Kevin McCloud's Grand Tour of Europe

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9780297859567: Kevin McCloud's Grand Tour of Europe

Based on a four-part television series, Kevin McCloud's Grand Tour of Europe is a behind-the-stairs tour of Europe's high spots with some rather spicy detours into continental lowlife. The author proves himself a masterly companion as he peeks behind famous facades and ventures to the wrong side of town on his myth-busting romp through France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Turkey. It's an irreverent travel guide like no other.

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About the Author:

Studied Art and Architecture at Cambridge, trained as a theatre designer, then set up his own design, lighting and manufacturing business. Today he concentrates on television work, journalism and product design. He is best known for his series GRAND DESIGNS and GRAND DESIGNS ABROAD which have spawned a monthly magazine of the same name. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, an ambassador for WWF and has a number of honorary degrees. He has also appeared as TOP GEAR's Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.

From Booklist:

Genoa, Florence, Venice, Rome, Athens, and on the return, the Alps––such was a typical grand-tour itinerary for British aristocrats and aesthetes of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Architecture aficionado McCloud replicated the route for a 2009 British television series and now writes the companion volume. He retraced with the intention of connecting the ancient and Renaissance structures at which those past travelers gaped to buildings and styles subsequently prevalent in Britain. Cultural transmission is thus on McCloud’s agenda, and he enthusiastically explores it, accompanied by jaunty commentary about the discomforts of travel then and now. The two strands weave together well, as when McCloud explains how architect Inigo Jones’ Italian trips led to the Georgian style and folds in the flip side of grand touring, namely, gaining gustatory and/or sensual experience (in this case, afforded by rolls of parmesan). The pattern prevails as McCloud progresses to the Roman Forum, the Acropolis, and the alpine vistas that enraptured the romantic Wordsworth—until throngs ruined his solitude. Abundantly illustrated in color, this is down-to-earth, entertaining art history. --Gilbert Taylor

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McCloud, Kevin
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