On returning from holiday, one of my favourite ways of reminiscing is to buy myself some books or movies about the area I’ve been to.
So, when I got back from Tuscany I placed a big order with Amazon, for some books. I may be unusual in buying guidebooks for places I’ve just returned from, but I enjoy reading more about the places I’ve been.
The Dorling Kindersley guide to the Italian Riviera was slightly disappointing to me. I was hoping, having visited about half of the Italian Riviera, that about half of the book would be devoted to the area I’d been. However, a large part of the book was solely about Genoa, and, with a large section at the end about hotels, restaurants etc, there wasn’t much space left to cover the rest of the area. So, the towns of the Cinque Terre, which I’d hoped might get a page each with a few attractions described and a map showing the ins and outs of the steep winding paths, instead each just got a paragraph.
Because of this I decided I needed to get myself a book specifically about the Cinque Terre, and picked up the Rick Steves one when I saw it. It is exactly what I had hoped for with the other book, with lots of information and maps of the Cinque Terre towns and the others I’d visited in the area, and the only thing that would have improved it would have been colour photographs.
Uffizi Gallery the Official Guide was just what I hoped it would be – it listed all the artworks, describing many of them in more detail, with plenty of photos of the famous works. It is a great way of remembering all the artworks I saw and all the important information about them.
I was delighted to discover that The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany by James Bentley actually featured Artimino where I stayed! I hadn’t realised this when buying the book, I just wanted some photos of lovely Tuscan villages in general. So that was a nice surprise.
Florence: The Biography of a City by Christopher Hibbert is a huge meaty book that I can’t wait to get into. It’s a large, coffee-table sized paperback, and is about an inch and a half thick! It’s mainly text-based, so I’m looking forward to giving it my undivided attention and concentration at some point in the coming months, and learning a lot about Florence from it.
Finally, the wine guide was a charity shop find, and it's really interesting for finding out about all the different wines and wine-making areas. It even mentioned Artimino where I stayed!