Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Botticelli Blue Skies: An American in Florence” as Want to Read:
Botticelli Blue Skies: An American in Florence
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Botticelli Blue Skies: An American in Florence

2.76  ·  Rating Details ·  21 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
When writer Merrill Joan Gerber is invited to join her husband, a history professor, as he takes a class of American college students to study in Florence, Italy, she feels terrified at the idea of leaving her comforts, her friends, and her aged mother in California. Her husband tries to assure her that her fear of Italy—and her lack of knowledge of the Italian ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 24th 2002 by University of Wisconsin Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Botticelli Blue Skies, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Botticelli Blue Skies

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-37)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Yoonmee
May 10, 2011 Yoonmee rated it it was ok
Shelves: travel-writing
This is travel writing written by someone who apparently doesn't really like to travel nor does she travel well when she's there. I spent half the book being pretty annoyed with Gerber for being such an annoying American wimp and half the time begrudgingly admitting that, yes, living abroad is rough, no matter if you're in the most beautiful place in the world. Living abroad (although, let's admit it, she was only in Italy for three months... that's hardly living abroad, that's an extended ...more
Felicity
Jul 29, 2008 Felicity rated it it was amazing
I loved this book...I've read suggestions that Merrill Joan Gerber is a bit of boring whine in this book. After all, when given the opportunity to spend a semester in Florence who wouldn't jump at the chance? Merrill Joan Gerber apparently. So what is it that I appreciated about this book? As much as you may love another culture and country--even embrace its beauty--I could certainly relate to her daily struggles of trying to live in another country (and I speak the same language!) In my view, ...more
Frannie
Apr 29, 2013 Frannie rated it it was ok
Another skim (in order to read a student's essay). This is the memoir of a middle-aged woman (her three daughters are grown; her mother is in a nursing home) who accompanies her college teacher husband on a semester of study in Florence. She's reluctant. She's timid. She has a lot of anxiety. The chapters are short and sometimes funny accounts of her (painfully) slow adjustment to a new place/country/culture. Maybe good for someone being "forced" to spend a semester in a new place. Not so good ...more
Maureen
Oct 10, 2008 Maureen rated it it was ok
I found this slow, and really was irritated with her continuous irritation with Italy. Perhaps she should have stayed in California.

I did 'get' her reluctance to see yet one more museaum, and one more MAJOR attraction. btdt.
Merrill
I did write Botticelli Blue Skies as a memoir of three months I spent in Florence, Italy, while my husband taught a college class. It IS a good book, but I didn't rate it myself--a mystery.
Merrill Joan Gerber cco.caltech.edu/~mjgerber
Janet Lynch
Jan 26, 2009 Janet Lynch rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Gerber, her husband, and a group of Californian college students spend a semester in Florence, and the reader is virtually along for the adventure. Great insight, details, and a wonderful trip. I want to go back soon!
Beata
Sep 15, 2009 Beata added it
The beginning chapters are such a turn off I had to put it down. I just came back from Italy with not much plan and had a wonderful time in Tuscany, meeting wonderful Florentines, not being part of any tour. I don't get the negative attitude this author had. Unbearable.
Cheryl
Aug 11, 2008 Cheryl rated it did not like it
You wouldn't think a travelogue about Tuscany could be cringe-inducing, but you'd be wrong. This woman is the reason some of us claim Canadian citizenship while abroad. (they hang laundry out to dry in Tuscany?! with clothespins?! horrors!) The fanny pack alone is reason enough to avoid this one.
Heather
Heather rated it it was amazing
May 25, 2008
Chad Daniels
Chad Daniels rated it liked it
Aug 02, 2013
Roberta
May 07, 2013 Roberta rated it it was ok
Whiney.
Lucy
Lucy rated it liked it
Jul 27, 2015
Jane
Jane rated it liked it
Jul 02, 2011
Kim
Kim rated it liked it
Sep 09, 2015
NaLa
NaLa rated it liked it
Nov 17, 2016
Joan
Joan rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2014
Mayela
Mayela rated it it was ok
Nov 02, 2013
Anna Maria
Anna Maria rated it did not like it
Dec 13, 2009
Jen
Jen rated it liked it
Aug 08, 2009
Anita
Anita rated it liked it
Feb 28, 2013
Adrienne
Adrienne rated it it was ok
Nov 12, 2015
Beth Young
Beth Young rated it it was ok
Nov 12, 2012
Damona
Damona rated it liked it
Dec 10, 2014
Heidi
Heidi marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2008
Traczy555
Traczy555 marked it as to-read
Apr 09, 2012
BJ
BJ marked it as to-read
Jun 10, 2012
John Gowan
John Gowan marked it as to-read
Jun 17, 2013
Katarina
Katarina is currently reading it
Jun 04, 2015
Saad Niazi
Saad Niazi marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2014
Leanne
Leanne marked it as to-read
Dec 15, 2014
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
294032
Prize-winning novelist and short story writer who has published seven novels — among them King Of The World, which won the Pushcart Press Editor's Book Award for an "important and unusual book of literary distinction," and The Kingdom of Brooklyn, winner of the Ribalow Award from Hadassah Magazine for "the best English-language book of fiction on a Jewish theme" — as well as five volumes of short ...more
More about Merrill Joan Gerber...

Share This Book