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Other titles in the Armchair Traveller series:
Old Puglia: A Portrait of South Eastern Italy (Armchair Traveller)
Synopses & Reviews
Puglia is the heel of Italy that stretches down from the spur of the Italian boot. Littered across this region of mesmerizing landscapes and picturesque cities are Romanesque cathedrals, Gothic castles, a wealth of Baroque architecture, and rupestrian churches with Byzantine frescoes. Though always popular with Italians, Puglia has been neglected by tourists, who for many years favored Tuscany and Umbria. The region is now, however, hastily emerging from their shadow. All of a sudden, there are radio and television features; travel supplements lavish praise on its beaches and cuisine; supermarkets stock Puglian wine, olive oil, and pasta; and yet, despite all this attention, almost nothing has been written in English on Puglia since the days of Norman Douglas and the Sitwells.
This is not a holiday history or a canter through Puglia's past, but a thoughtful look—often through the eyes of previous travelers, for Puglia's landscape has changed remarkably little over the years—at a region inextricably intertwined with its past. We are introduced to its heroes, meet its people, and visit its shrines; we sample its food and savor its beauty.
A history and travelogue through one of Italy's most beautiful, yet seldom-visited regions.
Apulia (or Puglia) is the heel of Italy, stretching down from the spur of the Italian boot. Its landscape is often very beautiful and it has wonderful old cities with Romanesque cathedrals, Gothic castles and a great wealth of Baroque architecture, together with â€rupestrianâ€™ churches that contain Byzantine frescoes. But, although far from inaccessible, until quite recently it was seldom visited by Anglo Saxons. Today, however, Apulia is becoming fashionable, â€œan alternative to Tuscanyâ€?. It is featured on radio and television; travel supplements describe its beaches and its cooking, supermarkets stock Apulian wine, oil, bread and pasta. Yet almost nothing about the region has been published in English since the days of Norman Douglas and the Sitwells. One can find â€œholiday historiesâ€? of Tuscany, but there is no popular introduction to Apulian history, not even in Italian. Our book, which grew out of what was originally intended as a travel book, has been written to fill the gap by providing a simple, readable account.
About the Author
Desmond Seward was born in Paris and educated at St Catherines College, Cambridge. He is the author of many books including The Monks of War: The Military Religious Orders, The Hundred Years War, The Wars of the Roses, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry V as Warlord. Susan Mountgarret was the co-author of Byzantium - A Journey and a Guide which brought her to Puglia to study its rupestrian churches.
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