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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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August 29, 2009

I seem to have an abundance of travel books!!

I think one of the side benefits of travel for a book lover is that it's a great excuse to buy books!  After all, a traveler has to be well-informed, right?

My son and I went to London this past winter and I think I actually only bought one book - Pauline Frommer's "London - see more pay less".  It was a great book, very much geared towards the budget traveler (me!) and really detailed with lots of non-touristy info.

So that's the first book I bought when I started planning my trip to Italy, only this one, "Itay - see more pay less" is for the entire country so is not nearly as in depth about any one city.  It's still a good guide book, and I will be taking it with me, but I did feel the need for more.....

Which led me, over time, to all of these:

"Village Walks - Tuscany" -- This is my latest acquisition.  It's a little box with 50 cards, each one a different walk in Florence and a number of the smaller surrounding towns.  It's available at chroniclebooks.com and I'm sure other places - that's just where I stumbled across it.  They have them for several major American cities and other European destinations.  What I love about this format is that I will probably only take 3 or 4 of the cards with me cause I won't be going to every place they cover.

Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria by James Lasdun and Pia Davis.  I came across this title, highly recommended, somewhere on the web and decided I'd better get it (before I found the cards).  It is a great book and makes me hope I'll be able to do at least one of their routes while I'm staying in Tuscany.

Walking in Italy - by Gillian and; John Souter - What is it with me and the walking?!  I personally don't think this one is as well put together as the one above and it is heavy - I wouldn't want to pack it.

Eating and Drinking in Italy  by Andy Herbach and Michael Dillon - menu translator and restaurant guide.  I'll just say it right up front, eating is one of my prime objectives in going to Italy.  This is handy, but I don't think I'll be packing it - I'll just try and muddle my way through the menus as best I can.  I just want to make sure I recognize the Italian word for squid and -  as we gently call them here in the States - sweetbreads.

Osterie and Locande D'Italia - traditional places to eat and stay - huge collection but another heavy one.

The Food Lover's Guide  to Florence by Emily Wise Miller - incudes recommendations for places in Tuscany and info on cooking classes.  I ordered this one partly because it mentioned the cooking classes section.  And the classes sound wonderful but are pretty much beyond my budget.

Harper Collins Language Survival Guide - I'm going to make myself sit and actually use this one a little - I think it could be quite helpful cause it tells you not only language stuff, but things about signage, taking trains and buses, and such.  However, I'm just a little leery of it.  As an example of why it's important to know more than just words, they point out how each country has "codes" that tell people what they're getting, what they're seeing, etc.  Their example of this in America is that whole milk comes with blue labels and skim milk comes with red labels.  Well, here in Huntington, it's just the opposite, so....what do you think?

On the subject of language, I also discovered Byki.com where you can download their Byki Express language program for free.  They have more thorough things you can buy, but I've been having fun trying to learn the various words and phrases and trying to get my "r's" to roll.

And there you have it - if you're ever going to Italy, just let me know if you need any books!


January said...

Hi Mama! Our whole milk also has red lids, and the skim lots of times has yellow and sometimes blue. That book might be trying to be a little TOO informative.

Anonymous said...

Don't leave "Osterie and Locanda" at home. It is a treasure.

Mary Lynne said...

To Anonymous: I agree and I think what I'll probably do is copy the pages that apply to where I'll be going and to what I can afford and take them with me. Thanks for joining in!

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