Item description for Artful Italy: The Hidden Treasures (Invisible Cities Travel Guide) by Ann S. Brandon...
For those wanting to explore Italy's rich artistic heritage beyond the usual tourist attractions, this unique guide is the answer. Presented are the more authentic, less-crowded locations and works, including tapestries, paintings, sculptures, and gardens, that are often the favorites of Italian art connoisseurs. An introduction to the huge "Tapestries of the Month" in Milan, which occupy an entire banquet room of the Castello Sforzesco; the vibrant and surreal "Dante Room" at the Casino Massimo, Rome; the Ancient Instruments Collection; and many other hidden treasures set this true art lover's guide apart from the many guidebooks that cover the usual well-worn attractions.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.58" Width: 5.48" Height: 0.52" Weight: 0.74 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2001
Publisher Invisible Cities Press Llc
ISBN 193122904X ISBN13 9781931229043
Reviews - What do customers think about Artful Italy: The Hidden Treasures (Invisible Cities Travel Guide)?
An artful and art filled book Mar 23, 2002
Artful Italy is a wonderful book. I checked out Florence and Venice first because those are the cities that I really know. I was daring Artful Italy to come up with something I didn't know. And it did.. The Stibbert Museum which sounds like a delight I missed entirely. But the thing I really regret is not knowing about the Bomarzo Gardens, a bit of a trip from Florence; as a teen I was always after the odd, hidden statuary that you turned a corner and came suddenly upon.. Both sound like winners and make me eager to return to a place I thought I knew well. Artful Italy's prose hits just the right tone, conversational without being condescending, funny without that guidebook jokiness that can be so off-putting. And it sometimes can take your breath away. When the 17th century architect , Borromini is compared to an origami master, suddenly we see again how Mannerist architects have turned stone into paper - to give just one example. And you have a nice discursive air that proves always to have a real point to it. The book is unique and a pleasure. It will make those who know Italy start looking for cheap air fares, and even those making a first trip to Italy will find the book valuable.
Italy the way it ought to be seen Jan 31, 2002
Even if one never travels to Italy, there'd be no harm in reading this book. It is well-written, entertaining, and loaded with fun and interesting facts. I disagree with the notion that this is a tour or travel guide; what it is in fact is a semi-scholarly appreciation of Italy off the beaten path. (It is meticulously researched and documented, to boot.)
Ann Brandon must be a kick at a cocktail party. Historical examples trip off her tongue and add just the right humor, import, and context for each bit of art appreciation. Reading this book is not a necessity for travel planning; the volume is a standalone orchestration of Ms. Brandon's love affair with Italy.
I have a few qualms with the book, but they are merely intellectual disagreements with some of its premises. First, I would not focus so much on art, but on the whole invisible lifestyle of the Italians, the life that "turisti" probably never see. I would also go beyond visual arts, and talk about music, as well as the culinary and design arts. Even in the visual arts there is so much architecture that one could find off the main trails. But Brandon promises more books in this vein, and will no doubt address these topics.
Second, I do not feel that the Parco dei Mostri qualifies as a hidden treasure. I consider it an excellent yet run-of-the-mill tourist attraction. A lot of people go there.
Finally, I disagree with the glowing assessment that Vasari's "Lives of the Artists." I have always considered this book at best uneven. It apparently draws its inspiration from Diogenes Laertius' "Lives of the Philosophers," which suffers from a similar spottiness in insight and accuracy. If I had to recommend a book that does what Brandon purports Vasari's does, it would be Burkhardt's "Civilization of the Renaissance."
All these quibbles aside, anyone who wants to learn about Italy should buy and read this book. It does not disappoint. I learned so much from this book, and it was as if Ann Brandon was telling me what I learned in a personal conversation. So warm is her style of writing that it just makes for a quick and delightful read!
Artful Italy is such a treat Jan 22, 2002
This book is for all visitors to Italy-even the jaded few who feel they have seen it all. Ann Brandon has covered so much art that most of us have neither seen nor heard of. I was totally captivated by just reading the book, Ms. Brandon has great writing style and wonderful detail covering all of the pieces. What I found most exciting was visiting sites that I hadnt been to before-expanding upon the content. This book isnt just about museums!!-
Bellesimo! Jan 10, 2002
A work of art! You don't need a plane ticket to see what's inside some Italy's great churches and museums. Chock full of interesting details and artifacts, I was given a wonderful tour of Italy's "hidden treasures,'' many off the beaten path. As one who once lived in Italy, I would say this book is an essential guide for anyone who plans to visit one of the world's most beautiful countries.
The Ideal Guide Jan 8, 2002
I am recently back from a visit to Venice, where I used this outstanding new guide. I found it the ideal guidebook: highly readable, gets you off the beaten path to a combination of less mobbed attractions and some quirky fun places, and (my favorite) includes lots of fascinating historical and personal backgrouind on the sites and artists. This book is sure to enrich greatly your visit to Italy's major art destinations. And it's fun to read even if you are just dreaming about visiting Italy.