This is of course a work in progress, we will try to keep the list up to date and enrich it with suggestions and comments.
Margaret Haines (ed.) – The Years of the Cupola 1417-1436. A fascinating digital archive of the sources of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, now available on line at www.operaduomo.firenze.it/cupola.
Art and Architecture
David Wilkins and Frederick Hartt – History of Italian Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture.
Ross King – Brunelleschi’s Dome: one of the most popular books on the Dome. It offers a detailed description of construction techniques and of the deeds of Brunelleschi.
Tim Parks – Medici Money – (Atlas Books, 2005) Evoking the richness of the Florentine Renaissance and the Medici’s glittering circle, replete with artists, popes, and kings, Medici Money is a look into the origins of modern banking and its troubled relationship with art and religion.
Christopher Hibbert – The House of Medici – Its Rise & Fall.
John Najemy– A History of Florence. 1200-1575.
A recent and extremely complete overview of the most important events in Florentine history.
Sarah Dunant – The Birth of Venus
Dava Sobel – Galileo’s Daughter
Irving Stone – The Agony and the Ecstasy
A description of the plague of 1348 can be found in Ken Follett’s World without End
Florentine Setting: classics
W.D. Howells – Indian Summer
Henry James – Italian Hours
E. M. Forster – A Room With A View
Mary McCarthy – The Stones of Florence
and for booklovers F.H. King – Florence: A Literary Companion
Tuscany and Siena (Non-Fiction)
A Thousand Days in Tuscany – Marlena de Blasi
The Tuscan Trilogy – Ferenc Mate (The Hills of Tuscany, A Vineyard in Tuscany, The Wisdom of Tuscany)
Seven Seasons in Siena – Robert Rodi
Special thanks to my friend Barbara Freedman at who revised the list and added her suggestions.