Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Florence, A Delicate Case by David Leavitt (2002)

I'm not sure what to call this book or how to descsribe it.  In essence, it is a little literary love letter to Florence.  Some of it was over my head, but all of it was lovingly and beautifully written.  I'm a gay man, who was reading it while traveling in Florence; it's by a gay man who lives in Florence; and it was about various gay men and women who have lived in Florence over the ages.  Florence made more sense to me after reading it, from a historical standpoint, and the English gardens of Fiesole, Forster, the romantic attraction of Florence for gay English men and women (not to mention Russians and Poles) was explained by the book (it was "easier" to be homosexual in Italy, and especially Florence, than it was in England; sounds like it was easier to pick up guys in Florence as well, who would do it for money).    Some other bits and pieces of Florentine history were explained as well (such as the Nazis blowing up the bridges over the Arno as they retreated, or the great flood of 1966 that destroyed so many works of art).  A sweet and interesting little book.

Florence: A Delicate CaseFlorence: A Delicate Case by David Leavitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not sure how to describe this book - it's a little bit of history, a little bit of literature, some art history - how about a little literary love letter to Florence? I'd definitely recommend finding a copy and reading it if you are visiting this most beautiful and romantic of cities.  Some of this was over my head, but all it was lovingly and beautifully written.


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