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A city so rich in history; Florence is a city of stories. It’s inspired authors and filmmakers with both its intriguing past and its present beauty. So if you’re keen to be further inspired before you travel or learn more when you arrive home, here’s where to get started. 

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A Room with a View – E.M. Forester

This classic romance novel is set in the Victorian era when the English travelled Europe to educate their sons and find husbands for their daughters. With Florence as its backdrop, it’s a story of love and misunderstandings in a strict time period. 

Hannibal – Thomas Harris

This thriller is the third novel in the Hannibal Lecter series which sees an FBI agent on the trail of serial killer Lecter who is hiding in Florence. The book was adapted into a film in 2001 directed by Ridley Scott and a television series as well. 

The House of Medici – Christopher Hibbert

This non-fiction account of Florence's first family of the Renaissance is full of wealth, religious scandals, two French queens and much political turmoil. It’s a fascinating story that historians, particularly art historians, will relish. The index tells where to find many remaining artworks still in Florence.

Italian Renaissance Art – Laurie Schneider Adams

This comprehensive guide of Renaissance art is a great crash course or refresher to read before you leave or while you’re visiting. Covering everything from the most renowned masterpieces to the lesser known but equally fascinating works, it’s a great introduction to Italian art history. 

Inferno – Dan Brown

Inferno is from the author of the popular Da Vinci Code. Professor Robert Langdon wakes in a Florence hospital without memory of the last 36 hours and is pursued by an assassin. This thriller focuses on Florentine Dante Alighieri´s literary work The Divine Comedy.

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Tea with Mussolini 

This film from the late 1990’s is set in Florence before and during World War II. Starring Dame Judi Dench and Maggie Smith (who won a BAFTA Award for her performance) it’s about a group of English women taking care of a young Florentine boy. 

Obsession

Multi-award winning film director Brian De Palma’s psychological thriller about a kidnapping and murder that is seemly repeating itself; much of the movie is focussed on Florence’s majestic San Miniato al Monte church and its panoramic views. 

Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance 

This informative four-party documentary miniseries was created in 2004 and delves into the history of Florence’s most well-known family. It’s a fascinating account that celebrates the victories and reveals the violent tragedies that created the Renaissance movement as we know it. 

Under the Tuscan Sun

Based on the memoir of Frances Mayes, an American woman decides to dramatically change her life following a messy divorce by purchasing a Villa in Tuscany. The 2003 romantic comedy stars Diane Lane who received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. 

Secrets of Florence

This National Geographic documentary reveals the lesser-known dark underbelly of Florence’s history. Professional art investigators unveil secret tunnels underneath the city streets and theatres and use thermo-cameras to uncover curious findings below famous landmarks and artworks.