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Academy Travel Online Lecture Series

May 30, 2020 @ 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Speaker: Academy Travel Tour Leaders
Cost: A$50.00


Although they’re not currently travelling, our tour leaders remain passionate about sharing their knowledge. In May, we’re inaugurating a new Academy Travel lecture series which will take place online. In addition to the pleasure of learning and hearing from experts in fascinating fields of research, these live lectures are also a great way to get to know a tour leader better, ask real-time questions, and stay in touch with like-minded people.

We’re rolling the lectures out on a monthly basis. Held each Saturday from 2pm (starting May 9), our first month’s series takes a closer look at Italy, from the energy and innovation of the Venice Biennale through to the fascinating and diverse history of Sicily.

The live lecture sessions will be 90 minutes in length, with an hour’s presentation from your lecturer interspersed with time for moderated Q&A sessions.

Places are strictly limited to 90 screens, and the cost to subscribe to the four lectures in May is $50.



Lecture 1: The Venice Biennale: modern and contemporary art in Venice
Date: Sat 9 May
Start time: 2.00pm
Host: Robert Veel
Lecturer: Dr Nick Gordon (biography)

Venice is one of the world’s great art cities, with its medieval mosaics, Renaissance masterpieces and wonderful collections of modern art. It also has a rolling series of biennales – of art, cinema, architecture, dance and theatre – which take up half of each year, and which have expanded phenomenally since the Biennale was invented in Venice in the 1890s. In this lecture, Dr Nick Gordon explores how the Biennale has transformed Venice from a provincial town on the edge of Italy into the pre-eminent playground for modern and contemporary art.


Lecture 2: Caravaggio in Sicily: from Malta to Mario Minniti & the Mafia
Date: Sat 16 May
Start time: 2.00pm
Host: Robert Veel
Lecturer: Dr Kathleen Olive (biography)

In 1606 Caravaggio, the leader of Rome’s artistic ‘brat pack’, killed a man and fled to Naples and Malta. His career continued to flourish, but an inability to stay out of trouble led him from a Valletta prison to Syracuse in Sicily. Here his old friend Mario Minniti helped him win important commissions, and today works such as The Burial of St Lucy and The Raising of Lazarus are evidence of a very different late Sicilian style. But even after a lonely death from fever in 1610, Caravaggio has been unable to stay out of trouble: his missing Palermo Nativity, stolen in 1969 by the Mafia, has seen him back in the news yet again.


Lecture 3: The Normans in Sicily
Date: Sat 23 May
Start time: 2.00pm
Host: Dr Nick Gordon
Lecturer: Robert Veel (biography)

In the space of 100 years, the Hautevilles, a clan of Norman adventurers, transformed themselves from mercenaries into the rulers of one of the most impressive kingdoms of medieval Europe. They wisely combined elements of Sicily’s Arab, Byzantine Greek and Latin heritage to leave a legacy of not just spectacular mosaic-filled buildings, but of a world that might have been, if not for a succession crisis and the ambition of popes and emperors. This lecture briefly charts the Normans’ rise to power in southern Italy, their demise, and the expression of the kingdom’s values in art and architecture.


Lecture 4: Sicily: myths and mountains
Date: Sat 30 May
Start time: 2.00pm
Host: Robert Veel
Lecturer: Dr Estelle Lazer (biography)

Join renowned archaeologist Dr Estelle Lazer as she takes a tour across Sicily, looking at the myths associated with different areas and why they developed. From an investigation of the legendary volcanoes of Vulcano and Aetna, Estelle moves to an exploration of volcanic tourism.



Our lecture series will be hosted live on Zoom, a free online education platform. If you don’t already have an account with Zoom, you will need to sign up at www.zoom.us. To join with video, you’ll also need a device with a camera (such as a computer, phone or tablet with a webcam). Otherwise you can join with audio only.

An online ticket booking is required, made below. Each booking is for one computer screen use, not person. Our online booking system is through our secure PayPal account. You can pay through your personal PayPal account, or check out as a Guest using all major credit cards.

A confirmation of purchase will be sent to your email and once we receive your enrolment, we will send you an email with a link and password to use for every Zoom meeting in that month. We’ll send basic instructions on joining a lecture session for those who are new to Zoom, and each session will be hosted by an Academy Travel staff moderator who can help you troubleshoot any technical issues.

When joining the Zoom meeting, please ensure that your Zoom screen name matches the name you booked under, so that the Academy Travel host can admit you from the virtual ‘waiting room’.



May 30, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


Zoom Meetings


Academy Travel Tour Leaders


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