The Piazzas of Florence by Lisa McGarry is my fifth and final book for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge - the completion of which means my first successful completion of a blogging reading challenge - yay!!
To say I am a little in love with this book would not be an overstatement! As I have mentioned before I am slightly obsessed with the idea of Italy - have never been but plans to visit are definitely a huge part of my life goals.
Through this book the author describes and explores her favourite twelve Florence Piazzas (public outdoor spaces). The written section for each Piazza is accompanied by a beautiful hand drawn map of the area which really helps to orientate you to the space that is being described. I can imagine this being a perfect book to take along with you on a trip to Florence to help you explore the area.
The social and political history as well as the current contexts of the city are written about from the viewpoint of the author, an American woman who has now settled in Florence with her young daughter.
At the end of the book the author has provided a reading list of non-fiction and fiction books focussing on Florence as well as other books that have inspired her living and writing. One of the books referred to is Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh which is described by McGarry as "a beautiful book of essays about accepting the joys and challenges of the different stages of a woman's life". At one stage in her book McGarry quotes from Gift From the Sea;
She believed that while woman may always be on call - whether at home or work, as mothers, daughters, partners or friends - it's important to spend some time alone each day, every week and once a year"
At the start of the book Lisa McGarry writes "I fell in love with the idea of Florence long before I came here" thanks to McGarry's book I feel exactly the same way.