The inaugural Lucrezia Zaina Bequest lecture took place in St George’s Hall on 30 March 2011, followed by an Italian-themed reception. The event was extremely successful, attracting an audience of more than 800, who came to hear Count Francesco da Mosto, writer, architect, historian, film-maker and Venetian citizen, deliver a talk on ‘Venice and her relationships between the late 16th century and now’.

Update: you can now watch an online webcast of the lecture, and also read the transcript (pdf).

Lucrezia (Lexie) Zaina was Head of Italian at the University from 1964 to 1988. A remarkable personality and talented academic, Professor Zaina died in 2008, leaving the University a generous bequest.

Her intention was that through the bequest, the institution should extend knowledge of Italy and Italian culture in our city and, of course, promote Italian Studies, a field about which she was particularly passionate and to which she dedicated her entire life.

Professor Zaina would be very pleased to know that her bequest comes at a time of growth and consolidation for Italian Studies at Liverpool, and Italian staff at the University would like to express their gratitude to a very generous colleague.

The Inaugural Lecture also coincides with two important Italian anniversaries: 2011 marks both the 150th anniversary of Italian unification, and the 60th anniversary of the Dante Alighieri Society in Liverpool, the first to be founded in the UK.