Saturday, July 19, 2008

62. "The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall" - Christopher Hibbert


An incredibly descriptive non-fiction account of the (obviously) rise and fall of the Medici family in Italy is a superb introduction to the history and arts created by one man's greed. With hands in the pockets of religious leaders and government officials, the Medici family built a name based on banking, but soon solidified its place with its attention to the arts. The paintings, grottoes, and architecture of Florence still bear the name of Medici.

My darling friend, Becky, visited Italy during a whirlwind Europe tour, and her tales only intensified my desire to spend a month or two in Florence, with a few side trips. When she and I make our millions off our books, I'm sure I can convince her to make a return trip.

Until then, the photos and beautiful prose - luscious descriptions of the marketplaces, houses, meals... Hibbert is wonderfully dimensional - will satisfy my Italian dreams.

4.0 out of 5.0 Italian Valium.

10 comments:

Jason said...

. . . will satisfy my Italian dreams.

So now I have Tom Waits stuck in my head--specifically, these lines from "Singapore":

Every witness turns to steam
They've all become Italian dreams

Oh, but there was a book. I've always wanted to know more about the Medicis. I think I'll have to check this one out.

Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

I have this book but haven't given it a go yet. No time like the present ...

Stefania said...

So you all like Italy, eh? I guess I'm lucky to be Italian...

Kristin Dodge said...

Tom Waits's "God's Away on Business" is one of my son's favorite songs. He tries to do the deep voice... much more easily now than a year ago.

Pet peeve - Minnesotans who say "Eye-talian." Needles. Through. My. Eardrums.

Stefania... we'll have to meet! And yes, you are lucky. How long does it take to get over the beauty?

Kristin Dodge said...

I have just been informed, with much eye-rolling, that there are two Tom Waits. "Gawd. Cheeses Rice."

Forgive my musical idiocy. I still listen to Queen and think I'm cool.

Stefania said...

"How long does it take to get over the beauty?"

I've lived here all my life and I'm still amazed by the beauty of certain places... Florence is marvellous, but I must admit that my favorite city in Italy is Rome... They say a whole life is not enough to see all of it. So, Kristin, you should really come to Italy!

Jason said...

I have just been informed . . . that there are two Tom Waits.

Your eye-roller is wrong. The Waits who sings "Singapore" is the same one who sings "God's Away." His voice has changed quite a bit in the intervening years, but it's the same guy.

Kristin Dodge said...

Aha! Double eye-roll back at him. Thanks, Jason.

Stefania... we have friends that will be living in Florence next year, so I am *definitely* coming to abuse their hospitality.

Stefania said...

So you'll probably take a trip to Venice or something!
Too bad I'm working in London from september onwards... but we must find a way to meet if you're really coming to Italy!

kaicevy said...

0 out of 5