Crossroads in Early Modern Italy: Encounters between Foreign Travelers and Local Inhabitants

Online Conference

Online Conference

In recent years an ever-growing number of studies has highlighted the importance of mobility for transnational exchange, in political, economic, social, and cultural terms. This has had a significant impact on the field of early modern studies. This conference builds on this body of work, but zooms in on one particular aspect: the continuous interaction that took place on an everyday basis between foreign travelers and Italy’s local population in the early modern period. Foreign travelers – defined here in a broad sense as everyone who traveled to Italy for a finite amount of time, including for example merchants, diplomats, pilgrims, mercenaries, artists, and artisans – interacted with a variety of local inhabitants, ranging from innkeepers to government officials, and from local clergy to salesmen. From a geographical perspective the conference focuses on people traveling to cities and regions across the Italian peninsula, and coming from around the Mediterranean Basin, Northern Europe, East Africa, and East Asia. By bringing together scholars who work on a geographically and socially wide range of topics, the conference aims to contribute to our understanding of the dynamics of mobility and transnational dialogue in early modern Italy.



Thursday 23 June 2022


10:00-10:10 | Welcome and Introductory Remarks


10:10-11:45 | Spaces of Encounter

Chair: Sandra Toffolo (FBK-ISIG)

Rosa Salzberg (Università di Trento), Micro and Macro, Local and Global: Sites of Hospitality, Mobility and Cross-Cultural Encounter in Renaissance Venice

Sabina Brevaglieri (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Monument Making: The House of a German Collective between Baroque Rome and the World

Katia Occhi (FBK-ISIG), On the Road: Accommodation and Infrastructure Along the Route from Innsbruck to Venice in the Early Seventeenth Century

12:00-13:00 | Negotiation and Regulation

Chair: Massimo Rospocher (FBK-ISIG)

Beatrice Saletti (Università degli Studi di Ferrara), Human Mobility in Renaissance Italy: Traveling to Bologna

Tamsin Prideaux (University of Edinburgh / Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia), Tactile Negotiation: Phenomenal Exchanges Between Foreign Merchants and Venetian Officials in Early Modern Venice, 1540-1700


14:15-15:45 | Representing the Self and the Other

Chair: Claudio Ferlan (FBK-ISIG)

Yaliang Fu (Scuola Normale Superiore / Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History at Boston College), Encounters Between the Tenshō Embassy and Italian Poets in the Late Sixteenth Century

Marta Albalá Pelegrín (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona), Writing While Traveling: Iberian Networks in Early Sixteenth-Century Rome

Davide Trentacoste (Università degli Studi di Teramo / Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3), ‘Il Persiano magnia in terra alla Turchesca’: Receiving Safavid Envoys in Florence at the Beginning of the Seventeenth Century


16:00-16:30 | Hidden Trento Virtual Tour: Innkeepers, Princes and Migrants (1520)

Video and Q&A with Serena Luzzi (Università di Trento), Alessandro Paris (FBK-ISIG), Massimo Rospocher (FBK-ISIG), Rosa Salzberg (Università di Trento), Enrico Valseriati (FBK-ISIG)


Friday 24 June 2022


10:00-11:30 | Cross-Cultural Interactions

Chair: Marta Albalá Pelegrín (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona)

Katalin Prajda (Universität Wien), Hungarian Mercenaries in Florentine Service: Affiliation and Cultural Impact

Özden Mercan (Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies), An Ottoman Envoy at the Medici Court: Mustafa Agha’s Reception in Florence

Mayu Fujikawa (Meiji University), The First Japanese Embassy to Europe: Soft Power Diplomacy Through Kimono Display and Gifting


11:45-12:45 | Networks of Mobility

Chair: Javier Patiño Loira (UCLA)

Sandra Toffolo (FBK-ISIG), Encounters in Renaissance Venice: Exchange, Communication, and Interaction between Jerusalem-Bound Pilgrims and Local Inhabitants

James Nelson Novoa (University of Ottawa), Atlantic Denizens at a Tuscan Crossroads: Portuguese Merchants (1549-1609)


12:45 | Conclusion

Marta Albalá Pelegrín (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona) and Sandra Toffolo (FBK-ISIG)


All times are indicated in CEST (Central European Summer Time).


Sandra Toffolo, FBK-ISIG
Marta Albalá Pelegrín, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona


The event will be held in English.

The conference will take place online.

To connect to the event, registration is required by Wednesday 22 June 2022 at 12.00.

During the presentations, the webcams and microphones will be disabled to avoid network overloads.


Image: Florentine Street Scene with Twelve Figures (Sheltering the Traveler, One of the Seven Works of Mercy), anonymous, 1540-1560. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.


La registrazione a questo evento è richiesta.

Registration closed on 22/06/2022.



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