Veteran writer and Italy expert Tim Jepson makes this vibrant and fascinating country-home of some of the world's most sublime art, architecture, and literature and one of its oldest civilizations-highly accessible to the modern traveler. After a thorough introduction, he begins his coverage in Rome with specific, detailed suggestions on how to tackle this most sight-intensive city - Your best approach is an oblique one, he writes. Avoid the big-name sights at the outset, and ease yourself gently into the city with a coffee or a stroll around its most intimate squares. He continues with this kind of advice as he travels around the country-north to Lombardy, the Lakes, the Veneto, Tuscany, and Umbria, and then south to Naples, ending up in Sicily-combining intimate guidance with strong and substantive information. Special features include numerous city walks, drives around Lake Maggiore, through Chianti country, and into the heart of Umbria, and discussions of many aspects of Italian culture and contemporary life. An extensive Travelwise section offers a wide selection of author's picks of hotels, inns, and restaurants, as well as details on shopping and all the practical information you need to get around. The 2012 edition has been completely revised and updated, with new features including experiential sidebars, insider tips, and an overview of how best to plan a visit.