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The Florence and Venice of Dan Brown's Inferno_ An illustrated Guide

The Florence and Venice of Dan Brown's Inferno_ An illustrated Guide

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Published by Catherine Sanders
Are you curious to see the places and objects mentioned in dan brown's novel, Inferno? here is a guide with lots of pictures and hyperlinks for those who want to delve deeper into the mysteries of Florence and Venice.
Are you curious to see the places and objects mentioned in dan brown's novel, Inferno? here is a guide with lots of pictures and hyperlinks for those who want to delve deeper into the mysteries of Florence and Venice.

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Published by: Catherine Sanders on Jun 27, 2013
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04/25/2015

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TheFlorenceandVeniceofDanBrown’s
Inferno
©ThomasR.Beyer,Jr.
C.V.StarrProfessorMiddleburyCollegeRobertLangdon,theHarvardProfessorofSymbologyandArtHistory,hasbeensightedagain.ThecreationofauthorDanBrown,whowithhisnovelsandfilmsof
 AngelsandDemons
,
TheDaVinciCode
and
TheLostSymbol 
hasreachedhundredsofmillionsreadersandviewers,returnstoEuropewherehehadsearchedandsolvedpuzzlesinRomeandParis,basedonhisknowledgeofart,architectureandhistory.ThepopularityofBrown’snovelscreateditsowntouristicexplorationsofthosetwocitiesandthereislittlereasontodoubtthatFlorenceandVenicewillbeexperienceanythingdifferent.BrowncommentedinaMay17,2013interviewwithCharlieRose:“Locationisacharacterinthesebooks.Iloveart.Ilovearchitecture.Myherolovesartandarchitecture.Andpartofthischase,reallyinallofmybooks,isachasethroughalandscape.Langdonisoneofthesecharacterswho,whilehe'sontherun,ifhepassesaCaravaggio,he'sprobablygoingtohaveathoughtaboutit."OneshouldbeclearfromthebeginningthatBrownhaswrittenanovelandhadnointentionofmakinghisworkaguidebooktoFlorenceorVenice.But
Inferno
,astheprecedingRobertLangdonnovelsopenswithadeclarationbeforetheactionscommencethat“Allartwork,...andhistoricalreferencesarereal.”Theastutereaderwillhavereadonthecopyrightpagethemorerevealingdisclaimer:“Thisbookisaworkoffiction.Names,characters,...places...aretheproductoftheauthor’simaginationorareusedfictitiously.Anyresemblance...isentirelycoincidental.”But,andthismaybeourstartingpoint,Brownhasrediscoveredandpresentedformillionssomeveryfamousplacesinanewlight,andsomelesserknownattractionsthatmaynowreceivetheirdue.Thisworktracesthegeographyofthenovel,
Inferno
,intheorderthesitesappearinthebook.TheverbalartofDanBrownishereenhancedbytheactualvisualrepresentationthroughphotographstakenbytheauthorandadditionalhyperlinkstootherresources.AttheendofRobertLangdon’svisittoFlorence,thenVenice,Iwillprovidesomesuggestionsastohowandwhatcanbeaccomplishedinasingledayortwo.
 
Florence
ThePrologue
Shade,thefirstreferencetoDanteandhisown
DivineComedy 
wheretheinhabitantsofHell(Inferno)areknownas“shades,”isrunningfeverishly.BelievingheishotlypursuedheturnsleftfromthebanksoftheArnoRiverandheadsnorthalongtheViadeiCastellani,sinkingintotheshadowoftheUffizithatwillalsotakehimpasttherearofthePalazzoVecchio.OnwardtothePiazzadiSanFirenzehepassestheBargelloMuseumonhisrightandthenmakeshiswayintothecourtyardoftheBadiaChurchandMonastery.TheChurchitselfisthefirstofallusionstothepoetandpatrician/politicianofFlorence,DanteAlighieri,inthenovel.Foundedin978theChurchisacrossthestreetfromDante’sbirthplaceandpresumedtobetheChurchmentionedinCantoXVof
Paradise
:“Florence,withinherancientringofwallsthatringfromwhichshestilldrawstierceandnonessoberandchaste,livedintranquillity.”TheChurchcomplexalsoservedasthemeetingplaceforthecitycouncilorsorPriorsbeforetheconstructionofthePalazzoVecchioin1299.Dantewasoneofthemforabriefperiodoftime.ItisherethattheShadewillclimbthetoweroftheBadiaFiorentinaandeventuallyleaptohisdeath.Asabruptlyasithadbegun,sodoesthePrologueendwiththebodyofShadeonthegroundjustyardsawayfrommoreplacesintimatelyconnectedwiththelifeofDante.
 
TheFarSideoftheRiver
RobertLangdonawakesdisorientedtodiscoverheisinaclinicorsomeotherhealthcarefacility.Readerswhohavecompletedthenovelwillunderstandwhythespecificclinicorhospitalcannotbeidentifiedorgeographicallypositioned.ThemysteriousVayentha,however,iswaitingoutsideontheViaTorregalli.(Thereisanactualhospital,theNuovoOspedalediSanGiovannidiDionearby).FromhisroomLangdoncanseethestonefortresswithitsthreehundredfoottower,bulgingatthetop,thePalazzoVecchio.AssuchweknowthatLangdonisonthesouthsideoftheRiverArno.FromtheclinicLangdonmakeshisescapewiththehelpofSiennaBrooks.(*SeetheconflictofSienaandFlorenceinWikipedia.Dantewilluseitin
Inferno
CantoXXXII).Viataxitheypassacemeterytoherapartment,anotherplacenottobelocatedonthemap.LangdondoeslookoutawindowtoseethespiresofthetheBadia,theBargello,theCampanile(BellTower),andthedomeofilDuomo(TheCathedral).OnthestreetbelowacrossandinfrontofthePensionelaFiorentinasitsVayentha,who,webelieve,isonanassassin’smission.WhenitistimetoleavetheapartmentLangdonandhisnewfoundsaviororguide(notunliketheguidesinDante’s
DivineComed
),scooteroutofagarageandmakeahardleftontothewindingVialeNiccolòMacchiavelli.TheystopshortthreehundredyardsnorthofthesoutheasternedgeofthePortaRomana.MeanwhileVayenthaisheadingnorthalongtheVialedelPoggioImperiale—astraightboulevardleadingintothesouthendofthePortaRomana.FindingamassivetrafficjamshereversesdirectiontofindanotherwayacrosstheArnoRiverviathePontealleGrazie.ThenshewillcircletoherlefttowardthePalazzoVecchio,parkherbikeandwalkoutontothePonteVecchio.FromthebridgeshewilltakehermotorcyclenorthofthePalazzoVecchio,parkthenreturnthroughthePiazzadellaSignoriapassingthefamousLoggiadeiLanzi.

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