• Florence – From Dante to Dan Brown

    by  • June 4, 2013 • City Breaks, Culture Breaks, Florence • 0 Comments

    If you were an avid follower of Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, chances are you’re well on your literary way through Inferno, the latest instalment in Professor Robert Langdon’s European symbolist-infused exploits. Fresh from weaving a rather fraught journey through Rome and Paris, in his third outing, Professor Langdon finds himself in the Tuscan capital, Florence, birthplace of Dante and home to a wealth of amazing art and architecture by a veritable who’s who of Italian Renaissance Masters. Paying a modern-day homage (of sorts) to Dante’s Divine Comedy, Dan Brown’s Inferno is putting Florence firmly back on the touristic trail, with visitor numbers reportedly up five percent during the first quarter of 2013.

    Florence City Break

    Florence City Break

    Taking centre stage in the novel are some of Florence’s finest architectural and historical gems. These include the Palazzo Vecchio, dominating the Piazza della Signoria and seat of the Florentine government; the unmissable Uffizi Gallery, housing a prestigious collection of Renaissance art bequeathed to the city by the Medici family including works by Giotto, Botticelli, Titian, Caravaggio and Da Vinci; the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, whose mighty red-tiled Duomo dominates Florence’s skyline; the Baptistery, one of the oldest buildings in Florence; the beautiful 16th-century Boboli Gardens; and the Vasari Corridor, a secret 1km passageway spanning the River Arno connecting some of the city’s aforementioned must-sees.

    And yet, it’s not just Inferno that’s brought this Renaissance city to life. A Room with a View, Tea with Mussolini, Hannibal and The Portrait of a Lady all allow Florence and its star attractions to shine on the silver screen. Perhaps a spot of pre-departure cinematic and literary research is required to truly whet your appetite for a memorable few days away in this most magical of Italian cities.


    With a French grandmother, childhood holidays on the continent and a degree in French and Spanish, a love of languages and travel has always been in my blood. Fresh from university with an unfettered enthusiasm to show off my linguistic ability and first-hand knowledge of the world beyond the UK, I entered the travel industry and, 16 years on, I’m still there! With several years spent in the luxury sector planning escorted holidays across Europe for the American market, followed by an even longer tenure designing short breaks with a difference in the must-see cities of Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid, Prague, Florence, Brussels, Venice, Salzburg, Milan, Krakow and Berlin (to name but a few), it’s fair to say that Europe is my passion! Today my travels have taken me far beyond the boundaries of Europe with so many destinations still to discover, yet the continent abounds in such a wealth of treasures – historical and architectural, cultural and musical, gastronomic, artistic and linguistic – that its appeal, for me, will be eternal.

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