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What can I read for a good overview of Florentine history?

wales
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What can I read for a good overview of Florentine history?

I have 5 weeks to learn enough to appreciate what I am seeing, recommendations please...

north carolina
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1. Re: What can I read for a good overview of Florentine history?

Well of course a travel guide, and some history of Italy, which is inextricably interwoven with the history of Florence. But, but, but, the one that I love is "The City of Florence" by R.W.B. Lewis.

I think the this gives the best feel for what the city is about, and how/why it is so important in any study of Western culture, politics, history.

The author does a masterful job of beginning with any thread of Florentine history or culture and then expanding, analysing, developing many ideas, possibly far afield from Florence, that are related to the first thread. It is very high quality writing and fun to read. Owl Books, Henry Holt and Co. 1995.

wales
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2. Re: What can I read for a good overview of Florentine history?

That sounds brilliant, thanks.

I have read a few novels about the Medici's but am ready for some proper history.

United States
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3. Re: What can I read for a good overview of Florentine history?

I loved "Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture" by Ross King

wales
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4. Re: What can I read for a good overview of Florentine history?

Thanks xyz99, I will have a look.

Roadgard, your suggestion is winging it's way from Amazon :-)

north carolina
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5. Re: What can I read for a good overview of Florentine history?

Right, "Brunelleschi's Dome" is very fine, both the book and the structure. And you can actually climb the dome when you get there. It is not just a history book and not just an architecture book, but has interesting insights on Florentine politics and customs in that period.

But you have time to learn a few words and phrases of Italian before you go and that would greatly enhance the experience.

Edited: 12:16 pm, March 26, 2014
Ocean City, MD
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6. Re: What can I read for a good overview of Florentine history?

Birth of Venus by Sara Dunant, quite interesting read about the Medici's and Savonarola. I haven't read these 2 yet: Rise & Fall of the House of Medici and I, Mona Lisa (Da Vinci, Medici's & politics).

This link is from 2012, have fun reading about an incredible city.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187895-i68-k52188…

Amelia Island...
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7. Re: What can I read for a good overview of Florentine history?

Try "Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de' Medici" by Miles J. Unger

Great history lesson of Florence told as a drama. Could not put it down.

Savannah, GA
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8. Re: What can I read for a good overview of Florentine history?

DIARY OF FLORENCE IN FLOOD by Kathryn Kressman Taylor. Out of print, but easy to find used. Read it, referring frequently to the map on the end papers, and then visit Santa Croce and ask a docent to show the line of demarcation indicating how high the waters were. You'll not believe anything survived.

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9. Re: What can I read for a good overview of Florentine history?

I loved The Agony and the Ecstacy! Historical fiction about Michelangelos life.

Firenze
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10. Re: What can I read for a good overview of Florentine history?

Florence

Margaret Haines (ed.) - The Years of the Cupola 1417-1436. A fascinating digital archive of the sources of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, now available on line at www.operaduomo.firenze.it/cupola.

Art and Architecture

David Wilkins and Frederick Hartt - History of Italian Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. (Abrams 1994)

Ross King - Brunelleschi’s Dome: one of the most popular books on the Dome. It offers a detailed description of construction techniques

The Medici

The Medici – Godfathers of the Renaissance – PBS Series available on DVD or through Netflix

Tim Parks - Medici Money - (Atlas Books, 2005) Evoking the richness of the Florentine Renaissance and the Medici's glittering circle, replete with artists, popes, and kings, Medici Money is a look into the origins of modern banking and its troubled relationship with art and religion.

Christopher Hibbert – The House of Medici – Its Rise & Fall.

Florentine history

Historical Novels

Sarah Dunant - The Birth of Venus

Dava Sobel - Galileo’s Daughter

Irving Stone - The Agony and the Ecstasy

A description of the plague of 1348 can be found in Ken Follet

Florentine Setting: classics

W.D. Howells - Indian Summer

Henry James - Italian Hours

E. M. Forster - A Room With A View

Mary McCarthy – The Stones of Florence

Tuscany and Siena (Non-Fiction)

A Thousand Days in Tuscany – Marlena de Blasi

The Tuscan Trilogy – Ferenc Mate (The Hills of Tuscany, A Vineyard in Tuscany, The Wisdom of Tuscany)

Seven Seasons in Siena – Robert Rodi

Movies to Consider

Letters to Juliette – Vanessa Redgrave/Amanda Seyfried – 2010

Stealing Beauty – Liv Tyler/Jeremy Irons – 1996