Our Tours of Dan Brown’s Inferno

For his latest birthday this past summer, J wanted the new book by Dan Brown, the author of the mega best-seller ‘The DaVinci Code.’ This latest entry in the Robert Langdon series is called ‘Inferno‘ and it takes its clues from Dante’s Inferno.

J really liked Inferno and he gave it to me when we were together at Christmas. I was hesitant to read it because I’ve been disappointed by the endings of Brown’s books. But J said, “This one takes place in cities that we’ve visited. And there’s even a mention of Bubba (the name of my ‘muse’ and whose photo shows up as this blog’s avatar).

So I took the book back home – Note: This is first physical book I’ve read in years. I love my Kindle – and gave it a whirl. And, boy, am I glad I did. Brown knows how to make a page-turner. But for me, the real kick came – just as J said – from reading about places we’ve seen and been in.

SPOILER ALERT: I won’t give away any of the book’s plot points, but I will have photos and text from locations in the book. If you don’t want to see where the story takes place, STOP HERE.

First place…

Florence. We visited there at the end of 2006. In fact, we spent New Year’s Eve at a great restaurant on Place della Signoria. Here are some places that we’ve seen and are in the book:

Statue of Dante: It’s in Piazza Santa Croce, outside of Santa Croce Church and it’s where Michelangelo, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Galileo – but not Dante – are entombed.

He's buried in Ravenna.

He’s buried in Ravenna.

The Palazzo Vecchio is on the square Place della Signoria:

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

A replica of Michelangelo’s David is outside of Palazzo:

A copy, not the original, which is in the Accademia Gallery in Florence.

A copy, not the original, which is in the Accademia Gallery in Florence.

The Duomo:

Unless you have a panorama camera, you ain't getting all of the Duomo in one shot if you're this close.

Unless you have a panorama camera, you ain’t getting all of the Duomo in one shot if you’re this close.

Boboli Gardens:

Isn't lovely missus lovely?

Isn’t lovely missus lovely?

This photo is close to being from the same vantage point of the book cover shot:

The tower of Palazzo Vecchio and the Duomo.

The tower of Palazzo Vecchio and the Duomo.

Bubba. That’s what we call him. But his real name is Braccio di Bartolo, a famous court dwarf.

On page 123, a character thinks: Good God, the Medici could afford any artwork on earth, and they chose this?

On page 123, a character thinks: Good God, the Medici could afford any artwork on earth, and they chose this?

Grotta di Buontalenti:

On page 124: "Half-humanoids extruding from the walls as if being consumed by the stone."

On page 124: “Half-humanoids extruding from the walls as if being consumed by the stone.”

Ponte Vecchio: Did you know there was a secret passageway here? I didn’t till I read the book.

See the windows on top? There's a passageway connecting the Boboli Gardens and the Palazzo Vecchio.

See the windows on top? There’s a passageway connecting the Boboli Gardens and the Palazzo Vecchio.

Next place: Venice…where we spent Christmas 2009.

St. Mark’s Square:

Venice in late December is cold.

Venice in late December is cold.

The campanile, or bell tower, in the square (which is actually L-shaped.

The campanile, or bell tower, in the square (which is actually L-shaped.

Low tide.

Low tide.

St. Mark’s Basilica:

If you like ornate entrances, this is the place to be.

If you like ornate entrances, this is the place to be.

Lots of gold mosaics in here too.

Lots of gold mosaics in here too.

Horses of St, Mark:

The horseys.

The horseys.

And then we – and Dan – head off to Istanbul, where we spent Christmas 2012.

Hagia Sofia:

According to Dan, for a thousand years, this was the largest church in the world. It was later converted to a mosque and made into a museum.

According to Dan, for a thousand years, this was the largest church in the world. It was later converted to a mosque and made into a museum.

Inside with all of the gold mosaic tiles.

Inside with all of the gold mosaic tiles.

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The books says these chandeliers are only 12 feet/4 meters from the floor.

Basilica Cistern:

A forest of pillars.

A forest of pillars.

Medusa Stone:

According to Dan, by being turned upside-down, Medusa lost her powers.

According to Dan, by being turned upside-down, Medusa lost her powers.

Spice Bazaar:

Smells, colors and sounds galore in the Spice Bazaar.

Smells, colors and sounds galore in the Spice Bazaar.

D and M as we enter the chaos.

D and M as we enter the chaos.

Galata Bridge:

"Getting any bites?"

“Getting any bites?”

Honestly, it was too cool reading the passages and then remembering our own experiences in these places.

Thanks for second tour Dan. And thanks for the recommendation J. And now we really have to go back to Florence.

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About skinsphins

The stories of a 'never out of the country until we moved to France' American.
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