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Art & Architecture Towns

Pauline Kenny

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).

  • Monterchi
  • Borgo Sansepolcro
  • San Francesco - Arezzo

TOUR 2. The Garden as Theatre

1 1/2 day tour of gardens near Lucca.

  • Villa Reale - Marlia
  • Villa Mansi - Segromigno
  • Villa Torrigiani - Camigliano
  • Villa Garzoni - Collodi

TOUR 3. Beacons of Civilization

Full day tour in southern Tuscany.

  • Sant' Antimo
  • Monte Oliveto
  • San Galgano

TOUR 4. Medici Magnificience

Full day tour west of Florence.

  • Prato
  • Poggio a Caiano
  • Carmignano
  • Artimino

TOUR 5. Pilgrims' Footsteps

Full day tour in Umbria and Tuscany to see late fifteenth century (Quattrocento) pilgrimage churches.

  • Santa Maria della Consolazione - Todi
  • Madonna di San Biagio - Montepulciano
  • Santa Maria del Calcinaio - Cortona

TOUR 6. Art Conquers Nature

Full day tour of three villas and gardens near Viterbo in Lazio.

  • Villa Farnese - Caprarola
  • Villa Lante - Bagnaia
  • Sacra Bosco - Bomarzo

TOUR 7. Etruscan Mysteries

1 1/2 day tour of Etruscan sights in southern Tuscany and northern Lazio.

  • Montemerano
  • Sovana
  • Sorano
  • Pitigliano
  • Tarquinia
  • Vulci

The Veneto and Friulli

TOUR 8. Palladian Pageant

Short day tour of villas in the Veneto.

  • Villa Emo - Fanzolo
  • Asolo
  • Villa Barbaro - Maser

TOUR 9. Artists at Home

Short day tour of towns with art of the Venetian artists.

  • Giorgione
  • Bassano
  • Canova

TOUR 10. Strongholds of the Serenissima

Full day tour of the fortified towns from the Middle Ages.

  • Soave
  • Marostica
  • Montagnana

TOUR 11. Illusions of Grandeur

Full day tour to see art works by Venetian artist Giambattista Tiepolo (1696-1770).

  • Villa Cordellina
  • Villa Valmarana
  • Villa Pisani - Stra

TOUR 12. Imperial Inheritance

Full day tour of early 4th century Christianity art near Venice.

  • Aquileia
  • Grado
  • Cividale

Umbria and the Marche

TOUR 13. Perugino's Masterpieces

Short day tour to see Perugino frescoes.

  • Citta della Pieve (birthplace of Perugino, Adoration of the Magi in Santa Maria dei Bianchi)
  • Panicale (Martyrdom of St. Sebastian in the chapel of San Sebastiano)
  • Convent of Sant' Agnese - Perugia (has a chapel with a Perugino)

TOUR 14. Medieval Panorama

Full day tour of central Umbria towns.

  • Bevagna
  • Montefalco
  • Abbey of Sassovivo
  • Spello

TOUR 15. The Heart of the Apennines

Full day tour of a tour of the mountains east of Spoleto.

  • Spoleto
  • Norcia
  • Piano Grande
  • Ascoli Piceno

TOUR 16. Princely Splendour

Full day tour of Quarttrocento palaces.

  • Urbino
  • San Leo
  • Urbania

Sicily

TOUR 17. Power and Opulence

Full day tour of Norman churches near Palermo.

  • Monreale
  • La Martorana
  • Cefalu
  • Santo Spirito - Palermo

TOUR 18. Decorum and Decadence

Short day tour of Oratories in Palermo.

  • Oratorio di Santa Zita
  • Oratorio del Rosario di San Domenico
  • Oratorio di San Lorenzo
  • Villa Palagonia - Bagheria

TOUR 19. The Legacy of Greece

Full day tour of Greek ruins.

  • Segesta
  • Rocche di Cusa
  • Selinunte
  • Agrigento

TOUR 20. Baroque Extravagance

Full day tour of Baroque towns.

  • Noto
  • Modica
  • Ragusa Ibla

TOUR 21. The Land of the Leopard

Full day tour to see towns in the interior of Sicily.

  • Piazza Armerina
  • Caltagirone
  • Syracuse

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