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Fantasy in Florence: Leaving Home and Loving It [Hardcover]

Rod McQueen
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 26 2007
When Sandy and Rod McQueen sold their house, stored their furniture and left home to live in Florence, Italy, they were on the "now or never" plan as they sought to step outside their ordinary lives. By the end of their nine-month stay, the couple had made life-long friends and seen a dream come true. "Italy is like the cartoons," said one Florentine. "Everything is possible. And you are never bored." Fantasy in Florence transports you to the historic centre of the city to share their "room with a view" of the Medici Chapels and the Duomo. you'll meet skilled artisans working amid the beauty of Tuscany and the enduring allure of the Renaissance. You'll travel to see the mosaics of Ravenna and the markets of Rome, feel the peace of Volterra and the pulse of Venice, drink Brunello di Montalcino and feast on The Last Supper. Above all, you'll learn how life should best be lived. "We learned to treasure the Italian way of life that marvels in the moment, celebrates youth and age alike, and treats strangers generously and with respect. We learned that taking risks in life can offer great rewards."

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About the Author

Rod McQueen has been a journalist for twenty-five years and is the author of a dozen books including The Eatons: The Rise and Fall of Canada's Royal Family. Sandy, a teacher turned real estate agent, went back to school at the Ontario College of Art and Design. After their life-changing experience in Florence, they are living in Toronto again, but can still feel the Mediterranean in their bones.

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1.0 out of 5 stars Sour grapes Oct. 18 2013
The author has not represented the OCAD University Florence Off-Campus Program accurately. The bias as the husband of a program member is evident. There are numerous errors and accusations that belittle the students and faculty in the program. Too bad that a journalist has chosen to abandon objectivity and turn this into a personal diatribe. Too bad he did not confine himself to the description of the book as described.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy in Florence May 28 2007
The latest book by Rod McQueen is a revelation. Fantasy in Florence comes after a long string of books: The Icarus Factor; The Eatons; Who Killed Confederation Life; books that had established the writer as one of Canada's pre eminent business authors. The move, from chronicling the wheeling and dealing in the boardrooms of the nation to witnessing the search for contentment in the workrooms of Florentine artisans, represents for the reader more than a change of pace, or venue. That move required the author set aside his tourist cap and clinical observer spectacles, for a different mantle, the tailoring of which saw him plunge deeper and deeper into the modern roots of western culture. With wife Sandy, an accomplished artist at his side in the role of a living muse, the process of acculturation, painless and quick, resulted in bringing to life a graceful city steeped in the ageless values of renaissance, where artisans still compete in the pursuit of excellence for the sake of excellence. Wife Sandy is never too far away. Her art and vivacity permeate the book with Florentine authenticity; for author, Rod McQueen, having become a Florentine at heart, Fantasy in Florence laureates him as a Scrittore Canadese.
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