Dr Giovanna Guidicini PhD

Job Title:

Senior Lecturer in History of Architecture and Urban Studies


Mackintosh School of Architecture



Giovanna Guidicini
Lecturer in History of Architecture and Urban Studies

Giovanna Guidicini


Dr Giovanna Guidicini

Giovanna Guidicini is a Senior Lecturer in Architectural History and Urban Studies at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art. She holds a Laurea Magistrale (Master’s Degree) in Architecture from the Università degli Studi di Ferrara and a Ph.D. in History of Architecture from the University of Edinburgh. She passed the registration exam for the Albo degli Architetti (Italian Register of Architects) in 2005, and is registered with Architecs Registration Board in UK since 2018; Giovanna is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2013.

Giovanna has taught at the Università di Ferrara, at the University of Edinburgh, and at Plymouth University; she had taught both in the studios and lecture-based courses in Architectural History. She joined The Glasgow School of Art in 2014.

Giovanna is particularly interested in the role of the urban environment as performative space during triumphal entries celebrated in Europe -and in Scotland in particular- during the early modern period; she is writing a monograph on the use of palatial and urban spaces by the Stewart dynasty during triumphs, festivals and ceremonies. In her work, Giovanna compares Scottish festivals and triumphal entries with their foreign counterparts, particularly Florence, Paris, Antwerp, and London to discuss cultural similarities and reciprocal influences. She is also working on a digital recreation of Charles I's entry into Edinburgh in 1633, and is interested in the lasting influence of early modern triumphal entries on the welcoming ceremonies organised for monarchs after the industrial revolution, particularly at King George IV and Queen Victoria's urban entries.

As a side project, Giovanna is working on Italian Villas in the 16th and 17th centuries as physical representations of the personal rise, cultural awareness, and political engagement of their owner; her main case study is Villa Angelelli Zambeccari, near Bologna.


G. Guidicini, Digitalizing experiential celebrations in the early modern civic space: A methodological investigation of augmented reality as an interpretative tool (Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, fqab055, 2021)

G.Guidicini, ‘Edinburgh and Venice: Comparing the Evolution in Communal Living in Geographically Challenged Mercantile Communities’, in The Architecture of Scotland 1660-1750, edited by John Lowrey, Louisa Humm, and Aonghus MacKechnie (Edinburgh University Press, 2020)

G.Guidicini, Performing Spaces: Triumphal Entries and Festivals in Early Modern Scotland (Brepols Publishers, 2020)

G. Guidicini, 'Royal Welcomes in Edinburgh New Town: Portraying Civic Identity in 1822 and 1842', in Clarisse Godard Desmarest (ed.), The New Town of Edinburgh: An Architectural Celebration (Edinburgh: Birlinn/John Donald Publishers Ltd, 2019)

G. Guidicini, 'Ordering the World: Games in the Architectural Iconography of Stirling Castle, Scotland', in Games and Game Playing in European Art and Literature, 16th-17th Centuries edited by Robin O'Bryan (Amsterdam University Press, 2019)

G.Guidicini, 'Imagining and Staging an Urban Border: the Role of the Netherbow Gate in Early Modern Edinburgh', in The Design of Frontier Spaces: Control and Ambiguity, edited by C. Loeb and A. Luescher (Ashgate, 2015)

G.Guidicini, ‘The Political and Cultural Influence of James V’s Court on the Decoration of the King’s Fountain in Linlithgow Palace’ in Art and Identity: Visual Culture, Politics and Religion in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, edited by S. Cardarelli and E.J. Anderson. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012)

G.Guidicini, 'Municipal Perspective, Royal Expectations, and the Use of Public Space: the Case of the West Port, Edinburgh 1503-1633', Architectural Heritage, Vol XXII, 2011

G.Guidicini, ‘Scottishness on Stage: Creating and Performing Scotland’s National Identity during Triumphal Entries in the XVI and XVII Centuries’, in The Shaping of Scottish Identities: Family, Nation, and the World Beyond, edited by J. Campbell, E. Ewan, and H. Parker (Guelph Series in Scottish Studies, II, 2011)

G.Guidicini, A.Rosignoli, S.L. Vacondio, Nobiltà Bolognese tra Città e Campagna: la Villa Angelelli-Zambeccari di Argelato, edited by A. Marino (Franco Angeli: Milano 2011)

G.Guidicini, ‘A Scottish triumphal path of learning at George Heriot Hospital, Edinburgh’, International Review of Scottish Studies, Vol. 35 (2010)

Papers and seminars (selection)


"Large of portraiture": Robert the Bruce in Anti-Tudor Propaganda in Early Modern Aberdeen, Renaissance Society of America (RSA), Virtual Conference


Performing societal arrangements in (civic) space: past and present, 16th Annual International Conference of the Architectural Humanities Research Association, Dundee

Textiles, spectacle and the creation of imaginary worlds during Edinburgh triumphal entries, Dress and Décor in Medieval and Renaissance Scotland Conference, Glasgow


Residential systems and spatial appropriation: the rise and fall of a Senatorial family in Early Modern Bologna, European Architectural History Network (EAHN) Conference, Tallinn

“The storm of heresy is raging”: Political Defiance and Religious Subversion in James V’s Scotland, Renaissance Society of America (RSA) Conference, New Orleans.


Royal Welcomes in Edinburgh New Town: portraying civic identity in 1822 and 1842, Conference “Edinburgh New Town and the new towns in Scotland, 1767-2017”, University of Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens.

Early Modern High-Rise Living and the Tenement Experience, Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) Conference, Glasgow.

Whose Power? Iconography and Agendas in Early Modern Scottish Ceremonies, College Art Association Conference, New York.


Gender, Age, Politics, and Religion: Problematic Scottish Monarchs and/in the Urban Space, 1503-1633, Society of Renaissance Studies (SRS) Conference, Glasgow

Ordering the World: The Game of Trionfi and the Architectural Iconography of Stirling Castle, Scotland, Renaissance Society of America (RSA) Conference, Boston

Romanitas and Local Folklore in Scottish Early Modern Urban Ceremonies, SAH Conference, Pasadena/Los Angeles


Power, imagery and urban spaces in early modern Scotland, Arts and Politics Conference, University of Bari

The Staging of Citizenship during Early Modern urban ceremonies in Edinburgh, Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 17th Century Conference: Cities & Citizenship, Durham University.

Rituals of Space and Monarchical Celebrations at the Scottish Court, RSA Conference, Berlin.


Urban space and public renegotiation of faith; St Giles Kirk in Edinburgh as triumphal station during the Reformation, Urban Ritual and Ceremony in Pre-Modern Europe c.1300-c.1700 Conference, Northumbria University.

Double act: performing gentility and good husbandry at Villa Angelelli-Zambeccari, SRS Conference, Southampton.

"Vj byrk treis to cleyth the But, Trones and Croce": Tamed Nature and Political Propaganda in Early Modern Scotland, RSA Conference, New York.


Imagining and staging an urban border: the role of the Netherbow gate during early modern triumphal entries in Edinburgh, SAH Conference, Detroit

The urban space as a time machine: representing past and future during early modern triumphal entries in Edinburgh, Annual conference of the European Architectural Historians Network, Brussels

King George and Queen Victoria’s triumphal entries in the ‘ancient city of Edinburgh’: portraying a modern urban identity in the XIX century, European Association for Urban History conference, Prague


“Municipal perspective, royal expectations and the use of public space: Edinburgh 1503-1633” RSA Conference, Montreal. Also, Chair and organizer of the separate panel “Triumphal Culture in Europe” at the same event.


“Triumphal entries, royal expectations and local awareness: representing endangered urban identity in XVI century Edinburgh”. The 14th International ‘Culture & Power’ Conference: Identity and Identification, Ciudad Real (Spain).

“The Unifying Power of Medieval Narrative: Using le Roman de Melusine to Describe James V’s Scottish Court”. Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Montreal.


“The Frescoes in Angelelli-Zambeccari Palace in Argelato: A Political Statement for a Family in Danger”, RSA Conference, Chicago

“Political and Cultural Insight on James V’s Court in the Fountain at Linlithgow”, Art and Identity Conference, University of Aberdeen.


“The Decline of the Medieval City: The Arcade as a New Space in Architecture”, Illinois Medieval Association, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, (Illinois).

Seminars, invited lectures and collaborations (selection)


"Performing Identity and Authority in the Civic Space: Edinburgh as an Early Modern Case Study", invited lecture at the School of Architecture + Design, Virginia Tech, VA.

"Riscoprire, Abbellire, Conservare, o Falsificare? Alfonso Rubbiani e l'Architettura di Bologna a Cavallo del '900" invited paper at the Scottish Italian Circle in Edinburgh


"Celebrating Mary Stuart in Edinburgh; the Use of Civic Space in 1558 and 1561", Monthly Lecture of the Franco-Scottish Society in Edinburgh.


"Festivals and Celebrations: James VI in Edinburgh 1579, 1590, and 1617" invited paper at Patronage and Processionals: A Riddle’s Court Study Day, at the Patrick Geddes Centre for Learning, Edinburgh

“Potere Politico e Architettura - una Villa Senatoria del Bolognese”, invited paper at the Scottish Italian Circle in Edinburgh


Collaborated to “Mansion Houses of the Royal Mile: A Riddle's Court Study Day” by Scottish Historic Building Trust – at Moray House, Edinburgh

Co-organiser of Roundtable on Space and Performance at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh


Iconography of Power in Early Modern Scotland, Stirling Maxwell Centre for Emblem Studies, University of Glasgow

’With great merrienes and game’: the reception of Mary of Guise in Edinburgh and St Andrews in 1538", invited paper at the French Institute in Scotland, Edinburgh

The Netherbow gate and the creation of urban borders in Early Modern Edinburgh, The Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, University of Cambridge.


Early modern architectural history, spatial theory, and research based teaching, invited paper at Royal Institute of British Architects, Research Matters Event, London


“Leggere la città attraverso lo studio dei trionfi rinascimentali: Edimburgo 1503-1633”, invited lecture at the Faculty of Architecture, Università di Ferrara (Italy).

Co-investigator and exhibitor for Re-creating Renaissance and Baroque Spectacle, conference and exhibition held at the Edinburgh School of Architecture, University of Edinburgh

Funds and Grants:


Geoffrey Barrow Research Fund, granted by the Society for Scottish Medieval and Renaissance Studies


Kress Travel Grant, granted by the Renaissance Society of America


Scott Opler Emerging Scholar Fellowship, granted by the Society of Architectural Historians


Paul Mellon Research Support Grant, granted by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art