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Leafing through Italy

by Webmaster last modified 2008-07-14 13:31

Have you ever read a book and longed to visit the landscapes described? Follow in the footsteps of these authors as they make their way about Italy.

1. A room with a view by E. M. Forster
Thousands of (predominantly female) visitors to Florence each year look out of their hotel windows and wonder if this was how Lucy Honeychurch felt when she first visited the city. They'll then tour the city eyes peeled for murder scenes or other passionate crimes and then head for Fiesole, husband in tow, where George awaits them. Or does he ...

2. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster
We're still with Forster, this time in San Gimignano, to the south of Florence. If you don't find your Geroge in Fiesole you can always head to the charming towered town of San Gimignano where the recently widowed Lilis meets and marries Gino, her very own Italian stallion.

3. Miss Garnet's Angel by Sally Vickers
One of this year's best-sellers is bringing visitors flocking to Venice on the Miss Garnet trail. Can you find Julia's apartment? The canals she walked along? Her favourite cafés and the church where she had her epiphany?

Extra Virgin by Annie Hawes
Ever dream of packing in the day job and whiling away your days in your very own idyllic Italian farmhouse retreat? Read Annie Hawes' entertaining book first, then fly off to the tiny village of Diano San Pietro in Liguria and live the dream for yourself.

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Whatever you do, don't set off with your copy of Ripley and hope to find Dickie Greenleaf's Italian haven lurking just south of Naples. Mongibello, in many respects the archetypal Italian fishing village, is a figment of Highsmith's imagination. Fans of the film should head to Ischia where much of the story was filmed. Fancy a challenge? Take a close look at the film version and then find the locations. Observant viewers will notice that the Venice concert was filmed in Palermo's La Martorana church, the café in Piazza di Spagna never existed, many of the Rome scenes were shot in Naples (and vice versa). A bit like the book really - nothing is quite what it seems . .

Have you found your favourite Italian literary location? Let us know for ItaliaPlease's next Book Quest.

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