Italy Seen Through the Eyes of Anselmo Adorno. A Testimony of the Middle Ages


  • Beatrice Borghi University of Bologna



Anselmo Adorno was one of the most prominent and influential men of Western Europe in the late Middle Ages in the area between Flanders, the Duchy of Burgundy and Scotland. Negotiator, wise, magistrate, Anselmo left us the journey report Itinerarium Terrae Sanctae Anselmi Adorni, written by his son Giovanni, a source of extraordinary wealth for the details and descriptions of places, customs and customs of the peoples of the eastern Mediterranean. Of particular interest is also the description of the cities, the urban and rural landscape, the routes that Adorno travelled in his journey between 1470 and 1471. The article will therefore take the moves from this precious testimony to describe the Italy visited by the pilgrim of Bruges, including Genoa, a family town of Rome, Brindisi and the Apulian cities of Naples, and the route that from the eternal city led to Venice, Cologne and finally to the West Flanders.


Adorno, Anselmo. (1960). In Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, 1, (p. 287). Roma.

Airaldi, G. (2006). “...Porque le Indias no se pierdan...”. Gli italiani sulle navi di Colombo, in Varela, C. (Ed.), Cristóbal Colón, 1506-2006 Historia y leyenda (p. 154). Palos de la Frontera (Huelva).

Babinger, F. (1992). Mehmed the Conqueror & His Time, trad. Ralph Manheim. Princeton.

Basso, E. (2011). Strutture insediative ed espansione commerciale. La rete portuale genovese nel bacino del Mediterraneo. Cherasco.

Bayne Fisher, W. & Jackson, P. & Lochhart, L. (1986). The Cambridge History of Iran. New York.

Boardman, S. & Lynch, M. (2000). The State of Late Medieval and Early Modern Scottish History. In Brotherstone, T. & D. Ditchburn, D. (Eds.), Freedom and Authority. Scotland, c. 1050-1650. Historical and Historiographical Essays Presented to Grant G. Simpson (pp. 45-59). East Linton.

Borghi, B. (2010). In viaggio verso la Terrasanta. La basilica di Santo Stefano in Bologna, Bologna.

Borghi, B. (2018). Il Mediterraneo visto da Anselmo Adorno. Una testimonianza di “pellegrinaggio” del tardo medioevo. Bologna, in the course of publication

Brown, A. (1982). The Scottish «establishment» in the Fifteenth Century. In The Juridical Review King’s Council, Patronage and the Governance of Scotland 1460-1513, University of Aberdeen PhD thesis.

Calò Mariani, M.S. (2003). San Leonardo di Siponto «iuxta stratam peregrinorum», Galatina.

Campbell, I. (1995). A Romanesque Revival and the Early Renaissance in Scotland, c. 1380-1513. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 54 (3), 302-325.

Chiavari Cattaneo Della Volta, E. (2002). Adorno/Adornes (2nd ed.). Genova.

Chiavari Cattaneo della Volta, E. & Lercari, A. (2002). Adorno/ Adornes, Genova.

Contarini, A. (1487). Viaggio al signor Usun Hassan re di Persia. Venezia.

Contarini, A. (1980). Viaggio di Ambrosio Contarini, ambasciatore veneziano. In Ramusio, G.B. (Ed.), Navigazioni e viaggi, III, (pp. 607-610). Torino.

De la Coste, E. (1855). Anselme Adorne, Sire de Corthuy. Bruxelles.

Defilippis, D. (2009). Forme e modelli del sistema incipitario nell’Itinerarium di Anselmo Adorno. In Sacré, D. & Papy, J. (Eds.), Syntagmatia. Essays on neolatin literature in honour of Monique Mund-Dopchie and Gilbert Tournoy (pp. 73-91).

Defilippis, D. (2010). Verso Gerusalemme. Il ‘bagaglio’ di un mercante-pellegrino. In Capitoni, C. (Ed.), Bagagli e oggetti da viaggio pp. 11-21. Viterbo.

Derolez, A. (1972). Vroeg Humanisme en Middeleeuwse Bibliotheken: De Bibliotheek van de Adorne’s en van de Jeruzalemkapel te Brugge. Tijdschrift voor Geschiedernis, 85, 161-171.

Federico, A. (2012). La Capitanata nell’itinerario di Anselmo Adorno in Terrasanta (sec. XV). San Severo.

Gaillard, J. (1843). Recherches sur l’Église de Jérusalem à Bruges. Bruges.

Geirnaert, N. (1983). De Adornes en de Jeruzalemkapel: Internationale Contacten in het Laatmiddeleeuwse Brugge. In Geirnaert, N. & Vandewalle A. (Eds.), Adornes en Jeruzalem: International Leven in het 15de- en 16de- Eeuwse Brugge (p. 19). Bruges: Jeruzalemkapel.

Geirnaert, N. (1987). Het Archief van de Familie Adornes en de Jeruzalemstichting te Brugge, 2 voll. Bruges.

Giovitti, P. (2005). Le vie dell’Arcangelo. Tradizione, culto, presenza dell’Arcangelo Michele, Roma.

Heers, J. & De Groër, G. (Eds) (1978). Itinéraire d'Anselme Adorno en Terre sainte (1470-1471). Paris.

Izzi, P. (Ed.) (2006). Itinerario di Anselmo Adorno in Terra Santa/ Giovanni Adorno. Retrieved from

Lacaze, Y. (1972), Perse et Bourgogne dans la seconde moitié du XVe siècle. Revue d’histoire diplomatique, LXXXVI, 81.

MacDonald, A. (2001). Chivalry as a Catalyst of Cultural Change in Late Medieval Scotland. In Suntrup, R. & Veenstra, J. (Eds.), Tradition an Innovation in an Era of Change (pp. 151-174). Frankfurt a. M. - Oxford.

Macquarrie, A. (1982). Anselm Adornes of Bruges: Traveller in the East and Friend of James III. Innes Review, 33, 15-22.

Mariani, M.S. (2007). Culto dei Santi lungo il cammino dei pellegrini. San Leonardo de Noblat e la Puglia. In Calzona, A. & Campari, R. (Eds.), Immagine e Ideologia. Studi in onore di Arturo Quintavalle (pp. 158-166). Milano.

Mitzi-Kirkland, I. (2008). «Capell nuncapato Jherusalem noviter Brugis»: The Adornes Family of Bruges and Holy Land Devotion. The Sixteenth Century Journal, 39, 4, 1041-1064.

Otranto, G. (2007). Presentazione. In Bouet, P. & Otranto, G. (Eds.), Culto e Santuari di San Michele nell’Europa medioevale (pp. 2-15). Bari.

Paravicini, W. (1991). The Court of the Dukes of Burgundy. A Model for Europe?. In Asch, R. & Birke A. (Eds.), Princes, Patronage and the Nobility. The Court at the Biginning of the Modern Ages, c. 1450-1650 (pp. 69-102). Oxford.

Petti Balbi, G. (1994). Spazio urbano e presenza genovese a Bruges. In Grohaman, A. (Ed.), Spazio urbano e organizzazione economica nell'Europa medievale (pp. 143-162). Napoli.

Petti Balbi, G. (2005). Negoziare fuori patria. Nazioni e genovesi in età medievale. Bologna.

Porsia, F. (1984). L’itinerario pugliese di Anselmo e Giovanni Adorno. In Malagrinò, P. (Ed.), Miscellanea di studi pugliesi (pp. 185-196). Fasano.

Richard, J. (1997). La Bourgogne des Valois, l’idée de croisade et la défense de l’Europe. In Caron M.T. & Clauzel D. (Eds), Le banquet du faisan (p. 25). Arras.

Rizzoli, D. (2003). Annalen van de stad Genua uit de 14de eeuw beschrijven dat het de echte Edessa-mandylion betreft. Retrieved from:

Small, G. (2012). The Scottish Court in the Fifteenth Century. A view from Burgundy. In Paravicini, W. (Ed.), La cour de Bourgogne et l’Europe. Le rayonnement et les limites d’un model culturel (pp. 457-474). Ostfildern: Thorbecke.

Stopani, R. (1992). La via Francigena del sud. L’Appia Traiana nel Medioevo, Firenze.

Van Herwaarden, J. (2003). Between Saint James and Erasmus: Studies in Later Medieval Religious Life: Devotion and Pilgrimage in The Neitherlands. Lieden.

Viaene, A. (1982). Vlaamse Pelgrimstochten. Een verzameling opstellen over bedevaarten en bedevaarders vanuit Vlaanderen in de late Middeleeuwen. Bruges.

Walsh, R.J. (1977). Charles the Bold and the crusade: politics and propaganda. Journal of Medieval History, III, 68-71.

Wilson, I. (1991). Holy Faces, Secret Places, Doubleday.

Wolf, G. (2005). Das Mandylion von Genua und sein paläologischer Rahmen - The Mandylion of Genoa. Retrieved from:




How to Cite

Borghi, B. (2017). Italy Seen Through the Eyes of Anselmo Adorno. A Testimony of the Middle Ages. Almatourism - Journal of Tourism, Culture and Territorial Development, 8(16), 96–118.