With passion, humour, and helpful details, "100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go" inspires readers to discover masterpieces, sensual delights, and adventures in bell' Italia to create the Italian vacation of their dreams.Author Susan Van Allen, has explored Italy up and down the boot for over thirty years and written about her experiences for such places as National Public Radio, Town & Country, and Travelers' Tales anthologies. In this book, she shares intriguing details and secrets of her favourite places, along with those she's gathered from her girlfriends, writers, and actresses. Each entry steers women to spots that will fulfil their Italian fantasies - whether it's exploring the palace where Audrey Hepburn lived in Roman Holiday, making a carnevale mask in Venice, or admiring Botticelli's Birth of Venus in Florence.The cornucopia of choices to experience authentic Italy are divided into categories, so whether a woman is in the mood to 'Go To The Divine' and see Venus revered in Roman Forum, 'Go To A Cooking Class' and roll out pasta with a Calabrian mamma, or 'Go On An Active Adventure' and ski the Dolomites, Van Allen, like a savvy girlfriend, is by their side, guiding them to unforgettable pleasures. The book also includes recommendations for relaxing spas and beaches, splendid gardens, places to taste Italy's best gelato and chocolate, and shop for treasured handicrafts. Interlaced through the prose are femme-friendly insights, like the spicy story of Nero's wife who had an eye for gladiators, and artist Raphael's mistress, a baker's daughter who he called 'Fornarina' (little oven). Suggestions for 'Golden Days' where recommended places are matched with restaurants and hotels to fit a range of budgets and make a woman's Italian vacation dreams come true.
About the Author
Susan Van Allen has written about Italian travel for over 25 media outlets, including National Public Radio, Town & Country, Student Traveler, Chicago Daily Herald, San Diego Tribune, CNN.com, Travelers' Tales anthologies, and has a following for her monthly "Letters from Italy" column on the Divine Caroline web-site. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.
"This book makes me want to pack my bag with the lightest of clothing and follow Susan Van Allen's alluring suggestions for traveling in Italy. Her knowledge reveals an intimacy with the country and a honed sense of adventure. "Andiamo!"" --Frances Mayes, author of "Under the Tuscan Sun" "Van Allen warms the room with her memories and imagination...precise and true." --"The New York Times" "It's as if Van Allen has left us a trail of succulent ravioli crisscrossing the country, and we follow along gleefully, nibbling on one delightful, enlightening morsel after another." --Nan McElroy, author of "Italy: Instructions for Use" "I've just returned from six weeks in Italy and how I wish I'd had Van Allen's book. It positively sparkles with delight in all matters female, which, it turns out, is an optimal way to reveal particularly delicious matters Italian. Italy has a new portrait: sexy and savvy. Makes a gal smile in English and Italian, to eat up this compendium of Italy's most delectable women's outings." --Anne Calcagno, author of "Pray for Yourself" and editor of "Travelers' Tales Italy" "I knew that Italy was the land of "la dolce vita" and "far niente," but this is the first book to present an organized way to find your way through her earthly and soulful wonders. I want all my girlfriends to have a copy of 100 Places." --Camille Cusumano, editor of "Italy, A Love Story" "A wonderful gift for any woman traveling to Italy. With Van Allen's advice you won't be overwhelmed and you'll discover how nurturing it is to travel in a country that has honored us since we all descended from Venus." --Marybeth Bond, author of "Gutsy Women" and "Best Girlfriends Getaways Worldwide" "Part guidebook, part history, and part manual to the good life in the land of La Dolce Vita, Susan Van Allen's magnum opus on all things Italian is essential reading for women (and men) who either want to get the most out of their nex
This cornucopia of Italian delights titillates the senses and entices the imagination. Occasionally fringing on the irreverent (who else but Susan van Allen would dream of calling the Blessed Virgin Mary the BVM, for instance – only kidding, grrll!), and bordering on the erotic (as in Susan’s description of The Capitoline Venus attempting to cover her “Cupid’s cloister”), Susan’s selective guide to Italian beauty and beauties scampers through both urban and rural landscape with exuberant glee.
Ranging from the divine to the decadent, Susan’s romp through the Italian past and present has one hankering for more. The Divine: Goddesses, Saints, and the Blessed Virgin Mary takes one from the Campidoglio, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill to the Temple of Segesta in Sicily, by way of the artistic splendors of Florence, Tuscany, Venice, Padua, Naples, Campania and Palermo. In each, she focuses on the female, the envisioned and the immortal, as portrayed in key works of art. Instructive and elucidating, she entices one with succulent morsels of information about the work and the artist involved. Suggesting the best times at which to visit all the museums and galleries that she recommends, Susan also gives handy tips on how to plan one’s jaunts for the day, including visits to nearby parks and restaurants. She even manages to sneak in extra tidbits of recommended reading, not to mention a novice’s guide to mythology and Mary’s rites of passage.
A little bit of history, a little bit of art… The second section of Susan’s 100 Places romps through the spacious ville, palazzo and an apartment, starting once more in Rome and ending in Sicily – an added bonus to her racy pace is the systematic way in which she unravels the labyrinthine. Her sense of enthrallment with her surroundings is intoxicating, as she seduces us into imagining the scenes of revelry and mayhem that permeated the past.
Susan van Allen appears not only to appreciate the intimacy of the boudoir, but also the graceful and cultivated structuring of the outdoors. Finding la dolce vita in the harmonious blend of greenery, sculpture, and fountains that typifies the finest in Italian landscape gardening, she explores gardens originating in the Renaissance and Baroque periods – not without a timely reminder that most gardens close down November to March, so best check ahead to avoid disappointment.
Susan then extends her delight in the outdoors to an overview of the finest of Italian beaches, while, on the way, introducing one to the niceties of beach etiquette regarding such key points (;)) as topless bathing and clubbing. Mmm...
Written by the author in part voyager part curator and all enthusiastic tourist, susan van allen takes the reader on a tour of italy thats not only for women, but for everyone. Her description of vistas, gardens, beaches and plazzis made me want to dust of my passport and go see them for myself.