A Florence diary, Diana Athill

In 1947 Diana Athill travelled to Florence in Italy. She was leaving an England behind that was still recovering from the war. Of course there had also been war in Italy, but somehow the sun and the art and the wonders of a foreign country made this all seem a little less bleak.

In those days there was no airplane, but you had to take the boat to France, and then several trains to finally arrive in Florence. Diana Athill travelled with her cousin Pen and together they spend two weeks in this beautiful city.

They made excursions in and around Florence, climbed to San Miniato al Monte and admired the architecture, while they tried to keep to their budget, try out all the different dishes Italy had to offer, and meet some helpful men.

Diana went into the San Lorenzo thinking it would not be much, only to discover the Medici chapel and falling in love with it.

To make sure she would be able to tell her mother all about the trip, she kept a diary and this has recently been discovered. It is a lovely account, especially if you know Florence yourself and recognize the different places she describes. Although I do think if you do not know Florence, you will not find this little book very exciting.


  1. I love travel memoirs. Especially when I'm traveling to that particular place. Someday I hope to go to Florence ... and write my own little travel diary of its beauty and wonder. :)

  2. I love to read travel memoirs as well, and I enjoy it very much when I went to that place or going there, so I recognize things. This is a lovely little book and I hope you will be able to go to Florence, it is beautiful city.

    Kind regards,


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