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The Stones of Florence & Venice Observed

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The Stones of Florence and Venice Observed are wonderfully vivid and perceptive descriptions of two great Italian cities, told through their history and art, revealing Mary McCarthy to be one of literature's greatest travelling companions.

Here she depicts Florence through its tempestuous past, from the reign of the Medicis to Savonarola's bonfire of the vanities. Her accou
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 23rd 2006 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1972)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Matthew Batten
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fantastic history and travelogue of Florence and Venice. Best read after you've visited.
Shaoola
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A pleasurable read after visiting both cities, i.e Venice & Florence.. It makes one better understand the mystical sense one feels when wandering the streets of these two cities... ...more
Lysergius
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel
Bought this in a bookshop in Florence and read it on the train home... Wonderful descriptions which capture exactly the atmosphere of these two fabulous cities...
Castles
Oct 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art

Surprisingly, the book is somewhat outdated. Written in 1959, still pretty close to world war 2. Turns out that the renaissance world is living and kicking because since then, statues have been found, restoration laws have been put to action and things are different. I also wonder if the tone of the common Florentines changed as well, because she describes a rather uptight type of personality. Actually, the first chapter is all an anti-climax anti praise for the city and its people which made me
...more
Katya Shtatnova
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book as preparation to Florence travel/ I've never been there and I haven't my own impressions about this city. But when I started to read about Venice, where I've been several times, I thought that atmosphere of Venice is catched by author precisely. Good read about those two Italian cities with lot of intersting facts.
Ross Whamond
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
The text flows effortlessly and takes you into the heart of Florence and Venice.Historically and the time this was written.

You walk the campo and piazza alongside the people.

I lived this book.
Bruce Crown
rated it liked it
Dec 24, 2019
Henry Sturcke
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this in preparation of my second trip to Italy. Well-written, evocative.
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Mary McCarthy (1912–1989) was an American literary critic and author of more than two dozen books including the 1963 New York Times bestseller The Group. Born in Seattle, McCarthy studied at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and graduated in 1933. After moving to New York City, McCarthy became known for her incisive writing as a contributor to publications such as the Nation, the New Repub ...more

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