Katie Campbell's most recent book, Paradise of Exiles: The Anglo-American Gardens of Florence, provides a social and horticultural history of this eccentric expatriate community. She helps run Buckingham University's garden history MA program and lectures for Martin Randall, the Ultimate Travel Company, Fine Art Tours and Beyond the Yalla Dog, for whom she will be leading a garden tour in Tuscany this autumn.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the hills around
Florence were filled with abandoned villas whose aristocratic owners had gone
bankrupt, lost interest, or moved on to Rome when it became the capital of the
newly unified Italy. In his 1909 book, Italian Hours, Henry James