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Fodor Essential Italy, 2nd

by Fodor's
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Fodor's
  • Publishing date: 02/12/2008
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9781400007288
  • ISBN: 1400007283

Synopsis

Frances Mayes Reviews Fodor's Essential Italy

In addition to her Tuscany memoirs, Every Day in Tuscany, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Bella Tuscany, Frances Mayes is the author of the travel memoir A Year in the World; the illustrated books In Tuscany and Bringing Tuscany Home; Swan, a novel; The Discovery of Poetry, a text for readers; and five books of poetry. She divides her time between homes in Italy and North Carolina. Read her review of Fodor's Essential Italy:

Experienced travelers know how to pack. Two-week trip with a carry on? Not a problem. The keys are versatility, layers, and coordination. Those are the virtues, too, of Essential Italy. This compact guide parallels the basic suits, the many-colored tops, the scarves and accessories: all you need to travel well. Here are 500 pages of lively and accurate information. Reading it, I recalled a thousand images, yes, but most of all a sense of adventure. The pages are imbued with a sense of fun from the outset. Andiamo!

Start with the grand centers, the writers advise--Rome, Florence, and Venice--then improvise from there. The difficulty is choosing. Italy is so abundantly rich in beauty, art, history, music, architecture, cuisine, and wine that you need a dozen lifetimes to say I know Italy well. I have lived there for part of every year for the last twenty and still it seems new each time I arrive.

We’re wise to begin in Roma, since all roads lead there anyway. The writers are savvy guides. I was a little surprised to see a hotel and several restaurants that I considered my finds described and even awarded “Fodor’s Choice” spots. Rome is not formidable. After a couple of days there, you realize it’s an expanded small town; you can walk easily to most of the major sites. Essential Italy will lead you to the very best cafés and gelato stops when you’re ready to rest. The historic center you can experience in three days. Leave a few other days to wander the rest of the city and to sit in the Borghese gardens and pretend that you’re a Roman. Those private moments of discovery are all yours.

Same with Florence and Venice. The sites and art will imprint on your mind for a lifetime. So will the tiny monastery garden, the reflections in the Arno at dawn, the languid air of Torcello, the dark wine sipped by the Grand Canal at midnight. These cities are ancient bastions of western civilization. They’re also enchanting--not at all languishing in history but pulsing with contemporary tempo. In some spot along the way you may feel yourself pulled to just stay--a month or a decade. I’ve heard one curious thing many times from travelers to Italy. They say the place seems always to have been waiting for them. One woman told me, “I got out of the taxi in Florence and my first thought was I want to come back.” She’d just arrived!

What will it be? Hiking in Cinque Terre? Photographing Palladio’s Villa Rotonda? Bicycling around flat Ravenna? Gazing at Signorelli frescos in Orvieto? Taking a cooking class in Bologna? For any choice, this guide is a trusty companion. I predict you’ll have a fabulous trip. It’s Italy, after all. Make yourself at home.




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  • Great guide
    From Amazon

    This is a fresh new Fodor's guide, much more dynamic than Fodor's of the past. Great coverage of the three key cities, but lots of supplemental info about the surrounding regions. Well-designed (a critical factor in my liking a guide book) and thorough.

  • INFORMATIVE
    From Amazon

    FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME WITH NO INFORMATION - THIS IS A GOOD STARTING POINT. WON'T KNOW HOW HELPFUL UNTIL WE MAKE THE TRIP! WE ARE NOT PLANNING OUR TRIP AROUND THE BOOK BUT SOME OF THE TIPS HAVE BEEN REALLY BIG! LIKE MONEY EXCHANGE, PHONES, ETC.

  • Great Place to Start Your Trip
    From Amazon

    I bought this book while preparing for a trip to Rome, Florence and Venice. Some helpful things included: - Maps - Traveling tips (currency, cultural customs, etc...) - Museum and attraction information - Hotels - Restaurants - Contact information for all places mentioned The only criticism I had of it was on it's section regarding getting to and from Venice. The only options it gives is water taxi! Look into the regular bus line that leaves from the plaza west of the train station. Less than 5 euros to go to the airport (a lot better than 90 euros on a water taxi). Or, like we did, you can take a regular taxi for 35 euros. This is definitely a great place to start and a great tool to use on your trip.

  • Awesome Italy Travel Guide!!!
    From Amazon

    I'm going to Italy for the second time in a few days, so I picked up this book, and it is GREAT. Not only does it give great suggestions about traveling, it gives you the history of every place you are going to. It offers advice on tours to take and where to head throughout the country, and also includes so many beautiful and colorful pictures throughout the book. It also includes a bunch of maps for all over Italy.

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