In Dan Brown's thriller Inferno, a crazy billionaire decides to solve the world's population problem by releasing a deadly plague using the work of Dante as inspiration. Robert Langdon is the only person who can solve the mystery.
Filmed by Ron Howard and set in Florence Italy, Langdon is being chased by assassins, members of the World Health Organization, and mercenaries who want this as a biological weapon.
Waking in a hospital with a gunshot wound to the head and partial memory loss, he is aided on his mission, by a beautiful doctor with a passion for the work of Dante. Together the two of them unravel the secrets hidden in the Divine Comedy.
Having called the American Consulate from Sienna's apartment, they soon realize something isn't right and give a false address.
Watching from the window they see an armed squad coming for them. They make their escape by car only to see there is a road block at the Porta Romana.
This entrance into Florence is almost 800 years old and still has many of the original features, including bronze doors, a marble insert referring to the Medici family and a fresco depicting the Madonna and baby Jesus.
One of the best preserved and busiest intersections in Florence, this is a gateway to the old town.
To avoid the road block the two characters abandon their car and climb over the wall into the Boboli Gardens.
Running through the gardens they are soon detected by a drone flying overhead.
Running past magnificent ancient trees, fountains and ornamental plants in this 400 year old open air museum, they reach a door leading to the Grotta del Buontalenti.
Inside this mysterious artificial cave they see sculptures by Buontalenti and others.
Above the facade into the cave is the family emblem of the Medici family.
Running through the Vasari Corridor to the Palazzo Vecchio they try and rekindle Langdon's memory.
When the director of the museum recognizes him, they talk about Dante and discover the Dante Death Mask has been stolen.
Reviewing the footage from the security cameras reveal it was none other than Langdon and his friend who stole the mask. As the Italian police, museum security, and members from the World Health Organization arrive, the couple escape through a secret passage in the wall.
Climbing onto gangways above the ceiling frescoes, an assassin has been contracted to kill Langdon and is in hot pursuit shooting at him.
The Palazzo Vecchio was the old town hall and although not palatial looking on the outside, this 800 year old building houses sculptures, paintings, and treasures by artists such as Michelangelo and DaVinci.
The Palazzo Vecchio is also where people can see Dante's Death Mask.
House of Dante
Sienna and Robert go to the House of Dante museum to find a copy of the Divina Commedia hoping it will shed some light on the the location where the plague will be released.
The poet Dante is credited with creating the Italian language after the publication of the Divina Commedia, in which he used a language for everyone, not just the elite.
In the Dante Museum one can experience what life was like during Dante's time. Exhibits showing political, medicinal, and clothing from that era in Florentine history.
Church of Santa Margherita de' Cerchi
Having unleashed the secret in Dante's Divine Comedy, they head straight for the Church of Santa Margherita de' Cerchi.
Although as Langdon says, “it's more of a chapel than a church”. Compared to the grand cathedrals and churches found not just in Florence but all of Italy, the Church of Santa Margherita de' Cerchi is simple and understated.
It was here that Dante was married to Beatrice and their relationship is considered by some to be the greatest love story of all times.
Many believe her tomb is here but it is likely she is buried with the family of her second husband, a short distance away.
Next to a marker for her stands a basket with love letters in it. The public believe that by putting these here, there will be a divine protection for those they love.
Baptistery of Saint John
The Baptistery of Saint John is one of the oldest buildings in Florence.
With its octagonal shape and Porta del Paradiso it is a must see while visiting Florence.
The two characters enter through the Porta del Paradiso which are relief sculptures by Lorenzo Ghiberti.
The term 'the gates of paradise' was coined by Michelangelo with each panel depicting a scene from the old testament. Ghiberti said it was his finest piece.
Once Langdon and Sienna find the Dante Death Mask hidden in the font at the Baptistery of Saint John, they rub off some of the plaster coating to reveal the secret message.
The clue leads them out of Florence and on to Venice. There the story continues...
Although Florence can be enjoyed year round, selecting the right months can make your holiday even better.
Avoid July and August if possible, as it is hot and the crowds are at their maximum. Spring time and autumn are the best bets as the weather is lovely and waiting times reduced.
Book tickets early for main attractions to avoid disappointment and to ensure you get to see as much as possible during your stay in Florence.
Follow the route of Sienna and Robert piecing together clues from Dante's famous works.