On the Reverse Grand Tour. Italian Travel Writing and the North in the Long 18th Century
Intellectual curiosity motivated the early modern traveler. Traveling was regarded as a crucial method for gathering empirical information, and travel accounts were an instrument for spreading new information. Readers were eager to learn of exotic places, and the North represented Otherness within the borders of Europe. Scandinavia was a rare destination which began to evoke wider interest among travelers during the 17th century, when traveling to the North started to increase partly thanks to Sweden’s growing political importance. Southerners’ travel to the North is often defined as a reverse grand tour, meaning that instead of being a mere point of departure Scandinavia became a destination, although still a rather atypical one in the era of the real grand tour.
Anu Raunio’s project will focus on unpublished 17th- and 18th-century travel accounts which open the way for an investigation into cross-cultural encounters and provide insights into the North from a foreigners’ point of view.
Anu Raunio obtained her Ph. D. at the University of Turku in 2010 with a dissertation titled Conversioni al cattolicesimo a Roma tra Sei e Settecento. La presenza degli scandinavi nell’Ospizio dei Convertendi. Since then she has worked as a visiting post-doc at Lund University and as a research fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. Italian archives are her passion, and over the years Anu Raunio has carried out research in several Italian and Vatican archives. She has also worked as a translator. Her research interests include cross-cultural encounters between early-modern Italy and Scandinavia, travel literature, conversion narratives, and microhistory. Her current research project focuses on early modern Italian travelers in Scandinavia and their perceptions of the North.Currently she is IFK_Research Fellow.
"Sono li svetesi chiamati l’italiani della Germania.’ Il viaggio di Alessandro Bichi in Svezia nel 1696“, in: Carte di Viaggio. Rivista di Lingua e Letteratura italiana, anno 5, 2012, pp. 29-45; Scandinavian Converts to Catholicism in Rome 1673-1706, in: Scandinavian Journal of History 36, 2011, pp. 279–97; „Francesco Negri fra erudizione e misericordia“, in: Settentrione, Rivista di studi italo finlandesi 13, 2002, pp. 28-40.
Scandinavia was a rare destination for 17th-century travelers and represented Otherness within the borders of Europe. Anu Raunio examines the image of the exotic and far away North transmitted by a number of Italian travel accounts from Francesco Negri’s Viaggio settentrionale to Alessandro Bichi’s Relazione dei viaggi — some published, others recently discovered.