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Tuscany and Umbria: The Collected Traveler
(Vintage Books) ISBN 978-0307474902 0307474909

This Tuscany and Umbria travel anthology is designed to accompany travel guide books to Italy. The comprehensive collection of travel quotes, travel essays and author interviews inspires readers to enjoy longer vacations in Tuscany and Umbria and to explore these regions in greater depth.

Travel writers and travel quotes focus on the culture, history, current events, cuisine, politics, religion and art of Tuscany and Umbria. The recommended reading for each chapter includes fiction, nonfiction, cookbooks, travel guide books, poetry and out of print books.

Planning a trip

The compilation, coupled with valuable advice from Barrie Kerper, makes you want to take several Tuscany holidays and Umbria vacations. You may even want to move to Italy, with a copy of Tuscany and Umbria as your travel guide.

The 616-page Tuscany and Umbria travel book begins with travel essays on Chianti, Lucca, Florence, Spoleto, Perugia and Siena, Italy. Each article includes a biography of the travel writer and several travel quotes.

What to eat and drink

Sidebars add travel advice. For example, in the Frances Mayes travel article on market day in Camucia (Cortona, Tuscany), chef Mario Batali adds his travel tip: Bring your own Castello di Ama or Montevertine wine to Dario Checchini's ciccia trattoria in Panzano for a feast.

The interview of Sergio Esposito, founder of Italian Wine Merchants, is as informative as a wine course. You learn about the Tuscany and Umbria grape variety, Sangiovese, his favorite wineries to visit (e.g., Cantine Lungarotti in Umbria), La Strada del Vino wine roads, super-Tuscan wines (great wines that do not conform to DOC and DOCG rules) and his favorite places to stay in Tuscany and Umbria (e.g., Hotel Palazzo Piccolomini in Orvieto).

More than 100 black and white photos and illustrations span the spectrum from gourmet olive oil to Tuscany villas.

Things to see and do

Barrie Kerper informs you of little-known Tuscany attractions and things to do on an Umbria vacation. In Perugia, the capital of Umbria, for example, the maker of Perugina Chocolate (Baci Chocolates) offers a chocolate school in its headquarters.

The accommodations section of the Tuscan and Umbrian Miscellany chapter discusses Tuscany and Umbria hotels, alberghi (Italian inns), agriturismi (e.g., Tuscan farmhouses), campeggi (camping) and pensioni (guesthouses and Italian bed & breakfasts).

How to rent a villa

A sidebar compares the pros and cons of Umbria vacation rentals and Tuscany villas for rent. It also lists agencies that offer Umbria villa rental and Tuscany villa accommodations.

Barrie Kerper includes unusual Tuscany accommodations such as convents, monasteries, palazzi and castles. She lists several hotel guides for Tuscany and Umbria.

Tuscany and Umbria: The Collected Traveler An Inspired Companion Guide


  • Introduction
  • Italy
    • My Italy
    • Welcome to Our Rented Nightmare
    • Buon Viaggio: A Bouquet of Reminders
    • Recommended Reading
  • Tuscany
    • The Trouble with Tuscany
    • Market Day in a Tuscan Town
    • Italy's Best Kept Secret
    • Only in Tuscany
    • Coming Home to Chianti
    • Lucca: A Tuscan Treasure
    • Siena in Three Acts
    • Recommended Reading
    • Interviews
  • Umbria
    • Perugia
    • Spoleto: A Town for All Seasons
    • The Hills of the Sublime
    • Recommended Reading
    • Interview
  • Florence
    • The First Time I Saw Florence
    • The Other Side of the Arno
    • Florence, Then and Now
    • Learning to Live with Arrivederci
    • Recommended Reading
    • Interview
  • La Cucina Italiana
    • Beaneaters & Bread Soup
    • Italy's Original Garlic Bread
    • Tuscan Olive Oils
    • Italy's Vin Santo: A Sip of Hospitality
    • Nach Waxman and Matt Sartwell's Favorite Food Books
    • Interview
  • A Tavola
    • Florentine Trattorias
    • Florence: A Restaurant Renaissance
    • Valle del Serchio and the Garfagnana
    • Recommended Reading
    • Interview
  • Piazze, Giardini, E Monumenti
    • Back Roads of Tuscany
    • Botticelli's Primavera
    • The Cloisters of Florence
    • The Last Supper, Seen Six Ways
    • Recommended Reading
  • Tuscan and Umbrian Miscellany


Barrie Kerper has edited eight other Collected Traveler books.

More things to see and do in TUSCANY:

Valdichiana Tuscany - Wine, Food, Spas and Tours

Tasting Tuscany

Tuscan Sun Cookbook

Tuscany and Umbria

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