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Blog posts tagged with 'florence'

The Medici
It would be difficult to write a boring book about the Medici, but it takes a thoughtful writer to weave the many complex storylines of Italy’s most infamous ruling family into an accessible narrative that is both entertaining and informing. Paul Strathern has done exactly this in his latest release The Medici: Power, Money and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance. In his straightforward history, Strathern chronicles the rise of the Medici, briefly covering the earliest descendants before launching into the origins of the Medici Bank. This well-oiled banking system was extremely profitable and far-reaching, eventually obtaining the papal account and establishing branches across Europe.
The Geography of Genius
"True genius is inexhaustible," writes Eric Weiner, "the ghosts of Michelangelo and Leonardo and Botticelli and all the rest hang in the air, like a San Francisco fo­g. You'd think it would have burned off by now, five hundred years later, but it hasn't." In his new work of popular journalism, The Geography of Genius, the former NPR correspondent explores seven world cities and explains how genius loci (the spirit of the place) fostered great human achievement.
Grosseto, Italy
Kindly contributed by Italy correspondent for The Economist John Hooper, who explores Italy -- its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture -- in his new, illuminating portrait The Italians. A must-read for anyone seeking to understand the country as it exists today.
  For the traveller, unexpected discoveries are commonplace; unexpected journeys are rarer. I had been at a conference in Siena. On the night before my departure, there was one of those apocalyptic storms that break surprisingly often in the skies over Italy. At the railway station the next day they told me the line to Florence was impassable -- hopelessly flooded. The only way back to Rome was by way of Grosseto.
Parma
Kindly contributed by Wallis Wilde-Menozzi, an ardent Midwesterner transplanted to Italy where she has lived for decades. The author returns to her "Rome Years" in The Other Side of the Tiber, a soulful meditation on the Eternal City and other Italian cities that seeped into her sense of self, long before she permanently settled in Parma. Here she describes a treasure, worth a pilgrimage to that city.