The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany (The Most Beautiful Villages)

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9780500016640: The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany (The Most Beautiful Villages)
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Stand at the outskirts of a Tuscan village and gaze across one of the most extraordinarily rich and varied landscapes in Europe.

There are vineyards producing the finest wine, and miles of wild mountain scenery; almost any view will take in other villages, clustering around the upper reaches of some hill or the russet roofs of a fortified town deep in a valley. Tuscany has its grand cities―Florence and Siena―but their distinctive elegance is found on a more intimate scale in numerous small towns and villages.

There is a richness in these small places, of architecture and artistic life, which lends them an interest and complexity shared by no other rural communities in Europe. Their sense of civilization is deep and ancient, but it is the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance which have left their mark, tempting travelers and settlers from abroad from the time of the Grand Tour to the present day. Here is the village of Settignano, where Michelangelo lived and which also boasts the glorious Renassiance garden of the Villa Gamberaia. Piero della Francesca's lovely Madonna del Parto decorates the tiny cemetery chapel of Monterchi. The medieval towers of San Gimignano loom over the town's squares and streets like the backdrop to some surreal stage set.

James Bentley has chosen thirty-seven villages and small towns, both for their intrinsic beauty and for the part they have played in Tuscan history and culture. Page after page of Hugh Palmer's magnificent color photographs evoke the beauty and the wonder of this land. For the visitor, there are specially compiled listings of hotels, restaurants, and festivals to complete the tribute to Tuscany and its villages. 288 full-color photographs

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Review:

With the recent popularity of such notable books as Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun and Elizabeth Romer's The Tuscan Year: Life and Food in an Italian Valley, a legion of new Italia fans are finding out what many already know: the charm of Tuscany cannot be denied. In The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany, author James Bentley and photographer Hugh Palmer offer a decidedly unique view of this remarkable region. Focusing on thirty-six villages and towns from all over Tuscany--chosen for "both their intrinsic beauty and for the part they have played in Tuscan history and culture"--the gorgeous full-color photographs, accompanied by superb accounts of each village, truly "bring the region to life, evoking the richness of architecture and landscape, and bringing out the charm of the Tuscan people." The final chapter is devoted to useful travel information, including passages on hotels and restaurants, market days and festivals, as well as a select bibliography and detailed map of the region. As beautiful as it is informative and entertaining, The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany is "the perfect visual tribute to the timeless beauty of these small towns and villages."

About the Author:

Hugh Palmer is one of Britain’s leading photographers of architecture and gardens. His books include The Most Beautiful Villages of Greece, The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence, and The Most Beautiful Villages of Ireland.

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James Bentley, Hugh Palmer (Photographer)
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