As an avid reader of Renaissance history I am constantly on the lookout for something new and different to read. As anyone who is also be familiar with my blog will know, I am also fascinated by the historically unusual and when travelling I like to able to seek out those sites which are generally overlooked by mainstream travel guides. Chris Dobson’s book The Lost Towers of Florence ticks all the boxes I have mentioned and it was a real delight to sit down and read through his portrayal of Florence through these ‘Lost Towers’.
Chris takes us back to the High Middle Ages and paints a picture of the tower-filled skyline of Florence which is totally different to the skyline of today. He explains why the towers were built, the role of the rival Guelph and Ghibillene factions in the building of these towers and how the rivalry of these two families saw Florence suffer under a bloody civil war which lasted for several generations. He explains where the remnants of some of these towers can still be seen and why they are significant to the historical perspective of this majestic town.
Although nearly all of these towers are long gone, Chris provides the reader with a clear and almost tangible impression of what Florence must have looked like during this time, the people who lived in Florence at the time and the uncertainty which pervaded their everyday lives.
This ebook is a real pleasure to read and I couldn’t put it down. Chris has a gift of a clear, precise but simple writing style which almost makes you feel you are listening to him talk rather than reading his words.
If you are an avid reader of Italian history, then this is a must read, but equally if you are travelling to Florence, I would highly recommend you buy a copy of his book – it is after all, a wonderful guide to some intriguing and not-to-be-missed sights of Florence.