Having been lucky enough to do a good amount of travelling in the last year one thing I have learnt is that it is great to get an impression for the place before you go. How? Lonely Planet, Baedaker (those of you who have read the book in question, do you get this?!) Certainly, these are some good sources for knowing where to go/ what to see etc.
Yet, what about literature? I have found that novels often give a far more evocative insight into a particular place.
In addition, saying you have read some amazing novel makes you sound incredibly intelligent/ sophisticated/ cultured… and we all like to give off that pretence!!
For Italy, here is my first recommendation: ‘A Room with a View’ by E.M. Forster.
I read this after I had been to Florence but the beautiful descriptions took me right back. Regardless of its early 20th century setting, the Forster’s descriptions of Florence still apply; a perfect example of the enduring beauty of the city. This will get you more excited about Florence than anything you could read in a guidebook.
And for the girls reading this, it conjures up a sense that you are about to commence on an exciting and romantic journey, just like the novel’s protagonist!
You have a bit of Santa Croce in there…
Machiavelli’s tomb makes an appearance in the novel.
My FAVOURITE LOCATION IN ALL OF ITALY: the Church of SAN MINIATO <3.
Check out this view from the Church:
Also, the vital part for anyone in the process of travelling/ finding themselves/ enjoying zero responsibility: it’s an easy-peasy read. Ahhh yeah.
N.B. All these photos were taken by me on my course with AHA.