News about Sicily

Palermo: the Cervantes Institute presents the conference “Quevedo and the spies of the empire” with Fernando Martínez Laínez

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L’Cervantes Institute of Palermo (via Argenteria Nuova, 33) presents the conference “Quevedo and the spies of the empirewhich will be held on the Zoom platform on Thursday 7 April at 5.00 pm.

The meeting, inserted in the context of Palermitan lessons of Hispanism online – sessions that aim to deepen some important issues related to the writers of the Spanish Golden Age – will be conducted by the writer Fernando Martínez Laínezauthor of the text Espías del imperiowho will talk about the history of the secret services of the Spanish monarchy during the seventeenth century and, in particular, of one of its illustrious exponents, Francisco de Quevedo y Villegaswhose secret vicissitudes run parallel to the greatness of his literary work.

An opportunity not to be missed to discover more in depth this character who, in addition to having been at the service of the interests of Spain, was a great connoisseur of Italian affairs, especially in southern Italy, from Naples downwards.

In a fictional list of the best Spanish espionage writers, Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas undoubtedly occupies one of the top positions.

The secret vicissitudes made by the latter run parallel to the greatness of his literary work and still leave many shadows.
Quevedo was a great connoisseur of the Italian affairs of the Hispanic monarchy and his activity as a secret agent between Naples and Sicily, as underlined, in the service of the interests of Spain, constitutes a very important chapter of Italian-Spanish relations at the beginning of the 17th century.

Leading the meeting will be Fernando Martínez Laínez, writer and journalist.
Doctor of Information Sciences at the Complutense University of Madrid, he was head of the Efe agency in Cuba, the Soviet Union and Argentina.
Correspondent and special envoy in numerous countries as well as author of historical novels, travel and children’s books, articles, biographies, essays and popular books on military affairs and espionage in Spain in the 16th-17th centuries.
He currently chairs the Club Le Carré which aims to promote the culture of intelligence at a literary level and is the curator of the 1st Congress on espionage literature held in 2021 in Andorra.

The conference is free and will be held in Spanish on the Zoom platform; to receive the access link it is necessary to send an email to by 12.00 on Thursday 7 April.

The online meeting, as well as for those who preceded it, will be recorded and subsequently published on the Youtube channel of the Instituto Cervantes in Palermo.