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Italy’s great (hidden) beauty



Italy’s great (hidden) beauty

ravenna sitoHistory and art in UNESCO World Heritage sites

With Dr Kathleen Olive

Part 2: Roman Italy & its Medieval Legacy

Many of Italy’s World Heritage sites are well known and draw thousands of tourists every year, from the historic centre of Florence to the archaeological site of Pompeii, Leonardo’s Last Supper and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. But what of the lesser-known World Heritage sites in Italy? What can we learn about the fascinating history and culture of Italy from the historic sites and practices recognised by UNESCO, reflecting the diverse groups who have left their distinctive marks on the Italian peninsula for millennia.

In this second part of our new course, travel virtually to Italy to explore its history, art and culture in illustrated presentations on World Heritage sites that you’re less likely to know, a celebration of Italy’s grande bellezza in its hidden places.

Session 1 (2 May 2022): Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli (Lazio)
A true ‘palatine city’, Emperor Hadrian’s self-sustaining complex of buildings. His alternative power base to central Rome and a place in which to seek pleasure and edification.

Session 2 (16 May 2022): Aquileia (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)
One of the wealthiest, most significant and lesser-known cities of the Roman empire, documenting the early transition in Italy from paganism to institutionalised Christianity.

Session 3 (30 May 2022): Villa Romana del Casale (Sicily)
One of the most luxurious Roman villas ever built, and a testament to both the glory and waning of power in Rome’s Lateaquileia Antique period.

Session 4 (13 June 2022): Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna)
The most impressive and beautifully preserved Byzantine mosaics in Western Europe, located in a town that was capital of both the Roman Empire and Byzantine Italy and later became the resting place of Dante.

Session 5 (27 June 2022): Longobards in Italy (Places of Power)
A collection of sites across northern and southern Italy, documenting a fascinating but lesser-known period of Italian history. From Cividale del Friuli in the north to Monte Sant’Angelo in the south, the transition from Roman power to that of the intriguing Longobards.

The course will be held in English and face-to-face at the Institute

Each one hour lecture will be followed by 30 minutes of live discussion

kathleen oliveTutor: Dr Kathleen Olive

Dr Kathleen Olive is a cultural historian with a PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Sydney. She lived and studied in Italy for a number of years, and has taught Italian language, history and culture at the University of Sydney and at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her edition with Nerida Newbigin of the Codex Rustici, a celebrated fifteenth-century manuscript, was the official gift of the Florentine Curia to Pope Francis on his first visit to Florence in 2015. Kathleen has led cultural tours to Italy, Spain, France, Japan and the USA since 2003, and is a national lecturer for the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society (ADFAS). She is well known for her public lectures on art history and appreciation.

Course fee: $125 (no discounts apply)

Downolad the brochure HERE.

To book for the course download HERE the enrolment form, fill it in and send it to:  

For further information call: (02) 9261 1780


Date: Da Monday, May 02, 2022 a Monday, June 27, 2022

Time: From 10:00 am To 11:30 am

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Entrance : With fee


Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Sydney