Florence, Italy


"My experiences of Florence were chiefly unpleasant. I will change the subject." Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad

"Villa Viviani"

picture courtesy of Villa Viviani website

"The situation of the villa was perfect. It was three miles from Florence, on the side of a hill...to see the sun
sink down,
drowned on his pink and purple and golden floods, and overwhelm Florence with tides of color
that make all the sharp
lines dim and faint and turn the solid city to a city of dreams, is a sight to stir the coldest
nature and make a sympathetic
one drunk with ecstasy...This is a two story house...Outside, it is a plain square
building like a box and is painted a light
yellow and has green window shutters. It stands in a commanding
position on an artifical terrace of liberal dimentions
which is walled around with strong masonry. From the walls
the vineyards and olive orchards of the estate slant away
toward the valley; the garden about the house is stocked
with flowers and a convention of lemon bushes in great crockery
tubs; there are several tall trees--stately stone pines--
also fig trees and trees of breeds not familiar to me; roses overflow
the retaining walls and the battered mossy stone
urns on the gateposts in pink and yellow cataracts...there are gravel walks
shut in by tall laurel hedges. A back corner
of the terrace is occupied by a dense grove of old ilex trees. There is a stone
table in there with stone benches all
around it. No shaft of sunlight can penetrate that grove." Autobiography, 342-344

"Villa di Quarto"


picture courtesy of "Mark Twain From an Italian Point of View"

"We have heavy fogs every morning, & rain all day...This house is not merely large, it is vast--therefore I think
it must always lack the home feeling... It is a monster accumulation of bricks for $2,000 a year--furnished. It
must have been built for fuss & show & irruptions of fahion, not for a home." from a
letter, as quoted in
Mark Twain Overseas

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