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Francesco's Italy Hardcover – 8 Jun 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; 01 edition (8 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563493488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563493488
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 2.3 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A superbly illustrated and meticulously researched guide... A definite must-buy for Italophiles everywhere" (Good Book Guide)

"[An] eloquent exploration of Italian culture... Stunning photographs provide a fitting backdrop to Francesco's artistic journey" (Living Abroad)

"Cultural marvels along with da Mosto's relaxed, quietly infectious charm make for a rather splendid mix" (The Times)

"As a man whose ancestors have lived in Venice for more than 1,500 years, Count Francesco da Mosto knows the city better than most... He talks of Venice with passion and insider knowledge. He has charm to burn and he's an absorbing guide." (Telegraph)

"[Francesco] shows an Italy that we would never see on our own." (Chicago Tribune)

About the Author

Francesco da Mosto, the presenter of the BBC2 series that this book accompanies, is an architect, historian and filmmaker. His busy studio in Venice has designed and supervised many restoration projects and has participated in local and international design competitions. Francesco has worked extensively in both cinema and television since 1984. He presented the hugely successful series Francesco's Venice in 2004 and Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage in 2008 and wrote the accompanying books.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Being a tour escort, I am always looking for travel books with a difference. This book by Da Mosto has proved excellent : it may not be very detailed in the description of places but it provides the reader with a lot of useful information from an insider - and what an insider! I only found a little wordy and too personal the sections dedicated to his childhood, but as to the rest, it is beautifully written, with details on unusual facts which you will not find elsewhere and stunning pictures. I loved it.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderfully written book with beautiful pictures to support a super tour from the top to the bottom of Italy.

If you have been there it is a wonderful reminder, if you are new to this outstanding country it is taste of all that awaits you.
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Format: Hardcover
Francesco da Mosto, an engaging Venetian aristocrat, expands on his earlier fond tribute to his home city, to create a even fonder tribute to his home country. He is a great guide to the cultural pleasures and history of Italy, and his enthusiasm is infectious; the photos in the book are wonderful, too, and all in all, this would make a great gift for anyone who has ever been transported by (or to) Italy.
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Format: Hardcover
A thoroughly enoyable read, and at the discounted price cannot be overlooked. I expected more submersion in the various regional cultures; somehow these do not transmit as well as they do in the TV series. However this must be one of the 2006 summer essentials for those of us who seek a little more than a package of short stop overs in provincial Italian towns.
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Format: Hardcover
This book accompanies the TV series, and the book's four chapters mirror the four episodes. In his preface, Francesco tells us that this tour of his country is also for him a personal journey. The book adopts the same format as his wonderful book on his home city of Venice. The photographs, mostly but not all by John Parker, are often superb with some spreading across two pages.

But before looking at what's covered, a glance at the map at the start of the journey shows us several lacunae. Thus there are gaps to the east and north of Venice; the Italian Alps are skipped (except the lakes); and Genoa is missing (but one could hardly expect a Venetian to say anything good about the enemy). As we move south, the spaces become larger, especially on the Adriatic side (no Rimini, no Bari). Calabria too is empty, save as a stepping stone to Sicily. Sardinia, meanwhile, is not even on the map.

This gives some idea of what's missing, but you cannot include everything. And in the first chapter - `Leaving the Lagoon', Francesco perhaps tries to include too much, with the result that we have a somewhat superficial coverage: Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Ferrara, Bologna, Mantua - each is given a page or a small number of paragraphs in which Francesco expatiates on a single aspect or work of art to be found there, before moving on to the next city. It's as if the whole of southern England is covered by saying one thing about Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol, Southampton, Chichester, and Brighton. There are some exceptions, such as Milan, where (amongst other things) we learn that it was an Englishman "who founded AC Milan as `Milan Cricket & Football Club'. It is in his honour that the club has always kept the English spelling of its name.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was exactly as described. No difference in condition from a new volume bought from, say, W H Smith or anywhere else.

It was very well packed up by the seller, and arrived on time, although time really does not matter greatly --- it's not a race!!

If you have the book I want, I will certainly buy this way again. After all, there's no harm done to the author, who has already had the royalties.

Well done to the seller and to Amazon.

Brent Smith.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thankfully i managed to record all four episodes of Francescos very entertaining Top to Toe series on Italy onto disc.

His ladish exploits in that gorgeous Alfa Spider made the series a more lite hearted affair to his magnificent Venice,and his influnce in being one of the oldest Venitian families opened doors into fabulous palaces and villas that are barred to all members of the public.

Naturally he could not spend too long in the north of the country but witnessing Lucca, Puccinis birthplace and Bolognia the oldest university in the world made what he did choose trully excelleny.Veronia was where Shakespeare based Romeo and Juiliet but Shakey never visited the place.

The highlite of the series for me was when he travelled further south to the deeply religious areas where devotion was taken to extreams.

The poverty of Naples and his mothers birthplace Palermo in Sicilli was a real journey into the real Italy that few tourists get to see.

This book brings all that and more into a highly illustrated story of Italy at its very best.

His Top to Toe series is too young to have been released onto dvd but this book is a taster of the treat yet to come.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Quite a weighty tome. Full of beautiful pictures, mostly of stunning architecture. More of a coffee table book - and I don't mean that in a negative way - but with an informal rather than overly academic commentary.
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