A journey through the glorious Italian city's scenery, history, and culture, from the New York Times-bestselling author of Venice Observed and The Group. Mary McCarthy's classic celebrates the Italian city often looked upon as the provincial sister to the better-dressed, more "feminine" Venice. To McCarthy, Florence, or Firenze, is a place of ageless enchantment, from the Duomo to the fortressed palaces. The Renaissance began here; art and architecture flourished. From its roots as a center of medieval trade to its transformation into one of the world's wealthiest cities, McCarthy charts Florence's rich and turbulent history. She introduces a cast of towering real-life characters. Through her probing writer's lens, the poetry of Dante and the magnificent artistry of Raphael and Botticelli come vibrantly alive. Along this illuminating journey, McCarthy offers fascinating bits of trivia: There are no ruins in Florence because the Florentines aren't sentimental about their past; America took its name from a Florentine traveler named Amerigo Vespucci. From Michelangelo to the Medicis to the story behind a statue's missing head, The Stones of Florence is Mary McCarthy's hymn to this unique city. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Mary McCarthy including rare images from the author's estate.