- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From the Publisher
‘The author has achieved the near impossible in condensing his top Italian places into a handy, compact guide. A must-squeeze-into-hand-baggage or the back-pack.’—House and Garden
‘Quite invaluable no art-minded visitor to Italy should be without it’ Country Life
‘A minor classic.’—Times Literary Supplement
‘Author Francis Russell traverses Italy from big cities to the Italian countryside in this "private" tour of Italy's finest works of art and special places. He begins in the Piedmont region and ends on the island of Sardinia. He describes cathedrals, mosaics, statues, frescoes, palaces, gardens, museums, ruins and classic paintings. He includes stops in the great Italian cities and towns, such as Parma, Bologna, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Orvieto, Pompeii, Naples and Rome.
A writer and lecturer on Italian art and architecture , Russell brings to the text a lightness of touch and a level of erudition that is just right: knowledgeable but not too highbrow, so readers can appreciate his discussions even if they don't know a Caravaggio from a Raphael or a Bernini from a Michelangelo. He places the works in a historical context and reflects on the political and religious backgrounds of the cities and towns in which the works are located. Russell has his favorites and is not shy about expressing his preferences one way or the other ("No sightseer is unprejudiced," he confesses).
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the book is Russell's approach to the remarkable works on display here. Yes, he acknowledges the most famous ones, but he also directs visitors to many lesser-known pieces. His advice as to what and what not to see is also spot on and practical. ("Rome, it is said, was not built in a day. The visitor with less than a month on his hands has to be selective.") As is made clear upfront, this is not a typical travel guide (you will find no opening hours of museums, for example) but rather a thoughtful and very idiosyncratic "tour" of Italy and its art.
It includes a plethora of color photographs and concludes with a brief glossary of terms.’ Chicago Tribune