Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Books & Movies to Get You in the Mood - Florence

 I thought I would start a new category on this blog for inspirational movies to watch before you travel, and books to read either before your vacation, or to pack in your suitcase. So, without further ado:

Florence, Italy

What to Watch Before You Go
A Room With A View - One of the most Romantic movies of all time, set in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It will make you want to roam the Italian countryside and kiss foppish English men. Key scenes in the movie are filmed in the Piazza Della Signora, Santa Croce, and Fiesole (the countryside outside Florence.)

Books to Pack in Your Suitcase: 
1. Birth of Venus, by Sarah Dunant - This book is set during the Renaissance in Florence, at the time when the Medici were over thrown, and Savonarola ruled the city. The plot gets a bit soapy, but the historical details are accurate and fascinating, particularly the depiction of the Bonfire of the Vanities. After reading the book, you can visit Savonarola's cell (along with his hair shirt) at San Marco Church in Florence. 

2. Portrait of A Lady, by Henry James - I read this book on my first trip to Italy and loved it. The heroine travels the continent, but spends a good deal of time in Florence.

3. A Room With A View, by E.M. Forster - See above. Even if you've watched the movie, the book is still wonderful.

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