|The river Arno from Ponte S. Trinita|
|My gorgeous, enormous bedroom|
|Ponte Vecchio at dusk|
I took my 30 year old copy of A Room With a View with me to read. It's a while since I've read it and probably ten years since I watched the film as I only had it on VHS but, oh, oh, oh, it was as fresh and fabulous as ever. I adore E.M. Forster's work and I enjoy this particular novel's reliance on coincidence and overlap, its swipes at snobbishness, and its glorification of art and love. (It wasn't Forster's fave of his books, he considered it 'thin'.) The book is vivid in my memory, so it was comforting to revisit, but I also found it really crisp and funny, as if I was coming at it for the first time. I started to very deliberately slow down my reading so that I would get to spend longer with Lucy, George, Mr Beebe et al. (I want to embark on a major Forster fest now.)
|Botticelli's Birth of Venus|
And I also got to see, for the first time, some brilliant Bronzinos. I particularly loved one of a jolly Medici baby and one of a serious young girl with a book.
|Dante outside Santa Croce|
|San Lorenzo market|
That evening another of the Publishing Day panelists, Harper Collins UK editor Martha Ashby, arrived and we, guided by Mundy and Lori Hetherington - another organiser of the day - adjourned to nearby Caffè degli Artigiani for aperitivo - pre-dinner drinks and snacks. I had my first taste of Aperol Spritz, a gorgeous mix of bitter orange liquer, prosecco and soda water.
|Sweetie fuel for our day :)|
|Kimberley, Martha and Lori|
|Jalina waiting to begin|
|The work of Clet Abraham, graffiti artist|
|Lee Foust, Mundy Walsh and Kelsey Clifton at Santo Spirito|
|Mundy Walsh of St Mark's and Florence Writers|
We had further one-to-ones in the afternoon and later The Florence Writers hosted a prosecco reception for us to wind down after a busy day. Back to Caffè degli Artigiani on Piazza della Passera after that for our aperitivo, with Mundy and American writers Lee Foust and Kelsey C. I loved listening to their stories about how they all ended up in Florence, their knowledge of the language, how often they get home, the things they miss, the things they love in Italy etc. I went home to bed at a sensible hour (sensiblish) as I had an early start for Pisa in the morning and my flight. (I saw the leaning tower from the plane!)
It was a brilliant publishing/writing event, very well organised, which I really appreciate. I met so many great writers with wonderful stories to tell and I was in awe of their spirit, living in this place and learning the language and writing through it all. I loved my time in Florence and was wishing I had more of it, of course. But I will, most definitely be going back.
|More from Clet|
|Pinocchio's now a boy...|