“Florence itself is incomparable, and the distinguished visitors who have drawn inspiration here have added layers of enjoyment to the modern traveler’s experience of its streets and monuments. Florence Has Won My Heart is a delightful vademecum for anyone who wants to understand how and why the city has enchanted the world for centuries.”
Jonathan Galassi,
Chairman and Executive Editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux


‘Florence is everything and all the rest is nothing’—Sir Edward Burne-Jones on his deathbed. Since the time of Sir John Hawkwood in the 14th century travellers from the English-speaking world have been drawn to Florence. In the 18th century it was the English milords who dominated the scene, wealthy followers of the Grand Tour whose open wallets and healthy appetites endeared them to their Italian hosts. After the hiatus of the Napoleonic wars a broader range of visitors came, now also from America, and after 1848 often arriving by train.

Florence became ‘a sunny place for shady people’—attracted by the climate, the low cost of living and a morality tolerant of homosexuality and Lesbianism, turning a blind eye to adultery. Above all of these, though, was the art: the wealth of Florence, made in banking, had been spent in creating some of the greatest works of art in Western culture. This heritage remained the overriding magnet and influence.

This book deals with the literary visitors to Florence, and tells a fascinating story peopled by a wide variety of writers and the society of exiles they created. The cast list, from Tobias Smollett to Mark Twain, Henry James and Edith Wharton to James Joyce and D.H. Lawrence, is immense: every significant author from the Anglo-American literary world seems to have had a Florentine experience: and written about it.

Additional information

Weight 0.6 kg
Dimensions 240 × 165 × 25 cm


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