The power of the written word is such that it has the ability to transport you to places you've been to before, allowing you to relive wonderful memories while making you long to create new ones. When you read a book about one of your favorite cities - say, Florence, for example - and every street a character walks down is a street you've walked down, every food a character eats is a food you've eaten, every landmark a character comments on is a landmark you've seen with your own eyes, there is something magically inspiring about that!
As a lover of anything Italian, I am very drawn to novels of the historical fiction genre, that allow me to envision my favorite cities in times past and to wonder what it must have been like to live in those times. If you also love Italy and historical fiction then you should absolutely read Andrew Serra's novel, The Dead Florentines. Set in 16th century Florence, it follows the life of a boy named Lorenzo and is filled with mystery and intrigue and love and drama. And the best part is that it gives you glimpses of the city of Florence as it was becoming the historical and architectural wonder that it is today.
I know I might be a little biased because Andrew Serra happens to be my husband, but I can assure you that The Dead Florentines is an amazing novel and well worth a read. And after you've read it you can go to Florence and walk down all the same streets, eat all the same foods and gaze upon all the same landmarks as Lorenzo did and witness for yourself what an amazing city Florence truly is.
There's still time to plan an Italian summer getaway...