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Bill Thayer

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	Perugia

Massimo Montella, editor

Principal writers:

Giovanna Chiuini (architecture and the city),

Francesco Federico Mancini (art history),

Simonetta Stopponi (Etruscan & Roman archaeology)

published by Electa Editori Umbri Associati
© 1993 Elemond Editori Associati

This is one of the best tourist guides to any city that I've ever read, even if it is rather unusually organised. It was practical to use when I was on the spot, and it's good reading later, too.

In Italian, this 354‑page book, exclusively about Perugia, includes a 100‑page section of suggested itineraries, in which the sights are covered almost exclusively from the exterior; followed by 65 pages of "La città in interni" — the interiors of the same monuments, mostly churches of course; 20 pages of suggested theme walks; 25 pages on the history of the urban growth of Perugia, from Etruscan times to our own, with detailed maps; and a 100‑page "Manuale" or glossary, mostly of people (painters, historical figures) but also serving as an index of monuments and churches, and containing articles on such things as Confraternities, Monasteries, Necropolises, the Umbrian game of ruzzolone  (a sort of street shuffleboard), etc.

The guide is intelligently put together and very profusely illustrated with maps, plans, and some 800 photographs, all of them crystal-clear and many quite beautiful. With all that, at 15.5 cm × 23.5 cm (6¼″ by 9¼″), the book is still conveniently portable.

When I arrived in Perugia the first thing I did was find a good bookstore and look at all the guides. This looked like the best, and probably was.

Mini-review © William P. Thayer 1997


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