On February 7, 2014, American author Dan Brown was interviewed on Dutch TV by a select group of students during the College Tour Show.
During the show they also screened interviews filmed in Florence, in which appeared our tour guide Chiara D’Alessandro, who helped reporters to film in Florence.
The College Tour TV Show
College Tour is the biggest student TV show in Europe and is produced in the Netherlands. Since its first broadcast in 2007, College Tour has gratefully welcomed famous people who have shared in fifty minutes personal life lessons with a group of seriously chosen students (five hundred) wishing to learn from the guests, broaden their views, and become motivated.
Past guests include the Dalai Lama, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, actor John Malkovich, archbishop Desmond Tutu, business magnate Sir Richard Branson, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Reverend Jesse Jackson, actress Whoopi Goldberg, and in February of this year (2014), the famous American author Dan Brown.
The Dan Brown’s interview
For the Dan Brown interview, the show was set up in a room in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where the famous painting by Rembrandt van Rijn known as The Night Watch is displayed.
For the occasion fewer than the usual five hundred students asked the author questions on some of his most popular books, like The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, his life when he was a student, his relationship with religion and science, and many other things.
In response to accusations of being non-religious, mainly due to the novel The Da Vinci Code, Mr Brown highlighted that for him science and religion are two different languages attempting to tell the same story. As such, he believes that they are destined to find a way to walk hand in hand.
On his visit to the city of Amsterdam and on the possibility of inserting Amsterdam’s history in his next novel, Dan left his fans in mystery, hinting that nothing in life is impossible.
When asked by a student what was the most surprising secret that he has discovered while conducting research for his books, Dan Brown answered— without any doubt—the hidden messages found in the paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci.
The impact of the success of Inferno on the city of Florence
During the show they inevitably talked about Italy, and in particular, the city of Florence, where Inferno is set.
Dan Brown stressed that location is critical in his books: it is the most important character with which the others characters must interact.
Some Dutch TV reporters came to Florence to carry out interviews and to try to figure out if the mistery/thriller novel Inferno has had a positive or a negative impact on the city’s economy.
Chiara D’Alessandro, one of our tour guides, and Tommaso Grassi, a Council Member of the City of Florence, both agree that the book has attracted more tourists in Florence and has therefore had a positive effect on the city and its economy.
Grassi indicated that in Florence there is a major affluence of American tourists who have come after reading Inferno to see what they before had only imagined: living in and strolling through Florence’s streets; visiting the Baptistery, Palazzo Vecchio, Brunelleschi’s Dome, and the Uffizi Gallery; and admiring the most important masterpieces of art history.
Grassi added that it might be a good way to attract not only tourists but also to restrengthen Florence’s history.
Of his releases the author of the bestseller Inferno could not be happier. “It’s really important for me—he says—to inspire people with my books, to trigger their curiosity and the desire to see and understand the world in which we lived on.”
And his reply to someone asking his general advice on life: “My best advice—he says— is to stay passionate; passionate for life, for the people whom we love and finally to have enthusiasm for everything we make in our life.”
What great advice, Mr. Brown! Florence Inferno loves you!
To see the entire Dan Brown’s Interview: