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Italy (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay) [Paperback]

Emma Carey
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Italy Special Places to Stay (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay Italy) Italy Special Places to Stay (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay Italy) 4.9 out of 5 stars (12)
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Book Description

2 Feb 2006 Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay
This guide covers the hot spots of Tuscany and the Italian lakes, but we have found special places all over the country: from the heel of Puglia to the mountains of Val d'Aosta, via Italy's amazing islands. We look for owners, homes and hotels that we like, and we are fiercely subjective in our choices. 'Special for us is not about the number of creature comforts, but relates to many elements that make a place work'. Certainly, the way guests are treated comes as high on our list, as the setting, the architecture and the food.

Product details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Alastair Sawday Publishing; 4th Revised edition edition (2 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901970612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901970616
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 12.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 914,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I would like to introduce our Special Places and Slow guides which pinpoint the way to some 5,000 remarkable places to stay across Europe and beyond. What do I look for?
* Warm, very human, interesting people
* Beautiful buildings, original style, elegant simplicity
* Fine old things that, however dilapidated, carry their age and authenticity with dignity
* Delicious food, much of it grown at home and cooked with devotion
* A touch of fun with a touch of class. Quirkiness with seriousness, a light touch, an easy style
* Honest writing with a dash of panache
* Comfort - yes, but not at the expense of everything else.

Product Description


"Alastair Sawday’s Special Places To Stay Italy is great if you’re looking for unusual, offbeat and stylish places to visit" -- Junior (June 04)

"Handsome, comprehensive and packed full of ideas, the book will help you get the most out of your trip." -- The Italian (December/January 05)

"If you haven’t see the Alastair Sawday’s Special Places to Stay series yet, you’re in for a treat." -- A Place in the Sun (December 05)

From the Inside Flap

Why go to Italy? Turn these pages and you will meet awe-inspiring buildings, life-changing experiences and seductive people.

Fresh, regional food is an irresistable feature of Italy. Choose for yourselves at local markets, eat with the family, dine in palazzo-style splendour.

Italy is where the Slow Food movement began - and we salute it. We, too, have strong environmental credentials.

Stay in simple agriturismi, in sun-drenched luxury on Sardinia's Costa Smerelda, in beautiful townhouses in Florence or Venice. We inspect them all - thoroughly, regularly and subjectively.

120 places are new to this edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I've been using Alastair Sawday's books for the past 7-8 years, and have discovered many lovely hotels and B&Bs thanks to them.
This latest Italy book is no exception. Even if you have no intention of going there, it's beautiful just to look at ! But I reckon it's impossible to own this book without wanting to try out most of the places recommended - my husband and I have just used it to book our summer holiday.
The great thing is, because the guides are so consistent, we know we're in for a special holiday.
The places to stay range from simple to stylish, through eclectic, traditional, surprising and inspirational. What they all tend to have in common is friendly owners and stunning locations.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravissimo! 23 Mar 2008
By MKiely
If you are planning a trip to Italy a must purchase is Alastair Sawday's Italy guide. I bought my first Sawday guide (on Italy) four years ago and consider it one of the best purchases I've made. I went ahead and planned a three week holiday in Italy using only the recommended properties in the guide. It was one of the best holidays I have ever had.
After this I was converted. No matter where I was travelling, I checked first to see if there was a Sawdays book on my destination, and used it to plan my holiday. I now have a collection of these books and pick them up occasionally when I just want to dream of being somewhere else!
I have used the French, Paris, Italian and English guides, and have yet to be disappointed with them.

I was delighted to see the new edition of the Italy book released as I am off to Rome in October for a wedding and see there are a couple of new additions as well as the old trusted properties. I have every faith in the properties in this guide, both old and new, and I look forward to booking my trip with it.

This guide is very user friendly. There is a map section in the front showing exactly where your property is. You get a detailed description of the property then, with symbols telling you at a glance if kids are welcome, if there is a pool on the property, if they cater for vegetarians, if they are wheelchair accessible, etc. The back index is very handy if you want to do a quick search of the properties that lie in certain categories. For example, there are properties listed under the sections: "travel without a car", "on a budget", "cookery courses", "agriturismo", etc.

There is a big focus on green tourism and certain properties get a special green entry for their efforts towards sustaining the environment.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Italian Companion 13 Jun 2006
We have found delightful places to stay in a number of European countries using Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay series of guides. We have never been disappointed with any of the B & Bs, inns, auberges or small hotels which we have been introduced to by Alastair Sawday. He and his team seem to have an uncanny knack of finding out of the way, interesting and comfortable places to stay, always with welcoming hosts, who are often interesting people in their own right.

Therefore we were looking forward to trying out Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay - Italy. We had great fun using the book earlier in the year and were not disappointed in any of our "finds". We were introduced to several new places to stay. I will just mention two which particularly stood out.

The first is in the Italian lakes on the banks of Lake Como in a village called Cadenabbia, just up the road from the ferry terminal where we arrived over from the beautiful town of Bellagio. It is entry number 16 in the book and is called Alberghetto La

Marianna. The description in the book had sounded too good to be true, but I can confirm that it is accurate in every respect, from the description of the B & B to the delightful Paola who runs the B & B side of the business and her larger than life husband, who is a passionate and superb Italian cook. He told us that in the winter when they close the albergho they go to the US where he teaches Italian cookery. We are returning to their delightful little hotel later in the year.

The second is on the way to the Adriatic coast from Bologna and is as described in the book, in the country surrounded by vineyards. It is called Azienda Vitivinicola e Agrituristica Trere entry number 85.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you wish you were there 23 Aug 2010
Standards of Sawday guides are as high as ever: reliably accurate and up-to-date descriptions with high-quality photographs and very helpful symbols to identify establishments with specific features such as wheelchair access, wi-fi availability, swimming pool, no-smoking, dogs accepted

We stayed at several of these "special places" when they were in the previous edition of the guide and found them very much as described.

Coverage is fairly even throughout Italy, including Sicily, Sardinia and even two places in the Aeolians, although of course the main concentration is holiday areas.

We're looking forward to touring Italy again next year and will book most of our accommodation from this book - highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up to the usual standard 17 Mar 2008
If you've bought or used a Sawday book before and have come to expect high standards, "Special Places to Stay: Italy" will not disappoint. Having browsed it pretty thoroughly, I feel confident that I can rely on this new guide. In fact, it's made me switch my holiday plans so that I can tour Italy in September. Sorry, Oregon - maybe next year!

The book is beautifully illustrated and well-written, as ever. I love the use of clear, attractive symbols for things like no-smoking, pool, bikes, cards accepted, that enable me to find places fitting my precise requirements. Decent-scale maps help with tracking down a property in a chosen area.

I have yet to regret booking a property from any of the Alastair Sawday range, whether B&B, hotel or self-catering. This book covers a good mix of all of those property types, so there should be something for everyone.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Alastair Sawdays Places to Stay - Italy
I find the book easier to read than the website (which is probably badly designed so you buy the book!). Read more
Published on 23 Jun 2011 by K. Doble
5.0 out of 5 stars Sawdays Shines again
Since I was introduced to Alastair Sawday's books & website about 2 years ago I have never looked back. Read more
Published on 13 April 2008 by Triona Keating
5.0 out of 5 stars Great guide for special accomodation..
As usual with the Sawday books, as soon as you pick this one up it looks & feels quality & as ever it lives up to this impression on the inside as well. Read more
Published on 16 Mar 2008 by R. Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Made our Honeymoon Perfect
Alastair Sawday is simply the best. We first purchased this Italy Guide book with the aim of getting an idea of where we would like to stay on our Honeymoon in Italy. Read more
Published on 10 Oct 2007 by J Bryer
5.0 out of 5 stars Alistair Sawday - Special Places to stay in Italy
We have never been disappointed with any of the places we have stayed in italy, thanks to this wonderful book. Read more
Published on 17 July 2007 by H. Dunlop
5.0 out of 5 stars Italy (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay )
This book is a must for anyone planning a trip to Italy. I have used the previous edition for trips to Italy and the accommodations have impressed me each time. Read more
Published on 3 April 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars None better
Like all Sawday books, this one is superbly illustrated and refreshingly enjoyable to browse. The use of clear symbols and accurate mapping make it very easy to locate suitable... Read more
Published on 30 Mar 2006 by Mr Gumby
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