The head of Florence’s city council, Eugenio Giani, is hoping that Dan Brown’s latest code-busting thriller novel will play its part in rejuvenating tourism in the city.
"Tourism is down in Florence by 10%, and if this new book does well, we will get that 10% back”, Giani claimed. He is itching for the release of the new novel, which will propel Brown’s famous protagonist Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks in the movie adaptation of his books, into a mystery surrounding the de-coding of hidden messages in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”.
Dante, a child of Florence, has a museum dedicated to his life in the city, and much of the action of the new novel is set there. A preview chapter of the book sees Langdon as the subject of an assassination attempt at the Palazzo Vecchio, one of the city’s most recognisable sights.
With internal tourism struggling in Italy due to the country’s economic downturn, it is hoped that travellers from other countries will increasingly choose Italy as a holiday destination, and the spectacle of a blockbuster novel (and maybe in future, a blockbuster movie), being set in Florence can surely only be good for the city.
The city of Florence, and indeed Dante, were made for Brown and his unique style of twisting myth, historical fact and total fiction together into one giant web of deceit and mystery, and Florence’s Dante experts believe that tourists will love discovering the city and the real story of Dante and Divine Comedy. It could be just the start of a new love affair between tourists and this historic city.