If you haven’t read Dan Brown’s latest novel, Inferno, don’t worry. While this post does reveal some of the locations the characters visit, it does not contain any plot spoilers.
When we learned Dan Brown’s Inferno would take place Florence, Italy, we were both thrilled and hopeful. Brown’s novels are typically full of historical references and descriptions of places both on and off the well-worn tourist track. His latest work was no exception. Main characters Robert Langdon and Sienna Brooks visit the Boboli Gardens, Pitti Palace, Vasari Corridor and Palazzo Vecchio (among others), all places we’ve visited in our three visits to Florence. Langdon and Sienna are, as you might imagine, on the run as they visit these sites. We had the pleasure of seeing them at a much more relaxed pace.
Langdon and Sienna find themselves inside the high-walled Boboli Gardens with the authorities close at their Italian-soled heels (never mind how they get to this point – you can read the book for that!). They’re trying to reach the Palazzo Vecchio to uncover the next clue in their search for a rogue scientist with nefarious plans for the human race.
Using the gardens’ ample cover to keep them hidden, the pair make their way toward the Pitti Palace:
Still almost a quarter mile away, the Pitti Palace’s stone facade dominated the landscape, stretching out to their left and right. Its exterior of bulging, rusticated stonework lent the building an air of unyielding authority that was further accentuated by a powerful repetition of shuttered windows and arch-topped apertures.
Built into the side of the Pitti Palace is a large cave that feels completely out of place:
Over the cave’s yawning entrance, daggerlike stalactites loomed portentously. In the cavity beyond, oozing geological features twisted and dripped down the walls as if the stone were melting … morphing into shapes that included, to Sienna’s alarm, half-buried humanoids extruding from the walls as if being consumed by the stone.
But it’s an insignificant-looking door to the left of this massive cave that becomes the key to our heroes’ escape:
Langdon suddenly cut to his left, away from the entrance [of the cave] and toward a feature Sienna had previously missed – a small gray door to the left of the cavern. Weathered and wooden, it appeared of little significance, like a storage closet or room for landscaping supplies.
When I read that line in Inferno I had to stop and tweet about it:
Stay tuned. Next week we’ll share our experiences inside Vasari’s famous corridor and take you to the Palazzo Vecchio, albeit with a little less intrigue and gunfire than Brown’s novel.