2022 / From the Heart to the Hills: Culture and Nature Hike


On May 8, explore the 'English Colony Connection', with a hike from 'Sotto al British' in the Oltrarno, to Vernon Lee's former hillside estate, Il Palmerino



Riverside view of the British Institute of Florence



This Sunday afternoon trek begins at 'Sotto al British' with a viewing of selected works from Vernon Lee's 400-volume collection, hosted at the British Institute of Florence, before departing for Il Palmerino, the author's hillside home, which she transformed into a salon for early 20th-century intellectuals, largely from the 'English colony' in Florence. After the Vernon Lee 'book fest', the group will make one Oltrarno stop before departing for Il Palmerino. The tour, led by Freya Middleton, from Freya's Florence, foresees a number of outdoor 'viewings' along the way, in addition to the exclusive opening of the Amalia Ciardi Duprè Museum on Via degli Artisti, hosted by art historian Rita Tambone (in Italian).


View of Amalia Ciardi Dupre's museum with glass scultures by Ita Barbini



As the name suggests, the museum represents the life's' work of octogenarian Tuscan sculptor Amalia Ciardi Duprè. The artist's workshop, directly behind the gallery, provides a glimpse of her creative process, thanks to a pletora of clay models, on view. Expect a 3-hour event, where both English and Italian is spoken. It will end with a celebratory snack, upon reaching 'the last house in Florence', which Vernon Lee bought in 1889, not long after cholera outbreaks had ravaged the city. She considered the Florentine countryside a healthy place to take up residence.


A springtime glimpse of Il Palmerino's estate


Sunday, May 8

Meeting time 3pm

Sotto al British - Lungarno Guicciardini 115

Admission: 15 euro, light snack included

Maximum group size: 15 people

To participate: associazione@palmerino.it


"From the Heart to the Hills" forms part of the 'Oltrarno Gaze 2022' cultural programme, organised by The British Institute of Florence, in collaboration with Il Palmerino Cultural Association, thanks to a grant by Advancing Women Artists Legacy Fund.


The project's aim is to spotlight modern-day art and artisanship from the Florentine district, whilst exploring its connection to historic women artists of the past. This 'cultural hike' was conceived and organised in collaboration with 'Sotto al British', the British Institute's new venue for contemporary creativity in Florence. The event enjoys the patronage of Consulate of the United States of America in Florence. Communication partners: The Florentine and Calliope Arts / Restoration Conversations