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It was the star of the show in a Room with a View in the eighties but it looks like Florence is set to be in the spotlight once more. Dan Brown, author of the Da Vinci Code fame has set his new novel, Inferno, in the Italian city.

While Brown's book, the Da Vinci Code was set amongst many of the famous sights of Paris and Angels and Demons was set in Rome, Brown's most recent tome showcases many of the historic sights of Florence. Inferno, the fourth book in a series telling the adventures of Professor Robert Langdon, played famously by Tom Hanks in the movies, has been released this week. The Florentine tourist board is hoping for a wave of new tourist interest in the city. With the Da Vinci Code selling in excess of 80 million copies worldwide, they have every reason to be hopeful.

In his latest novel, Brown has built the story around the poet, Dante Alighieri, who was born in Florence in the thirteenth century. His work, the Divine Comedy is regarded highly as one of the most notable pieces of Italian literature.

Among the city's sights to find themselves in the storyline is the Palazzo Vecchio, a historic town hall that was also once home to Florences' formidable first family the Medicis. These days the building is a museum, so visitors to the city can get up close and personal to one of the book's key locations. One thing that tourists won't find is the concealed masterpiece of Leonardo Da Vinci that the building is said to play home to. The painting is said to have been painted over in the sixteenth century during redecoration work. Experts have been unable to agree a course of action to reveal the picture that can be guaranteed not to risk damage to it or other artwork in the room.

Another landmark on the Inferno trail is the Baptistery, which sits in front of the imposing Duomo Cathedral. Built in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Baptistery boasts impressive bronze, gilded doors credited to Renaissance artist and son of Florence called Lorenzo Ghiberti.

Like Brown's other novels, the hero's journey in Inferno takes him to more than one city. The professor finds himself travelling to other cities steeped in history and mystery including Venice and Turkey's Istanbul.

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