Customer Reviews for

100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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  • Posted November 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go by Susan Van Allen : an Informative, Entertaining, Great Read

    In this trim- sized (5.5 X 7.5 in.), relatively compact, uniquely- anecdotal, informative guide book intended for women, but also appropriate for men, who are traveling to Italy for the first or twenty-first time, Van Allen (author writing about Italian travel for over twenty-five media outlets including National Public Radio, Town & Country, Student Traveler, the Chicago Daily Herald, and; author of monthly Letters from Italy column on the Divine Caroline website; former staffer for the Emmy winning sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond; based in Los Angeles;, an Italian-American who has been journeying to Italy since 1976 to visit relatives and explore the country, writes about her personal experiences as well as those of her friends. With passion and humor that clearly evidence her love for Italy, its cultures, and peoples, the author culls the overwhelming amount of information on Italian travel into a reasonably- sized publication consisting of thirteen sections, one hundred chapters, and at least two appendices covering all types of Italian adventures and experiences. With women predominately in mind, Van Allen describes and recommends museums, palaces, gardens, beaches, beauty treatments, spas, caffés, restaurants, winebars, shopping, biking, hiking, skiing, boating, yoga, cooking classes, Italian crafts, fine arts, language courses, entertainment, and more. She also includes many practical details and helpful tips in relatively short, concise chapters, each of which is supplemented by "golden days" or daily itineraries, lists of websites, and recommended readings. While this publication is not available as an ebook and lacks reference maps, photographs, an Italian-English glossary, and tear-out pages, all of which would have been helpful, value-added features, it does contain much useful, insightful, nuts-and-bolts information for women travelers and others visiting Italy. Sufficiently- documented, nicely-presented, and well- organized, this delightful, easy-to-read book is highly recommended for chick-lit readers as well as general audiences. It belongs in many public library collections as an additional travel resource.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    100 Places - A Cornucopia of Italian Delights

    This cornucopia of Italian delights titillates the senses and entices the imagination. Occasionally fringing on the irreverent (who else but Susan van Allen would dream of calling the Blessed Virgin Mary the BVM, for instance - only kidding, grrll!), and bordering on the erotic (as in Susan's description of The Capitoline Venus attempting to cover her "Cupid's cloister"), Susan's selective guide to Italian beauty and beauties scampers through both urban and rural landscape with exuberant glee.

    Ranging from the divine to the decadent, Susan's romp through the Italian past and present has one hankering for more. The Divine: Goddesses, Saints, and the Blessed Virgin Mary takes one from the Campidoglio, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill to the Temple of Segesta in Sicily, by way of the artistic splendors of Florence, Tuscany, Venice, Padua, Naples, Campania and Palermo. In each, she focuses on the female, the envisioned and the immortal, as portrayed in key works of art. Instructive and elucidating, she entices one with succulent morsels of information about the work and the artist involved. Suggesting the best times at which to visit all the museums and galleries that she recommends, Susan also gives handy tips on how to plan one's jaunts for the day, including visits to nearby parks and restaurants. She even manages to sneak in extra tidbits of recommended reading, not to mention a novice's guide to mythology and Mary's rites of passage.

    A little bit of history, a little bit of art. The second section of Susan's 100 Places romps through the spacious ville, palazzo and an apartment, starting once more in Rome and ending in Sicily - an added bonus to her racy pace is the systematic way in which she unravels the labyrinthine. Her sense of enthrallment with her surroundings is intoxicating, as she seduces us into imagining the scenes of revelry and mayhem that permeated the past.

    Susan van Allen appears not only to appreciate the intimacy of the boudoir, but also the graceful and cultivated structuring of the outdoors. Finding la dolce vita in the harmonious blend of greenery, sculpture, and fountains that typifies the finest in Italian landscape gardening, she explores gardens originating in the Renaissance and Baroque periods - not without a timely reminder that most gardens close down November to March, so best check ahead to avoid disappointment.

    100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go concludes with handy tips for Italian travel (though the entire work churns with such ideas.) and packing, a calendar (or should I say colander?) of holy days, and a detailed index. By this stage, if you are not fully replete and with your dates for your next Italian jaunt at least penciled in on your schedule, may the BVM come to your aid, sister.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Special gems on the beaten path

    Wonderful resource to compliment your itinerary. I took several of the suggestions from this book and uncovered many treasures of Italy that were right in front of me but would have easily been passed by. The prescribed itineraries are a challenge to follow, but take the pearls from each of the suggested forays and you'll be delighted with the special gems you'll find.

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  • Posted August 31, 2010

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    A treasure for any Italophile

    This book would truly be a treasure in your library, virtual library, or even in your life via iPhone app. Whether you want to find a cooking course, spa, religious retreat, great beach, or just some fabulous shopping, Susan has it covered - in every corner of the Bel Paese.

    When I first received this book, I thought it would be something I'd flip through every now and again when the mood struck; instead I found myself reading chapters straight through, imagining myself visiting all of the wonderful places Susan describes so well.

    The tone is friendly and the advice sincere, so you really do feel like you have a knowledgeable girlfriend by your side with the inside scoop on where you should go on your next Italian vacation. I probably don't need to tell you this book would make a *fabulous* gift for your favorite Italophile who also happens to be a lady, either.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2009

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    Bridget's Review

    The one place that I want to see before I die, is Italy. I've always been fascinated with the beauty of Italy. It's such a gorgeous place and I adore Italian food. I know for a fact that the first place I would visit would have to be Rome. I want to see the Pieta at Saint Peter's Basilica. Then I would move on to Florence to see the Costume Gallery. Of course I would have to visit Florence.

    After reading this book, I want to go more than I ever imagined possible. The details included brought Italy to life for me. I hope I get to take a trip soon.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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