Book Review: Experience Italy From Lonely Planet


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Experience Italy from Lonely Planet is a feast of all things Italian. A book for anyone who loves Italy…

Experience Italy: Not Your Typical Guidebook

The introduction to Experience Italy says that this is “not your typical guidebook”. In fact, it’s not really a guidebook at all: it is more a celebration of everything that Italy has to offer. Within the pages of this book you will find food (and even a few recipes), wine, cities and countryside, art, music and much more.

Page from Experience Italy showing scoops of ice cream
Naturally, there is an entry on gelato

Some entries – like “a night at the opera” or “Emiglia-Romagna’s Soul Food” – might be expected. Others less so. You can read about the design history of the Vespa, or the timeless existence of the cowboys of Tuscany. Or how to eat “gluten-free in the land of pasta”…

Using Experience Italy For Inspiration

The book is loosely arranged in sections. So there is “Dolce Vita” (mostly about food and fine living) and “Viva Italia” (daily life and social customs). The section that caught my eye was called “Che Sorpresa!”, with gems such as “The Battle of the Oranges” (an annual event in Piedmont “that carpets the street in smashed fruit”.) The major cities have their own entries. So, for instance, you’ll find “Ten Ways to Fall in Love with Rome”, a tour around some of the city’s quirks, such as the fact that the Vatican City mints its own euro coins.

Page from Experience Italy showing a ruined mill on the side of a gorge in Sorrento
Not the usual view of Sorrento…

However, the reader is encouraged to hop from one page to another. It is described as “a scavenger hunt”, with cross references to other pages at the end of each entry. I was frequently distracted, but that is the point of this book… Experience Italy is not a book to carry with you on your travels, but one to read at home and savour. It will bring back memories of past visits to Italy, and inspire your future exploration.

You can buy Experience Italy online from Amazon.

About Bewitched by italy

Bewitched By Italy is owned and managed by Karen Warren.

I have been writing and travelling for many years (almost 70 countries at the last count), but Italy remains one of my favourite destinations. This website is my attempt to inform and inspire other travellers, and to share some of the things I’ve discovered along the way. Read more…


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