As any avid book lover will know, there’s nothing quite like sitting down to a good read. Whether it be outstretched in a hammock on a warm Tuscan afternoon or curled up on the couch at the end of a long day, to switch off and be momentarily whisked away on a compelling carpet of words to a far off fictitious land is one of life’s true pleasures. Florence provides the setting for numerous books past and present, and we’ve recently gotten word of a few recent releases worth mentioning. Take your pick from these 6 new books set in Florence, each with its own exciting story to tell.
Simonetta – Fay Picardi
(released 17 September 2015)
Based on the model woman from Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, who we all recognise yet know little about, the 15th century life of Simonetta Vespucci is unravelled in Fay Picardi’s historical fiction. From her childhood, her links with the Medici family, to how she became Florence’s beloved Renaissance beauty, Fay Piccardi brings Simonetta out of her shell, with the first book written in English, to tell her tale. With years of dedicated research behind the carefully devised letters and conversations in the book, Fay Piccardi creates her own sensational portrayal of a globally treasured woman. This fascinating, detailed and accurate story will make you feel as though you’re really living in Lorenzo de ’Medici’s Florence.
Death in Florence – Marco Vichi
(released 15 October 2015)
Part of the Inspector Bordelli Mysteries by Florentine author Vichi, a publishing phenomenon in Italian; this is one of his few books that have been translated into English. Set in the heart of post-war Florence, this mysterious novel holds many unanswered questions to be solved. With the relentless rain and disappearance of a young boy on his way home from school, Marco Vichi brings a sombre and secret side to Italy’s much loved city. Inspector Bordelli is left to carry the investigation into the disappearance but when the River Arno’s banks break and Florence becomes home to a huge flood; will he ever be able to solve the case of the missing boy? This most recent edition, published by Pegasus gives a fresh look to this captivating tale.
The Shadow – Sylvain Reynard
(released 2nd February 2016)
A sappy tale with a paranormal twist. Sylvain Reynard, the New York Time’s bestselling author of the Gabriel trilogy, now presents a sensual thriller that casts darkness over an otherwise vibrant city. For those of you Twilight fans, you can certainly get your teeth into this one! Following on from the first book The Raven in the new Florentine Series Trilogy, William, the vampire prince has returned and is on a mission to seek revenge for his beloved Raven, against the darks forces of her past. Sabotage of an investigation into Raven’s unknown connection with an Uffizi Gallery theft leads to the prince’s becoming an enemy of the vampires, leaving more than just a broken heart on the line… This trash fiction novel will be sure to get your blood rushing.
The Fakir of Florence – Paul Cudenec
(released 10 March 2016)
The Fakir of Florence, subtitled “A Novel in Three Layers” consists of 3 separate divisions, which all make up the same novel. The first narrational layer is a contemporary, first-hand account by 21st century writer, Paul Cudenec, who gained inspiration from the art and vitality in Florence. The second is a book which he uncovers and translates into English, telling the story of a spiritualist wanderer who arrived in Florence during the Renaissance and preached an unruly form of metaphysics. The third part, set in an invented, former age consists of the philosophical stories told by a fictional character of il fachiro di Firenze. This novel will no doubt leave you feeling philosophically awakened and with quite a different perception of Florence.
A Zany Slice of Tuscany – Ivanka Di Felice
(Released 7 April 2016)
A Zany Slice of Tuscany by Ivanka Di Felice offers a humorous take on the life and adventures she has in Italy. She forever dreams of the picture perfect, luxurious Italian lifestyle, surrounded by fine food and conversation, yet it seems that this is far from reality. A Zany Slice of Tuscany not only gives an inside glimpse into the beauty of living abroad but also shows us a rarely discovered Italy. With wit and charm in abundance, Zany Slice of Tuscany leaves you with that feel good feeling you never want to end. Be prepared to be transported to Bella Italia like you have never seen before!
Portrait of a Conspiracy: Da Vinci’s Disciples – Donna Russo Morin
(released 10 May 2016)
This riveting, historical fiction novel by award winning Donna Russo Morin starts off the Da Vinci’s Disciples trilogy series. Set in 15th-century Florence, at the time of the Medici rule, Portrait of a Conspiracy is a portrait of the dangerous beauty of Renaissance Florence. The novel, filled with art, passion and violence, is about a group of courageous women who join together in secrecy through their passion for painting, in the very midst of the Medici and Pazzi families’ power-hungry feud. When one of the women goes missing, along with an important painting, they must venture onto the treacherous streets… but with the help of a steady hand from renowned painter Leonardo Da Vinci, will things start to look up?