Florence Inferno: following Langdon's footsteps through the city

Dante Alighieri statue in Piazza Santa Croce, Florence

Florence has always been an inspiration to writers, especially Dante, the author of the Divine Comedy. More recently, Dante's works have inspired modern thriller writer Dan Brown, who used it as the basis for his adventure story Inferno, which has since been turned into a Tom Hanks film.


Most of the action takes place in Florence and the hero Robert Langdon passes by some of the city's most sublime landmarks. So if you are wondering what to do in Florence why not follow in his footsteps and experience a Florence Inferno of your own?


At the start of Langdon's ordeal, he finds himself in the Boboli Gardens, trying to evade his pursuers. For him, it's a moment of terror as he attempts to work out why he is being tailed and the source of his amnesia. Nevertheless, for everyday visitors to Florence, the Boboli Gardens are a delight.


Located behind the famous Palazzo Pitti, the gardens were laid out as the private playground of the Medici family. Nowadays, they are filled with sculptures and water features like the exquisite Fountain of Neptune.


After evading his pursuers in the gardens, Langdon moves onto the Palazzo Vecchio to consult a painting by Vasari that just might hold the key to his predicament.


Again, it's a stressful moment for the film's hero, but not for tourists. The Palazzo Vecchio is Florence's town hall and contains stunning chambers like the Salone dei Cinquecento, with its lavish ceiling panels and frescoes by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.


The next stop for Langdon and anyone following in his footsteps is the Vasari Corridor, which connects the Palazzo Vecchio to the Uffizi Gallery via the Ponte Vecchio.


However, tourists can't access the passageway whenever they desire. If you wish to trace Langdon's path you can book a group visit or be in Florence on the 7th December when the city authorities plan to open up the corridor to the public.


Langdon's next stop is the Baptistery of San Giovanni, an ancient shrine to the city's patron saint, where the marble floor, mosaics and wooden doors are all works of art. 


At this point, visitors might want to end their own Florence Inferno and wander into the nearby Duomo, or take a coffee on the piazza. While Langdon himself is forced to flee, you can take all the time you need to savour Florence's beauty and history.

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