Sentimental Journey

A sentimental journey

The English and Americans in Florence between the 18th and 19th Centuries

Tour overview

As I emerged from the porch of Santa Croce, I was seized with a fierce palpitation of the heart; the wellspring of life was dried up within me, and I walked in constant fear of falling to the ground”.
Stendhal, nom de plume of Marie-Henrie Beyle, 1817

Decades ago, the porter of a famous Florentine hotel said to his boss: “… the English arrived, but I did not understand if they were Russians or Germans“.
This amusing anecdote explains how, for the Florentines, all foreigners were essentially “British”, probably because for a long time, the English represented the largest foreign community active and involved in tthe politics and life of the city. It is certainly no coincidence that the famous resting place of so many foreign artists, poets, writers, merchants and entrepreneurs who adopted Florence as their home in the 19th Century is still known today as the “British Cemetery”, in spite of the fact that the cemetery’s dead comprise more than 20 different nationalities.

One thing is certain, foreign travellers’ attraction to the city, particularly the English and Americans in the 18th and especially the 19th century, was incredibly significant and these personalities played a key role in the social, economic and political culture of Florence.

Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Henry James, Herman Melville, Elisabeth Browning Barnett, Percy and Mary Shelley are just a few of Florence’s renouned residents.

Our walk will include the homes , most beloved places, and burial sites of famous English and American residents, evoking the memory of their deep love for the city


You will be very well impressed by this surprising tour  


3 hours  

Meeting point

Pick up at your hotel if it’s within Florence’s historical Center or other meeting point that suits you  


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Language(s): English , French , Italian