During a cold winter day in 1803, Elizabeth Ann Seton, a young protestant American, arrived in the port of Livorno. In this Tuscan city she embarked upon a path of religous conversion which would lead her to become the first American saint in history and to form the first female religious community founded in the United States.
After a long ocean crossing, the Seton family members Elizabeth and William with their daughter Annina arrived in Livorno with the hope that the Mediterranean climate would help cure William of a respiratory affliction. They were brought to Livorno by virtue of the international connections of commercial which had always linked this city of the Nations to the rest of the world. William however died shortly after arrival, and Elizabeth, left alone with her daughter, was welcomed into the home of the Filicchi brothers, Filippo Filicchi being the United States consul in Livorno.
We will journey through the events and places that shaped the life of the young American, reconstructed from her diaries, letters, and memorials conversed in the city of Livorno. We’ll depart from Livorno’s seaside, where a stone marker lies a few meters from the sea attached to the wall of the church of Saint James “in Acquaviva,” which recounts the time the Seton family spent in quarantine in the Lazzaretto. We will visit the famous Venezia Nuova quarter where we will visit the 18th century palace in which Elizabeth and her daughter were hosted by the Filicchi.
From there we will retrace the same path which still connects the Filicchi home to the church of Saint Catherine of Siena where the young Elizabeth, despite being of the Anglican faith, daily sought refuge. Under the great frescoed dome of the church built in 1720 by the Dominican order, we will visit same baroque alter where Elizabeth, deep in prayer, felt her first calling to convert to the Roman Catholic faith. Our tour concludes with a visit to the hilltop Sanctuary of the Madonna of Montenero, Patron of Livorno and of Tuscany, and a place where religious revelation helped transform Seton into the first American saint in history.
Length: approximately 3 hours* including the bus trip** between the first and last stops of the tour
Cost: 120 €
We recommend, if you are interested, concluding the tour with a visit to the church dedicated to Saint Elizabeth Seton, where just recently the remains of her husband William Seton were transferred from the old English cemetery and dedicated with a religious ceremony.
* Indicates the duration of a standard tour, which can be shortened or lengthened according to your wishes and compatibility with the type of excursion.
**The price does not include the cost of the bus ticket or other methods of transportation.