The first ever guide to this area gets to grips with Milan, international mecca of fashion and shopping, with its awesome art collections and world-famous La Scala opera house. The economic powerhouse of Italy since the Middle Ages, Milan is today a vibrant, frenetic city and Cadogan's discerning listings seek out the best bars, restaurants and clubs in which to party with the locals. But Lombardy has its gentle side too, and this guide reveals idylls along the shores of the famous Italian Lakes, such as the palms, lemon groves, and castles surrounding Lake Garda, and winds through the Renaissance cities of the Lombard plain. Admire the Gonzaga frescoes of Mantua and visit the refined art city of Bergamo, perched on a promontory on the edge of the Alps. The beauty of the area is illustrated in stunning color photographs, and full travel and practical information will make anyone's stay as dreamy as the scenery.
Excerpt: The Immortal Fool
The first recorded mention of Arlecchino, or Harlequin, came when the part was played by a celebrated actor named Tristano Martinelli in 1601—the year that also saw the début of Hamlet. Theatre as we know it was blooming all over Europe in those times: Shakespeare and Marlowe, Calderón and Lope de Vega in Spain, the predecessors of Molière in France. All of these learned their craft from late-Renaissance Italy, where the commedia dell’arte had created a fashion that spread across the continent. The great companies, such as the Gelosi, the Confidenti and the Accesi, toured the capitals, where others shared out the provinces. Groups of ten or twelve actors, run as cooperatives, could perform comedies, tragedies or pastorals to their own texts, and provide music, dance, magic and juggling between acts. ...click here to read the rest
Northern Italy: best review, /5
What an excellent review! For someone who has NOT traveled to northern Italy and especially to the places of Milano, Monza, Como, Cremona, Brescia and the other lakes, this book is the BEST! Do not go to northern Italy without this new edition, 2008 November. Plus the "chain" bookstores did not even have a copy until I went through AMAZON to obtain a copy at a reduced price, of course. It was I who informed the "chains" of the new edition. Thank you again, Amazon!
Go Elsewhere If You're Only Visiting Lake Como, /5
I wanted a guide for a week stay in the Lake Como area. The Dana Facaros guide was one of three guidebooks I purchased. All three were disappointing, with the Facaros guide being the least useful. For all three guides, the coverage is much much broader than I needed. This would be fine if the coverage of the Lake Como area itself was thorough and helpful. But I the coverage of the central tourist areas of Lake Como, (Bellagio, Ravenna & Tremezzo) to be quite superficial. The lodging recommendations seemed spotty and incomplete. But I was most disappointed in the restaurant recommendations. For the most part, the named restaurants were generally mediocre. But there are excellent choices in the area andI did have some fabulous meals, but the leads came not from these guides but from TripAdvisor. And almost all of these excellent restaurants didn't earn a mention in the books. Makes one wonder what the criteria is for inclusion in these guides.
Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls can be reached at: email@example.com