Taste and temptation in early modern Italy

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3 Scopus citations


This paper focuses on two contradictory attitudes toward taste in early modern Italy. Many writers in fourteenthand fifteenth-century Florence described taste, along with the abundance of rich foods provided by the new mercantile economy, as a corruptive force, which created the portal to a sinful lifestyle. Several early humanists challenged this view of the sense by portraying the table "as the altar of humanity" where youth might learn to eat with moderation and to consume knowledge through conversation. For these writers, such as Palmieri and Alberti, taste can lead to communion with others rather than to an endless pursuit for self-satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-118
Number of pages13
JournalSenses and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


  • Gluttony
  • Merchants
  • Pedagogy
  • Prosperity
  • Taste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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