Food professions in the Loire Valley from the late Middle Ages to the Renaissance. A preliminary research

November 04, 2021 - 15 h 30

La Villa Rabelais
116, boulevard Béranger
37000 TOURS


Crafts practices, especially the food sector, are a relevant issue in today’s society, thanks to their fundamental role in the institutional, economic, social and cultural life of our cities. We are facing some very important challenges, such as quality and prices control; emerging cutting-edge digital technologies; workplace safety; wage developments; market rules. The debate on these topics has been running for a long period in different fields of research.

History can provide some interpretative keys by giving us a picture of how preindustrial societies reacted to similar problems. How did past governments run food supply and its distribution? How did guilds contribute to the urban growth?

A significant geographical area to study can be the Loire Valley and the cities that overlook the river. Special attention deserves then Tours, that becomes the king’s privileged location during the 15th century. A cosmopolitan population, passing or residential - composed by the Greats of the court, ambassadors, merchants, etc. - gets to Tours and expects to be comfortably housed and fed. The king’s choice promotes a strong development of urban economy and, consequently, of food professions and hospitality. Many records show us several contracts concerning butchers, bakers, fishmongers, innkeepers and others of the same category. This documentation, that have not yet been extensively explored with regard to the end of the 15th century and the Renaissance, will be deepened in the preliminary phase of the project.

Admission on presentation of the health pass.


Dr Francesca Pucci Donati

LE STUDIUM Visiting Researcher

FROM: Department of History, University of Bologna - IT 
IN RESIDENCE AT: Centre for Advanced Studies in the Renaissance (CESR)  / CNRS, University of Tours - European Institute for the History and Cultures of Food (IEHCA) / La Villa Rabelais - FR  

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