Imagine a parrot flying from rooftop to window in piazza Santo Spirito and you’ve captured the colour, surprise and joy that Florence flings at all those who love her. Author Sarah Winman conjures up this glorious flight of fancy in her novel Still Life, which appears on bookshelves this month. More than mere beach reading, this richly portrayed tome sweeps from a 1944 chance encounter in the Tuscan countryside to post-war London and a surprise later move to Florence. It’s a celebration of family, friendship and the complexities that enthral non-natives who choose the Tuscan capital as their permanent home. Still Life is without a doubt one of the finest novels to have emerged about Florence in recent years, which is why we’ve listed it alongside other Italy-centric books for your reading pleasure on page 21.