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Italy for the Gourmet Traveller Paperback – 22 May 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Kyle Cathie (22 May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856262715
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856262712
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.4 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,261,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Fred Plotkin is the Italy expert other so-called Italy experts turn to for definitive knowledge. The New York Times say he is 'known by the cognoscenti for his renaissance mastery of two seemingly separate disciplines: music and the food of Italy'. His books on opera, classical music, Italian food, wine, and art provide enlightenment and pleasure for readers the world over. He divides his time between homes in New York and Italy, and in opera houses everywhere.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ian on 23 Mar 2003
Format: Paperback
For anyone travelling in Italy with an interest in food and drink, this is an invaluable book. It's laid out as a guide book, indexed by region and town with a list of recommended restaurants, shops, etc. for each. But it's so much more, with the introductory chapters and an overview for each region showing Plotkin's deep and comprehensive understanding of his subject. It's the most insightful guide to Italian cuisine I've come across, and our first edition copy is falling apart after five years of regular use.
Sadly, however, the second edition is more or less the same as the first - the "updating" is simply the deletion of a handful of entries that have ceased trading, replaced with others carefully written to fit into the same space in the book so that it didn't have to be re-typeset. There's really hardly anything new at all. Even regular travellers are unlikely to find it worthwhile buying another copy for so few updated entries.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 8 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
A really useful guidebook with true gems not found in other books. Have used it in Tuscany, Rome, Naples and the Amalfi coast. Have never let me down and I have numerous times lent it to friends for their trips. A heavy burden to carry with you but I would not go to Italy without it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clive Earl on 27 Oct 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is just simply that: readable and reliable. It's a good read with all sorts of quirky facts thrown in, but the restaurant guide is simply the business. We suspected as much from reviews and recommendations by "Fred" (as we've come to call him) of restaurants we knew from previous stays in Italy, but we used this guide for a recent short break in Umbria and it was right on the money for lunch and dinner, good food, and good restaurants. It's worth its weight in gold (and that's a lot of gold!).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author loves Italy, it's food and it's restaurants. But if, as we did, you wanted this book as an authoritative easy to navigate restaurant guide for Italy it's not the book for you. It's much more a general guide to Italian food by region. To get a restaurant guide either buy Michelin - only published in Italian - or simple Google search restaurants by town. We instantly got a much better outcome and I'm afraid the book is now stored for the next garage sale
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Format: Paperback
Fred Plotkin has obviously travelled around Italy as he knows each region so well. The book is set out as each chapter talking about each Italian region. He explains about the food and wine from the region and suggests places to visit in each main city/town. I have found it very educational. It is aimed at an American audience, but apart from the different spellings occasionally, this should not distract you. If you are interested in food and places to eat and visit in Italy - get this book.
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This book has paid for itself several times over on my past two trips to Italy. The recommended places have been true gems. A variety of types of establishment are listed, but I have stuck to the authentic trattoria where locals eat, pasta is fresh, wine is good (sometimes superb), mushrooms are wild, and the Euro is put to good use. Phoning ahead using the numbers provided is a good way to avoid disappointment; I watched lots of people get turned away from the door at an osteria in San Gimignano that filled all its tables for the night. Most recently, I used the book in Venice and found an excellent spot frequented by gondoliers where there is no menu, just a small selection of dishes of the day announced at your table by the butcher's daughter. That's the kind of place this book will guide you to.

The book is quite weighty, so I ruthlessly cut out the pages I need for my travels and take only those sections with me.
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