AMMAN – In cooperation with Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Global (TAG-Global) the University of Florence with its affiliate ‘Laboratori Archeologici San Gallo’ launched the English edition of the ‘Florence and the Islamic Culture- An Essential Guide’ under the patronage of HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh.

The guidebook offers an unusual and thematic walk-tour of Florence to discover the long history that connects Florence with the Middle Eastern and the Mediterranean regions. 

The launching ceremony was held at Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum in the presence of professors from the University of Florence, media representatives and a host of academics and interested guests.  

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh expressed happiness and personal interest at the publishing of the Guide which focuses on the interaction and historical ties between Europe and the Arab world, and highlights the cultural and artistic aspect, which is ignored very often by politicians and by the media.

The guidebook was published in Italian in February 2019, and was presented in Florence, at TourismA, the annual International Exhibition of Archeology and Cultural Tourism. 

 “I was very happy and honored to be hosted in Florence at the conference at which the idea of this guidebook was started, and I am very grateful that we had a wonderful team from Italy who worked on this project and particularly my good friend HE the former Ambassador of Italy to Jordan, Mr. Giovanni Brauzzi, and that is why I dedicate this book to him,” Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh said.

The ‘Florence and the Islamic Culture’ guide has been published thanks to the contribution of the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Global, by the Florentine house “All’Insegna del Giglio”. Scientific supervisors are Guido Vannini, Professor of Medieval Archeology at the University of Florence and director for over thirty years of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Jordan “Medieval Petra”, and Giovanni Curatola, Professor of Archeology and History of Muslim Art at the University of Udine.

The guidebook was edited by “Laboratori Archeologici San Gallo”, a cooperative society of Medieval archaeologists, experts in communication of Cultural Heritage and Public Archaeology, which is an academic spin-off of the University of Florence.

For his part, Prof. Vannini stated that the book is to be considered a lasting heritage of cultural cooperation between Italy and Jordan

“The itinerary of the guide starts metaphorically in Jordan, studying medieval Petra and Shawbak from 1986, we first understood the inseparable intertwining of European and Arab-Islamic cultures in the very stratigraphy of Shawbak castle. Thanks to the decade long cooperation with the Italian Foreign Office and Embassy in Amman, we brought such understanding to the attention of the public in Europe. We are proud to bring the subject up back again in Jordan, sharing this vision with HE Talal Abu-Ghazaleh,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Elisa Pruno, Prof. Giovanni Curatola and Prof. Michele Nucciotti reiterated the importance of the guidebook in giving a new perspective to tourists of the marvelous Italian city encouraging them to check and enjoy the exceptional masterpieces that gave a start to the European Renaissance, with Michelangelo, Donatello or Leonardo da Vinci, and at the same time, giving more understanding of the historical connection between the Islamic and European cultures.