Now fully redesigned, this new edition of a Cadogan bestsellercontains the most up-to-the-minute practical information and listings, along with color photographs and maps. Holidaymakers have traveled to Tuscany and Umbria for centuries, and visitor figures continue to rise. Italy experts Facaros and Pauls uncover Tuscany’s lavish natural beauty and some of the most enchanting landscapes in Europe. The three regions’ combination of sheer beauty, wealth and dastardly doings fired some of the greatest art and literature in the West, by the likes of Dante, Leonardo, Botticelli and a hundred more. The guide discovers Tuscany, delving into the dense concentration of art that spills out of Florence into Pisa, Lucca, and Arezzo; absorbing the energy of Siena’s frenzied Palio; and taking in the sumptuous vineyards of Chianti. It explores the medieval hill towns of green Umbria – historic Perugia over the Tiber Valley, the newly restored monuments and architecture of Assisi, and the famous cathedral of Orvieto. Finally, the unspoiled landscape of the civilized Marches is covered. The region is fast gaining popularity as an alternative to Tuscany and Umbria; unlike other guides, Cadogan explores its bustling, sparkly seaside resort of Rimini. Cadogan not only brings this well-known and popular part of Italy to life, but also puts a new slant on the Leaning Tower and digs up some surprising secret gardens along the way.
Excerpt: The Leaning Tower
The stories claiming the tilt was accidental were most likely pure fabrications to account for what must have seemed a great civic embarrassment. The argument isn't very convincing. It seems hard to believe that the tower would start to lean when only 33ft tall; much of the weight would still be in the foundations. The argument then insists that the Pisans doggedly kept building it after the lean commenced. The architects who measured the stones in the last century concluded that the tower's lean was intentional when it was begun in 1173. Mention this to a Pisan, and he will be as offended as if you had suggested lunacy is a problem in his family.
The leaning campanile is not the only strange thing in the field of Miracles. ...click here to read the rest
Great Travel guide, /5
I was originally going to purchase one of the better known (to me) tour guides but found that they contained little on where we are staying - Cortona, this guide is great and the script is large enough to make reading it a pleasure rather than a test! I can't comment on the restaurants or hotels as I don't really read those sections and I haven't actually been on my trip yet but for readability and detail I think this book is great.
extensive and well written, /5
As far as I can tell the information is up to date and accurate. This is a hefty book, well indexed and easy to find your way around. There are full descriptions of everything you are likely to want to see in this region of Italy. A bonus is the writing style. Clearly not a cut and paste or a committee-computer assemblage; this book was written by an author! The result is perhaps opinionated, but easy and enjoyable to read.
The only reason for not giving 5 stars, is the absence of illustrations. No doubt it keeps the production costs down, but it makes the result a bit dull from the visual aspect. Otherwise it is a good quality publication.
Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org