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libri toscana
March 11, 2020

Tuscany in 10 books

Florence and not only told by the pen of great writers of yesterday and today. To travel with the mind while #iorestoacasa

In these days when we are called to stay at home as much as possible, what could be better than exploring our beautiful region through the pages of a book?

Here's the top ten must-see:

Room with a View - Edward Morgan Forster

It's the book from which the famous movie directed by James Ivory is based. A way to discover Florence through the eyes of a young English tourist from the early 20th century. The young Lucy travels with her cousin in Italy but in Florence she will meet George Emerson, a young man educated according to less conservative ideals by his widowed father. Thus began a struggle between respectability and emotionality.

Le ragazze di San Frediano - Vasco Pratolini

The revenge of a group of girls from the San Frediano district of Florence against the handsome Bob, a boy first coveted by all and then discovered as a double agent. A book that tells in a choral way about this historic district of Florence.

Cronache di poveri amanti - Vasco Pratolini

Another masterpiece by Vasco Pratolini. The story is set in Florence between 1925 and 1926 and the protagonists of the novel are the inhabitants, mostly proletarians and subproletarians, of Via del Corno which is located between Palazzo Vecchio and Santa Croce, the same street where the author had spent some years of his youth. A choral novel that describes the upheaval that the rise of Fascism brings to the lives of the so-called "cornacchiai".

Sorelle Materassi - Aldo Palazzeschi

Palazzeschi tells the story of three sisters who live in Coverciano, near Florence, whose daily life is abruptly interrupted by the arrival of a nephew who will disrupt the lives of the three to the point of putting their finances in crisis. A journey through the Florentine countryside, in its customs and dialect.

The Seaman of Gibraltar - Marguerite Duras

Set in the immediate post-war period, the Seaman of Gibraltar transports readers to Tuscany in the late 1940s: a couple of French boys travelling from Pisa go to visit Florence. The heat and the desire to change something in their life leads the boy to discover the lesser known Tuscany, in a small village at the mouth of the Serchio river, where his life will have a turning point.

Maledetti toscani - Curzio Malaparte

In 1956 the writer from Prato, Curzio Malaparte, published a book on the nature of the Tuscans, telling about their vices and virtues: a unique people, "with Paradise in their eyes and Hell in their mouth". The result is an extraordinary compendium of Tuscanity, which only a Tuscan could write.
With anthropologist's meticulousness and ironic flashes, Malaparte accompanies the reader from town to town to get to know its inhabitants. Between the kindness of the Sienese and the stubborn spirit of initiative of his conterrai of Prato, the Florentines cannot miss out: indomitable, proud, superb. Always ready to remind, even the Grand Duke, that "this is the way things are done in Florence".

Inferno - Dan Brown

"Palazzo Vecchio looks like a giant chess tower. With its solid square facade and crenellated terraces, the building is situated to guard the south-eastern corner of Piazza della Signoria". This is how Dan Brown describes the Florentine palace in his best-selling film, which inspired director Ron Howard's blockbuster film. In these pages, an ancient Florence full of mysteries, discovering the secrets of the Divine Comedy and the great Florentine poet.

The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

A book to read in one go, which tells the story of Edmondo Dantes, a young sailor from Marseilles who was betrayed by his friends and will be put in prison for fourteen years. When he manages to escape, he will use all his resources to carry out his revenge. A book that allows him to descend into 19th century France and Italy, and in which much is also talked about Tuscany: especially Livorno and the Island of Montecristo.

Con gli occhi chiusi - Federigo Tozzi

Tozzi's dry and essential style guides us to the discovery of the country life of the adolescent Pietro, succubus of his father's physical and psychological violence. The boy soon falls in love with Ghisola... . The book is set in Siena.

The Adventures of Pinocchio. Story of a puppet - Carlo Collodi

We conclude with perhaps the greatest of all the classics, a story that we all know broadly, but of which few have read the original text. Some sources would set the adventures of Pinocchio in the area north of Florence, in particular in the localities of Castello, Peretola, Osmannoro and Sesto Fiorentino. The part of the story in which Pinocchio is hanged by the murderers at the Great Oak is instead set in the province of Lucca, near Gragnano, finds the tree described by Collodi, called the Oak of witches.

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