Over the centuries Florence has been an inspiration for authors and poets of all kinds, from all parts of the world and its no different today. CPiF has some very talented members who will help you get through these long days at home during our lockdown.

There is everything from historic novels set in Italy to autobiographies and love stories. We’ve also included some great storytelling blogs and even a bit of poetry.

Some of the reading is, of course, available online but for those that are not, The Paperback Exchange will be doing home deliveries to keep us all well-read.  You can find all the details about how that works at the bottom of this post.

If you like mystery, intrigue, and history, you will love reading C. De Melo’s books. I had the opportunity to read Sabina many years ago before it was officially published and I was hooked from the very first page. I was so happy to hear when it reached #1 on amazon’s Renaissance fiction category.

C. De Melo is an art historian from the US who has been living in Florence for the past 13 years. She has 13 published books, four of which are set in Italy and can be found at the Uffizi Gallery book store (when it re-opens of course) or for delivery from The Paperback Exchange. You can also see a full list of her works on her website

Lee Foust is a long time resident of Florence, originally from San Francisco California, his books combine, politics, love, and travel. They are everything you would expect from a curious author examining the world around him. For those who relish in bohemian and beatnik literature and savor works that explore, ponder, and, investigate Lee’s works will not disappoint.

Sojourner is a collection of poetry and short stories gathered around the theme of place. Poison and Antidote collects 9 interrelated tales of the San Francisco art and music underground of the 1980s. And Inbetween is a novel set in Florence, San Francisco, Paris, and Rome.

Lee also teaches literature and writing to a lucky bunch of American study abroad students in Florence.

You can order Lee’s books from your local independent bookstore, from the author himself, or directly from The Paperback Exchange.
Lisa Clifford is a Florence based writer, with three books to date on Italy and Tuscany. She is an honest woman, Lisa, as she describes in her best selling, emotional memoir, The Promise, what it’s like to carry on a geographically impossible romance between Sydney and Florence for eighteen years. Lisa’s recreation of her family’s 1917 murder within the poor, Tuscan farmer’s community in Death in the Mountains won her the Victorian Premier’s Award. Naples, A Way of Love snared the Australian Best Illustrated Book of the Year. If honest tales of life in Italy is what you love reading, then Lisa Clifford is your author.

All of her books are available through The Paperback Exchange, and she is 15,000 words away from finishing her next book which, is set to be published in 2021.

Lisa also co-runs The Art of Writing, a writers retreat in Tuscany with Matthew Ferrara and Jane Corry. The retreat is an opportunity to write, think, share and reconnect with your writing muse.’
Farah Liz Pallaro’s book Fashion, Business, Spirituality, A Call tot he Light Workers of the Fashion Industry is a book that offers a new perspective on the changing fashion industry and challenges conventional ways of how we navigate and the business as designers.

“This book speaks to the fashion industry, but this book is not about collections, trends, or seasons. The message of this book centers around the human aspect of the industry, the awareness of the self, and the spirituality and self-development that comes with it.

This book is about you, the designer and fashion worker in the midst of the fashion world—your passions, struggles, dreams, decisions, and actions. When you can design and work from a place of feeling centered within yourself, you will be a light to everyone around you. You will dress the world in light.”

After working in the fashion industry as both a designer and teacher herself she now uses her experience as a mentor and consultant using the philosophy laid out in her book.

Want to take this moment to go within and reflect? Now’s the perfect time to find the answers to those questions you’ve been asking yourself for way too long. Who am I, really? What do I truly want? What matters to me most? In life coach Sophie Charlotte’s book The YES  Woman Manifesto, you get to find the answers to your own questions through exercises, meditation and reading her personal story of how she’s overcome anxiety disorder by following her dream of moving to Italy – and has turned many other dreams into reality after that. This is the book that will finally get you the courage to say YES to you and your desires. Send a DM with your email address to @sophiecharlottecoach to receive a digital copy of the book.

There is also great reading to be found online as well. Ela Vasiescu is a storyteller who gets real. She writes from personal experience and believes that documenting stories is a privilege, a glimpse into humanity, an unforgettable experience. Currently finishing her memoir, you can read more about her projects and work here. 

Marisa Gareffa’s also speaks from a personal perspective, letting us into a world that is sometimes funny and other times traumatic. Her works are “poetic and critical reflections on life, trauma, recovery, soul, and healing; with art and performance as pathways back into embodied existence.”  Be sure to check out Love Letter to Italy, a piece written specifically about our current situation. Marisa is also the author of The Medici Dynasty Show. She does spoken word performance art and has run the Placehold Open Mic in Florence for four years now which, you are welcome to join. 

Federica Bembo’s blog –Aspettando una poesia is a beautiful collection of poems written in Italian. Romantic, reflective and metaphorical, it’s the perfect place to lose yourself for a little while. Grab a cup of tea and let your imagination run away with you. You can follow Federica on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all her news and updates.
During our current lockdown in Florence, The Paperback Exchange will deliver your order within the limits of the comune di Firenze

You can contact them via Facebook, Instagram or to order your books. 

There is also a Mystery Box option.  Choose the amount (€ 25/50/75/100) and you will receive a box full of books selected by the staff! 

As always, please be sure to share this post as much and as often as you can to help support the creative community here in Florence especially during this incredibly difficult time! Thank you!

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