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Florence & Siena (Insight Guide) City Guide Books in Review
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Florence & Siena (Insight Guide) City Guide
APA Publications
ISBN 978-981-282-262-8
Published May 2011 - Softcover - 318 pages - $19.99

I've been to Florence (a hundred and four years ago), and Siena is on my bucket list of places to see.  Now that I've discovered these Insight Guides, I feel suitably eager about some travel in my future.  When I look at maps of cities I've been to, I'm always amazed at how little I actually saw.  Florence begs a second visit!  In this edition, the book covers not only the history of Florence and Siena (incredible), but also the Best of Florence, Places, Restaurants and Bars, Accommodation, and Transportation.  There are also lots of museums and/or shopping places and other activities to contemplate in this beautiful city.  The magnificent photos are certainly enticing enough, and I urge you to make notes of where you can see what.  For example, where to see Michelangelo's David (the Accademia), or what to expect to see in the Uffizi Museum, the Duomo, where sculptures are to be found, Renaissance art, etc.  Florence has seen its share of history, and now suffers losing residents because of high rents and commercialism.  A great pity as I found the locals to be friendly and helpful.  This city is home to Botticelli's work, Michelangelo's art, da Vinci, Raphael, and many more.  High fashion, high food, great wines, exquisite sights, friendly people, great walking streets, beautiful scenery, bold architecture, are all to be enjoyed.  I loved the "Main Attractions" listed at the beginning of each district.
And then there is Siena, home of the Palio Horse Race and the delectable Siena Cake.  A visit to this city is incomplete without a trip to Il Campo (the main central square) or to Chianti country.  Both cities (and in fact, this whole area) makes for wonderful photographs, so don't forget your camera.  Shopping is also a very interesting and enjoyable thing to do in this region.  At the very least you've got to do some window shopping.  I found the Transport section of this book very helpful in deciding whether to drive, take a train or coach, and how to get there.  The Language section is also infinitely helpful.
Conclusion - A visit to Tuscany should be on everyone's to-do list.  I found this book extremely helpful in every way.

book cover

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.

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