Tuscany in literature

Marvelous hills with an unmistakable sight, cities filled with art where we feel history, small old town where time seems to have stopped: Tuscany is a land that has seduced visitors since the beginning of time. But it is not just visitors who are bewitched by Tuscany’s secrets, its native sons have been writing about the beauty that surrounds them from the time of Dante and beyond.

It’s difficult to imagine a non-Tuscan Dante, but it’s fun to trace the footsteps of the Divine Comedy in the area where the exiled poet composed his masterpiece. One of the most suggestive places is the Orrido di Botri canyon in the Lucca countryside. Scholars think that Dante stayed in Montefegatesi, a small town in the Bagni di Lucca commune, it was during that stay that the poet visited the canyon. And who can forget the tragic episode of Count Ugolino, closed in a tower without food and water while he watched his children die? The Torre della Fame, where Ugolino was trapped, still stands in Pisa atop the Palazzo dell’Orologio. From the city we go to the countryside with Boccaccio’s Decameron. It is the year 1348 and 10 young Florentines take refuge in the surrounding hills to avoid contact with the deadly plague ravaging the city. To walk in their footsteps, follow the 170 km Anello del Rinascimento trail through the hills of Florence that lead you through small parish churches, castles and ancient monasteries. Travelling through time to the 1500s we find the most important governor the Garfagnana has ever had: Ludovico Ariosto. Here, in Rocca di Castelnovo, Ariosto rewrote his Orlando Furioso. Today, visitors can walk the “Ariosto Trail” in the Apuan Alps. Giovanni Pascoli also stayed in the Garfagnana and wrote of the area’s epic beauty.

Tuscany inspired other great poets and writers like Giosuè Carducci (Castagneto Carducci), Gabriele D’Annunzio and Mario Tobino (Versilia). The Pistoia area was the inspiration for Carlo Lorenzini, known as Carlo Collodi, author of the worldwide famous Pinocchio novel. The area now boasts a theme park dedicated to Collodi and his famous characters, which was inaugurated in 1956. Nearby, on the Monte Spazzavento we find the tomb of Curzio Malaparte, that wrote about the second world war with a unique style. Going back towards Florence we come to the places of Aldo Palazzeschi, including Coverciano where “The Materassi Sisters” was written. Another great writer of his times was Vasco Pratolini, who revisited Florence’s ancient streets with new eyes and a poetic that touches the heart by giving voice and dignity to the poor during the Fascist regime. Siena has a different tradition in the stories of Federigo Tozzi, who shows a proud, inaccessible city where the characters navigate the solitude and difficulty of everyday life. Those who love police dramas can discover the dark side of Florence in the mysteries of Marco Vichi, a young Tuscan author whose detective, Franco Bordelli, investigates the crimes of the 1960s.

Source: Staff I Like Italy
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