When it comes to iconic images that grab the heart and soul of every one who has travelled to Italy or has longed to travel to that destination, the first one that must come to mind is that of the Ponte Vecchio, Florence. Whether you have walked it numerous times or just the once, the very essence of Florence lies in that experience.
Recently I had the privileged of reading Chris Dobson’s soon to be published book Ponte Vecchio – The Old Bridge of Florence and from the very first page I was captivated. I love Florentine history and have read extensively about the history of the city and the key characters, including of course the Medici, who shaped both the fortunes and destiny of this wonderful, evocative city. This book however, adds a new and vibrant contribution to the history of Florence by taking the reader on a journey over the many bridges which preceded the current Ponte Vecchio, highlighting their importance to the development of the city and the role that these bridges played across 3,000 years of history.
The cast of characters which Chris has woven into the historical narrative is extraordinary and enlightening even to someone such as myself who believes that they have a reasonably comprehensive knowledge of Florentine history. Be prepared to almost tirelessly wander backwards and forwards over this bridge and its predecessors encountering as you go the expected and unexpected, as Chris weaves you the reader into the very fabric of Florentine life that this bridge so represents while stunning you with his detail and knowledge. The book is also beautifully illustrated.
Chris has a passion for Florence and an enviable knowledge, and if you haven’t already read The Lost Towers of Florence, then I encourage you to do so. His style of writing makes reading history a real delight and while I have read and highly recommend his other books, Ponte Vecchio really does establish Chris as a writer of significant note in this genre.
I feel enormously privileged to have been able to preview this book and I highly recommend you pre-order a copy through Chris’ website at http://www.chrisdobson.net/buy-ebooks-on-the-history-of-florence.html