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Renaissance Florence on Five Florins a Day

Charles FitzRoy

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Under the patronage of Lorenzo de’ Medici, the Magnificent, no city on earth can match its culture, learning, art and naked ambition


This fact-packed guide provides all the practical advice you need for a journey back in time to the golden age of Florence. Witty and informative, Renaissance Florence on Five Florins a Day will appeal to travellers, museum-goers and anyone who wonders what it would really have been like to visit this model of Renaissance culture.

Take in the sights and sounds, marvel at Brunelleschi’s sublime cathedral dome, wonder at the sculptures and paintings that have made this the art capital of its day, and lose yourself in the thrilling (and often riotous) local feasts and festivals. Learn the secrets of Florence’s legendary wealth, and discover what happens behind the closed doors of those grand palazzi.

Along the way, you will delve into the lives of the rich and famous – with plenty of anecdotes and first-hand quotes from the period – the Medici and the other important families in Florence, the up-and-coming artists Michelangelo and Leonardo, and the humanist philosophers battling the Church.

Here, too, is the darker side of life in the city, from its taverns and brothels to the grisly punishments meted out to wrongdoers and the rabble-rousing of Savonarola.

Also included is invaluable advice if you’re planning to travel around Tuscany, whether to explore the beautiful countryside outside Florence or the stunning cities of Pisa, Siena, Arezzo and Cortona – including how to recognize and avoid bandits, mercenaries and condottieri.

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'A colourful and engaging tour of the Tuscan city as it would have been in the late 15th century … this lively and detailed social history captures the city’s golden age'
Financial Times

'… brings a fresh eye to fifteenth-century living and plenty of amusing historical anecdotes along the way'
V&A Magazine

'Excellent … one of the most original - and certainly wittiest - guidebooks to Tuscany … If you want a guidebook that allows you to see Florence through completely new eyes, then look no further'
Yorkshire Evening Post

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 20.0 x 13.5 cm

Extent: 144 pp

Illustrations: 86

Publication date: 6 April 2010

ISBN: 9780500251621

Contents List

1. Preparation and Arrival • 2. At Home • 3. Out and About with the Florentines • 4. Politicans, Painters, Philosophers and Condottieri • 4. Must-See Sights • 5. Guilds, Trade and Tax • 6. Religion • 7. Festivals • 8. The Area Surrounding Florence • 9. Touring Tuscany, including Pisa, Arezzo and Siena.

About the Author

Charles FitzRoy is the author of Italy: A Grand Tour for the Modern Traveller and Italy Revealed, as well as a contributor to The Great Cities in History. He leads tours for Fine Art Travel, a London-based company that organizes cultural tours throughout Europe, including Italy.