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Art & Architecture Towns
Italy Revealed, A Guide to Art and Architecture in the Italian Landscape, Charles FitzRoy, photos by Joe Cornish, Little, Brown and Company, 1994 (out of print but available used)
This is a wonderful book that I have used to plan some of our trips. It contains short driving tours to towns with significant art and architecture. I photocopy the tours for the areas we will be visiting. The book has color photos and a detailed description of each tour (including driving time, length of tour, best time of year).
From the book: "The itineraries in this book are designed for the motorist who has no inclination to suffer the full terror of confronting Italian drivers en masse in the narrow streets of a city (where the definition of a split second is the time that it takes a driver to hoot his horn when the traffic lights turn green). It is in the countryside that you can best capture the unchanging face of Italy."
I copied the table of contents of this book below to give you an idea of the suggested tours, but get a copy of the book if you can for the complete description of each tour (table on contents reproduced here with permission of the author Charles FitzRoy - www.bellinitravel.com).
Tuscany and Northern Lazio
TOUR 1. Renaissance Genius
Half day tour on part of the Piero della Francesca trail (Urbino is omitted).
TOUR 2. The Garden as Theatre
1 1/2 day tour of gardens near Lucca.
TOUR 3. Beacons of Civilization
Full day tour in southern Tuscany.
TOUR 4. Medici Magnificience
Full day tour west of Florence.
TOUR 5. Pilgrims' Footsteps
Full day tour in Umbria and Tuscany to see late fifteenth century (Quattrocento) pilgrimage churches.
TOUR 6. Art Conquers Nature
Full day tour of three villas and gardens near Viterbo in Lazio.
TOUR 7. Etruscan Mysteries
1 1/2 day tour of Etruscan sights in southern Tuscany and northern Lazio.
The Veneto and Friulli
TOUR 8. Palladian Pageant
Short day tour of villas in the Veneto.
TOUR 9. Artists at Home
Short day tour of towns with art of the Venetian artists.
TOUR 10. Strongholds of the Serenissima
Full day tour of the fortified towns from the Middle Ages.
TOUR 11. Illusions of Grandeur
Full day tour to see art works by Venetian artist Giambattista Tiepolo (1696-1770).
TOUR 12. Imperial Inheritance
Full day tour of early 4th century Christianity art near Venice.
Umbria and the Marche
TOUR 13. Perugino's Masterpieces
Short day tour to see Perugino frescoes.
TOUR 14. Medieval Panorama
Full day tour of central Umbria towns.
TOUR 15. The Heart of the Apennines
Full day tour of a tour of the mountains east of Spoleto.
TOUR 16. Princely Splendour
Full day tour of Quarttrocento palaces.
TOUR 17. Power and Opulence
Full day tour of Norman churches near Palermo.
TOUR 18. Decorum and Decadence
Short day tour of Oratories in Palermo.
TOUR 19. The Legacy of Greece
Full day tour of Greek ruins.
TOUR 20. Baroque Extravagance
Full day tour of Baroque towns.
TOUR 21. The Land of the Leopard
Full day tour to see towns in the interior of Sicily.
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