Posted by Nick Redmayne on 3 February 2010
For many it’s a revelation that an untrammelled outpost like Abruzzo still exists in a country as perennially popular as Italy. Whilst being a rugged redoubt for Marsican bears, Apennine wolves and understandably watchful Apennine chamois, Abruzzo is also home to 19 of Italy’s ‘most beautiful’ villages. Low cost flights serve Pescara, its largest city, complementing excellent European rail and road links to a region only 15km from the border with Umbria. Bradt’s first edition guidebook by Abruzzo-born Luciano Di Gregorio, invites readers to share the author’s insights and give Abruzzo the attention it has always deserved.
At the centre of Italy’s ‘leg’, almost two thirds of Abruzzo is mountainous. Three national parks are covered in the guide, Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga, Majella and the National Park of Abruzzo, together encompassing the two highest peaks in the Apennines and 25 summits over 2,000 metres. Di Gregorio suggests hikes, some following ancient transhumance routes, in these and other parks, and highlights wildlife watching opportunities, ski pistes of varying difficulty and of course where to kick back on the Adriatic’s sandy beaches. Elsewhere, descriptions of traditional Italian life amongst the narrow cobbled streets of timeless hilltop villages vie with those of fast-moving fashionistas in Pescara, arrival point for most air travellers. This being an Italian guidebook, food and drink receive a higher profile than they otherwise might. An hour by hour schedule for eating like an Abruzzese features unforgettable street staples such as Porchetta Abruzzese and the childhood food of generations, Sagne e fagioli. Wines and spirits are also considered, from endlessly quaffable Montepulciano D’Abruzzo to the acquired bitter taste of Genziana liqueur. Finally, it would be wrong to ignore the regional capital of L’Aquila. Here, despite the severe destruction of 2009 and continuing travel restrictions, the guide retains pre-earthquake descriptions of churches, cathedrals and castles. Notes indicate severity of damage and estimated period for painstaking reconstruction. As Di Gregorio says, ‘Piano, Piano…con calma. That’s the way of it in Abruzzo.’
Luciano Di Gregorio was born and raised in Pescara, leaving for Australia during his teens before returning to Abruzzo in his 20s. He is fluent in three languages – Italian, English and Spanish and dabbles in French and Japanese. After a spell in London as a secondary-school English and language teacher he is now based in Melbourne, teaching and contributing to various newspapers and magazines on a freelance basis.
Publication: February 2010
ISBN: 978 1 84162 270 5
Posted in Press Releases | Tagged: Abruzzo, New Editions | Comments Off
Posted by bradttravel on 11 May 2009
Africa Overland – 5th Edition
Siân Pritchard-Jones & Bob Gibbons
The story of overland travel in Africa is one of constant flux. Roads once easily navigated become impassable, borders once freely crossed are later sealed to all traffic. However, as one door closes another opens, and areas of Africa formerly off limits such as Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea open up. Siân and Bob’s own travels down the west coast of Africa during 2008 were directed by these tidal changes and catalysed the fifth edition of Africa Overland. The book’s packing check-list, guidance on vehicle purchase, fault-finding and terrain-driving tips offer straightforward practical advice that’ll pay huge dividends in country. In short, Africa Overland is essential reading for those planning a self-drive adventure, whether by 4×4, old banger, motorcycle or push bike.
ISBN: 978 1 84162 283 5
Publication: Out Now!
Ethiopia – 5th Edition
The central plateau of Ethiopia, covering half the country, is probably the largest area of fertile land in eastern Africa – hardly the endless desert still perpetuated by mass media. The new updated edition of Ethiopia covers Ethiopian Orthodox Christian heritage, including remarkable rock-hewn churches ‘built by angels’, together with the country’s great wealth of breathtaking landscapes. Details of hiking trails in the Simien and Bale Mountains offer the combination of stunning scenery and opportunities to track and observe endemic wildlife such as Ethiopian wolves, Gelada baboons and rich avifauna. Throughout, author Philip Briggs draws on a knowledge born of genuine enthusiasm to tell the good news about Africa, and to counter Ethiopia’s enduring association with famine and poverty.
ISBN: 978 1 84162 284 2
Publication: Out Now!
Switzerland Without a Car – 4th Edition
Let’s face it: right now cars are not fashionable. Prohibitively expensive fuel, punitive taxes and traffic-clogged roads have taken the va va voom out of motoring and left us with a resounding phut. Author Anthony Lambert, always an enthusiastic proponent of rail travel, concludes that the Swiss have it cracked with probably the world’s finest public-transport system. Lambert’s updated guide goes well beyond rail travel to include lake steamers, cable cars, postbuses, cycling routes and hiking trails in a convincing case for car-free leisure travel in Switzerland. Combine an infrastructure supported by appropriate investment with unlimited travel over most of the network via the country’s Swiss Pass scheme and you can see he may have a point.
ISBN: 978 1 84162 185 2
Publication: Out Now!
Posted in Press Releases | Tagged: Africa, Africa Overland, Ethiopia, Europe, New Editions, Switzerland | Comments Off