“Golden Days are easy to come by when you’re in Italy. They’re those days when Italy’s sensual pleasures harmonize, and you just bask in the golden glow of it all.”
—Susan Van Allen
Skimming through each enticing destination with Susan is like traveling to Italy with a friend who’s funny, smart, adventurous and incredibly informed. Her ardor comes naturally, born at her Nana and Papa’s dining table Papa in Newark, New Jersey.
Susan—who lives in Los Angeles and writes for travel media as well as television— approaches Italy actively (and not only in her section on biking, hiking, boating and other get-a-move-on recreations.) She leads readers beyond passive tourism into engagement in the culture and with the people.
Entries are grouped by special interest sections such as “The Divine: Goddesses, Saints, and The Blessed Virgin Mary,” “Gardens,” “Beaches,” and “Learn Italian Crafts and Culture.”
If you’re in Naples, you’ll be sure not to miss the Venus of the Beautiful Buttocks in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale.
When you’re in Tuscany, you’ll go out of your way to experience the magical Tarot Garden in Capalbio, designed by artist Niki de Saint Phalle.
If you crave secret coves, you’ll find a way to Scopello on the western coast of Sicily. A free horseshoe-shaped expanse of white pebbles and fine sand is hugged by limestone towers and turquoise water. Oh, and Lo Zingaro National Park with its rocky hiking trails and panoramic vistas is next door.
And if hands-on is thumbs-up for you, choose a craft. Making masks or mosaics in Venice . . . weaving and embroidery in Perugia . . . cooking in the shadow of Greek temples in Paestum.
With the destinations, Susan includes tips on lodging and dining to make the experience a “Golden Day.” Recommended books, Web sites, Resources, and Advice from Other Writers are included to amplify the information.
I’ll be savoring the book in a cozy reading chair but when I do pack my bags for bel’italia, I just might want to download the 100 Places in Italy iPhone app. Just hope the olive oil massage at Masseria Torre Maizza in Puglia doesn’t smear the screen.
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