Tuscany and Umbria: The Collected Traveler offers the future traveler lots of cultural and historical information on this region in central Italy. Do not mistake the book for a travel guide with maps, prices and four star restaurants; rather it’s an opportunity for travelers to become immersed in the history, atmosphere, food and wine of Tuscany and Umbria in preparation for his or her next adventure.
The Collected Traveler is an anthology of short articles from writers about their personal experiences traveling and living in Tuscany and Umbria. It also contains numerous annotated bibliographies to help the reader dig deeper into things Tuscany. In addition, Kerper conducted interviews with several celebrities who vacation and live in the region, and offers their insights to readers. It contains some information about restaurants, places to stay, and venues mentioned in the articles and interviews.
Going native provides one opportunity for travelers to experience a location. They may opt to rent a villa, a home or a room for a couple of weeks rather than staying in a motel. In “My Italy” Erica Jong tells of her marvelous experiences renting a villa in the Italian countryside with her extended family. On the other hand, Mary-Lou Weisman in “Welcome to Our Rented Nightmare,” takes a humorous look at renting a home using only a brochure for information. Of course, no one would dream of doing that in the age of the Internet. In the glossary, Kerper gives a list of Italian rental terms to aid in reserving accommodations.
Frances Mayes describes the Tuscan town of Camucia. It still offers traditional market days. Several streets close, and vendors sell their wares from wagons or the trunks of their cars. Fresh vegetables, pecorino, porchetta, panino, prosciutto and bunches of grapes fresh from the vine tempt a shopper to spend her hard earned Euros.
Additional articles give the reader a taste for the essence of Tuscany. They tell about Florence, Lucca, Sienna and many other locations. For centuries the pleasant weather and fine wines have attracted authors to the area, but Tuscany also has her own authors such as Dante. Dan Hofstadter writes of Tuscany from the vantage point of classic authors like Byron, Shelley and Dickens.