In the eighteenth century tens of thousands visited Italy to glimpse its classical past, some venturing south of Rome in search of the lands of Greek myth and natural wonder. This talk focuses on those travelers who climbed the Sicilian volcano of Aetna in the 1760s. I set their journeys in dialogue with questions about the place of antiquity in the pursuit of modern knowledge, examining the evolving ideal of travel as research.
Giovanna Ceserani is Associate Professor of Classics and, by courtesy, of History at Stanford University. The author of Italy’s Lost Greece: Magna Graecia and the Making of Modern Archaeology (Oxford University Press, 2012), she works on the intellectual history of the classical tradition and directs the digital Grand Tour Project (https://grandtour.stanford.edu/).