Giacomo Joyce, his only work set there.  One of the candidates for the Dark Lady left Trieste during the Second World War and settled in Florence where she died in 1967.  In February 1943 a child born in Florence was given the name ‘James Joyce’.  Why?

Peter Kennealy is the Politics Librarian of the European University Institute in Fiesole.



The talks will last about 40 mins, and will be followed by a discussion using the power of video conferencing.  

We recommend that you treat yourself to a glass of wine to enhance the occasion – just like a regular Wednesday at Palazzo Lanfredini!

We request that you make a donation (however much is comfortable for you) if you wish to participate in the sessions. Your donations will help keep the Institute afloat at this difficult time; and we will give 50% of the money we receive to "Firenze per Firenze",  a local funding programme that is addressing the social and economic crisis that the city of Florence is currently facing.

Thank you for your support.

Donate Here


To Join the Video conference: 

If you do not already have ZOOM on your computer, it’s easy to download using this link – and it’s FREE! 

Please visit our EVENTS page for the invitation links!



On April 27 Zoom released Zoom 5.0. This new version provides increased protection for meeting data and resistance against tampering. After May 30 all Zoom users with older versions will be required to update the Zoom app before joining meetings.  So we recommend that you act now to upgrade your Zoom to the 5.0 version.  It’s easy and quick to do!


You simply need to update your Zoom app at  or by clicking on one of the following links: 





If you want to know more about this new version of Zoom, please visit the dedicated page here: