BOOK OF THE MONTH: Vanessa Carnevale’s ‘The Florentine Bridge’



Welcome to Vanessa Carnevale whose novel The Florentine Bridge is our first Book of the Month for 2017.


Tell Us Your Backstory with Vanessa Carnevale

Before I sat down to write The Florentine Bridge, I’d been feeling the pull to write a novel for some time. Only I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to write. When it finally became apparent that no fully formed idea for a book was going to drop from the sky, I decided that I could no longer ignore the intense desire to write. So one Saturday afternoon, I sat down, faced the blank page, and didn’t stop writing for the following six weeks while I tinkered away at a first draft and proved to myself that I could actually write a book.

In my early twenties I lived in Florence, Italy. It was impossible to not be inspired by my new surroundings and in the years I lived there I kept notes about what it was like to live life in a foreign country. I’d written about ten thousand words and when I sat down to write The Florentine Bridge I thought I could look to them as a source of inspiration. As I sifted through those words, I was reminded about what it was like to lay eyes upon centuries-old cathedrals for the first time, what it was like to walk down a dimly lit cobblestone street for an evening stroll, what it was like to leave Australia behind for a country that opened up my life and then opened it up some more.

Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, is aptly named the City of Art, so that’s where I started. With Mia, a young woman, also an aspiring artist, who would embark on a journey after having just experienced a life-altering event in her life. The story follows Mia’s journey to find the motivation to paint again as her perspective on life slowly changes for the better.

Writing a love story happened entirely by accident. I never set out to write such a wildly romantic story, but Luca presented himself in one of the early chapters and made it clear he was going to steal some of the limelight.

I tend to think that sometimes stories choose their authors – and half the fun of being a writer is following a character, a setting, a storyline, to see what happens next. I didn’t plot The Florentine Bridge, but allowed the story to unfold naturally. That for me, is the truest point of being a writer – that beautiful space where you can trust the words on the page to form an entire story.



The Florentine Bridge
Vanessa Carnevale

Young Australian artist Mia Moretti has been cancer free for nine months. But her battle with the illness has taken its toll, leaving her depressed and tormented by overwhelming fears. What’s more, she can’t seem to paint anymore. Mia needs a fresh start so when a surprise opportunity to travel to Tuscany presents itself, she takes it. With any luck, this trip will help her find whatever it is she needs to open her heart and start painting again.

What she doesn’t count on is meeting Luca, a handsome Italian mechanic. With his smile, his warmth and his inspirational outlook on all the good things life has to offer, he sweeps her off her feet. As Mia slowly lets down her walls and allows Luca in, her passion for life is reignited and her new perspective begins to inspire her art. But just when she’s ready to let go of her past, will a tragedy threaten her new life with Luca?

Full of heart and hope, a love story about la dolce vita in Tuscany.




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