A Return and Some Books

WordPress notified me that it’s been six months since my last post.  I’m annoyed with myself for letting the site drop, but prep for the coming semester got in the way (we began in early August rather than at the end of that month). Additionally, as classes shifted to online delivery, I ended up making myself more available to students than usual—and so, instead of filtering through photographs and trying to write some kind of travel details, I would read travel books in those quiet spots during my open student hours on Zoom. There are several texts that I’d like to recommend, and here are two very brief suggestions:

First:  Strolling Through Florence by Mario Erasmo (I. B. Tauris, 2018). Dr. Erasmo is a professor of Classics at the University of Georgia.

The book is extensive, comprehensive, and delightfully detailed. It describes–in extremely readable prose–ten different walks in the city (as well as nearby Fiesole). Each walk (or “tour”) details structures, art, historical events, and the major Florentine figures associated with the area.  There are few illustrations, but the book includes several helpful maps, a list of sites’ opening hours, a brief glossary of architectural terms, and an index. It’s really a pleasure to just open up to any random page and be transported immediately to this place I love so dearly.

As a quick follow up: Dr Rocky Ruggiero’s podcast, Rebuilding the Renaissance, is a really vibrant and informative show focusing on Florentine art and architecture. The podcast covers other cities and topics, but Florence is the primary subject,

A second recommendation is Eric Hazan’s A Walk Through Paris (Verso, 2018), wherein the author travels through the city from Ivry to Saint-Denis. It’s something of a meditation rather than a tour guide, but it’s still full of rich description, and his evocations of the city’s past and present are vivid and energetic.  

Off now to start filtering through my photos and to pray for an end to this virus that’s keeping us home.

Be well and stay safe!

Author: Jacqueline A. Pollard

Traveler. City Walker. Photo-taker. PhD in English.

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