Hoffman, author of several guides (The Spell of the Vienna Woods; That Fine Italian Hand) that combine distinctive personal experiences with more than ordinarily detailed historical background, customs and practical advice, takes us on a tour of the villages and sights of the south Tyrolean Alps. With its German, Italian and Ladin speakers, the region is not so well frequented by vacationing Americans as it is by Europeans, who enjoy its camping facilities, mountain-climbing challenges, excellent skiing, spas and spectacular scenery. Hoffman devotes considerable attention to the 1991 accidental discovery, by two German tourists walking down Mt. Similaun, of the world's oldest nearly intact human being (said to be about 5300 years old) preserved in ice; and he dips into the area's attractions for famous historical and artistic figures, including Freud, who set tongues wagging on his visits with his sister-in-law. Hoffman provides detailed information about architecture, art, local foods, roads, routes and public transportation. But he doesn't list, as more conventional guidebooks do, restaurants, hostelries and rates; and two maps (not seen by PW) seem insufficient for the areas covered. Still, his general comments on the available offerings are perceptive and helpful.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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