by Paolo Lazzarin
Beautifully illustrated as well as informative, One Hundred & One Beautiful Small Towns in Italy: Shops and Crafts focuses on two of the most popular reasons to visit Italy: shopping and the artisanal products for which Italy is famous. “Made in Italy” has become synonymous with style and craftsmanship, and every region of the country has its specialties: Venice is known for magical glassware designs, delicate lace, and luxurious velvet; Milan and Como for the finest of woven silks; the Dolomites and the mountainous regions of Calabria and Sicily for hand-carved wooden objects, among them the famously mischievous wooden peg-doll, Pinocchio; Florence for gold jewelry, leather, and straw goods; Naples for cameos; Assisi for embroidery; and Deruta, Gubbio, and many towns in Puglia and Sicily for their time-honored history of ceramic making. A thorough appendix provides helpful addresses and phone numbers to accommodate planning your trip, including hotels, restaurants, wineries, and shops. Each spread features a sidebar with information on local delicacies to be tasted and imbibed, as well as where to find the town’s choicest goods.