After an endless hunt for an affordable one-bedroom in Florence, Italy, ran her ragged, Mary Gray launched her “Rental Diaries” column on all things apartment-related. Triumphs. Disasters. Minor inconveniences. Meddling neighbors. This compilation of the column’s first 30 volumes is no flowery manifesto about the healing powers of la dolce vita. But it celebrates the dual joy and despair of renting in the Renaissance city—and the unexpected sweetness of building a home when you’re unsure where or what “home” really is.
Mary Gray is a writer and journalist based in Florence, Italy. From 2015 to 2019, she was Events and Associate Editor at The Florentine, where the ‘Rental Diaries’ column is published monthly. She was born and raised in Mississippi.