FLORENCE Gems & Giants

by US United States
February 22, 2017
Average: 5 (1 vote)

FLORENCE Gems & Giants - Book coverThis non-sequential Florence city guide links the back-stories of the Renaissance giants with the sites throughout the city of Florence. Created for today's attention-strained traveler, it uses micro-content and visual richness to enable the reader to come away as the smartest person in the room, without the commitment of heavy reading. Included is quite a line-up of top Renaissance celebrities with plenty of star-power. Like Michelangelo, Raphael, Dante, Galileo, da Vinci, Donatello, Machivelli, with plenty more. In addition to a brief history of their lives to create a backdrop, readers will find plenty of fun back-stories, trivia, factoids, and images, images, images. Think: "PEOPLE Magazine" meets the Renaissance.

A visit to Florence is a great way to connect dots. For example, did you know that all of these guys began their lives and/or their careers in Florence? That most of these guys actually KNEW each other? And that the combined forces of these guys knocked history off of its axis and sent it careening into a whole new direction? Did you know that that new direction is now known as the Renaissance? See? You just connected 4 dots, learned something new. History was never taught this way in schools. Traveling to old places is the best way to fill in a lot of gaps left behind by our history classes in school. The traditional travel books don't do this for you in any substantial way.

Author's Note: 

Throughout my travels, I have searched (in vain) for travel books that would enable me to hit the ground running. I wanted tons of visuals. I wanted backstories, I wanted smart and quick. I wanted depth without the commitment of heavy reading. Being a bit of a tech buff, I wanted to use technology to enhance my journey as well. Traditional travel books give you plenty of places to eat and drink, places to stay, and transportation details. In terms of depth, you may only get a couple of paragraphs about the actual places you'd like to know about. My book has none of these. It is purely smart, deep, quick and snappy, smart, and extremely visual. And don't forget well-researched. ;-)

One of the best ways to remember things that you see when traveling is to relate them to a story. My whole book does exactly that: it relates the fabulous places you'll visit in Florence to the fun, tragic, or triumphant stories of the people that touched that place in its past.

Some of my favorite stories in the book include:
- Who Punched Michelangelo in the Nose?
- da Vinci's Secret Woman
- What famous artist was Kidnapped and sold into Slavery in Africa?
- Who was the Pirate Pope?
- The Execution of a Mad Monk
- Her Royally Embarrassed Highness
...and so many more.

Most photo-rich books have great pictures throughout, but you never know where to go to get similar shots. My book has a section called "Getting High in Florence." It leads you to the places where I stood to get all of those beautiful panoramic and scenic photos that you'll find all throughout the book.

Florence is THE art city. But for art novices, it can be pretty daunting. So for art newbies, I've included some really famous works by some of the Renaissance artists who put fun or interesting things into their work. The reader will find some of these pieces littered throughout the book. And I point out who, or what, or whatever is interesting about or hiding within them.

I have designed the book as the primary tool in a set of 4 'tools' to enhance your trip to Florence. Each tool provides functionality that the other cannot.
1. The book. You already know this one.
2. The eBook. With over 1850 cross- and external links, the visitor can, for example, follow their favorite artist through the city. Or if they are standing in, say, the Palazzo Vecchio, they can hit all the links to see many people that touched or events that occurred in that building.
3. The FunBook. Puzzlers and gamers of all ages: this is a great way to pass the time while standing in a long museum line; or while you're on the plane; or hanging out in your hotel with your family and friends. In all cases, you can test your knowledge and learn new things about the city, all while playing games.
4. The App. This is cool. Let's say, for example, that you read something interesting in the book, and you want to go see where it happened. The app will give you walking directions from where you are standing. While you are strolling around the city, the app will signal you when you are approaching something interesting that is in the book. And it'll give you a brief description with photos, and tell you what page to see if you want to know more. In addition, I threw in some basic vacation functionality, like the weather forecast (so you know how to dress), a calendar with Annual City events and how to find them, and a City Quest where you have to find specific places to take selfies and post them on FaceBook.

This is my dream travel book. I have not seen an approach to travel that comes near to this in any city that I have visited in the world.

The next book? I am preparing to leave for Venice for a few months to do the research for my next book and matching travel tools.

Happy reading, and happy travels!
Patty Civalleri, Author

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