By: Tim Jepson
A Traveller’s Guide
Venture beyond the great Renaissance cities of Florence and Siena, drive a short distance from Milan, Venice, Rome or Naples, and you come to another Italy, by turns lush and verdant, rugged or parched, the countryside of ancient Rome, of Dante and St Francis of Assisi. Wild Italy will take you there.
- RRP: £12.50
- ISBN: 978-1-873329-35-1
- Format: 210 x 149 mm
- Pictures: 50 colour, 45 b/w
- Binding: Paperback
- Extent: 224 pages
- Maps: 7 colour, 18 b/w
- Rights: All available except UK and US Edition: 3rd
A Traveller’s GuideIn Wild Italy, Tim Jepson leaves the well-worn tourist haunts of traditional guide books behind him in search of fresher pleasures. He offers a rural, rather than an urban Italy, revealing the best of the long walks, mountain hideaways, woods, plains, sea coasts and remote islands where travellers can still find a refuge from the modern world.
He explores the whole country from its Alp-studded waist to its distant toe kicking the football of Sicily towards Africa. Like an unhurried lover, he works his way down thigh and shin, following the line of the Apennines, locating the pressure points between continental and peninsular Italy, pinching to see where the prosperous north gives way to the Mediterranean south, looking for those last empty stretches of littoral, down one side and up the other, where the bathers have yet to set up their parasols.
Having lived in Rome and trekked the entire peninsula, Tim Jepson knows the secret places that are as oxygen to a suffocating man after the murderous drive through the suburbs of Milan or Naples. He has picked out the loveliest spots in Sicily and Sardinia and plotted the last few pinpricks of Italian territory, the scattered islands off the Tunisian coast which are some of the most isolated and primitive places in Europe. An extensive knowledge of, and deep passion for wild Italy are reflected in Jepson’s writing. ‘One view of a cypress tree or stone farm-house and we are entranced,’ he writes, ‘overcome by that longing for the warm south which Icelanders describe nicely as “the need for figs”.’
‘Will be enjoyed by everyone who hopes to find unspoiled places off the tourist path.’
– The Times
‘Book of the Week…There’s plenty of relish in Douglas Botting’s text and lots of information about where to stay, what to take and which maps are best.’
– The Observer
‘You are put in the places that are mentioned through a blend of expert storytelling and information.’
About the Series
WILD BRITAIN: AN INTRODUCTION
Map of Britain showing Chapter Areas
THE KEY TO BRITAIN’S WILD PLACES
The Shape of the Wild
Protected Wild Places
The Rules of the Wild
To the Reader
CHAPTER 1: THE WEST COUNTRY
The Two Moors Way and Bodmin Moor
The Mendip Hills and The Somerset Levels
The South West Coast Path (Somerset, North Devon and Cornwall Coast Paths)
The Isles of Scilly
The South West Coast Path (South Devon and Dorset Coast Paths)
CHAPTER 2: SOUTH AND CENTRAL ENGLAND ALPS
The New Forest
The Shropshire Hills
The East Coast
The Norfolk Broads
CHAPTER 3: NORTH-WEST ENGLAND
The Peak District
The Yorkshire Dales
The North Pennines
The Lake District
The North-West Coast
The Pennine Way
CHAPTER 4: NORTH-EAST ENGLAND
North York Moors
CHAPTER 5: WALES
Offa’s Dyke Path
CHAPTER 6: LOWLAND SCOTLAND
The Solway Coast
The East Coast
The Southern Uplands
The Southern Uplands Way
CHAPTER 7: THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS
The Southern Highlands
The Central Highlands
The Cairngorms and East Grampians
The North-West Highlands
The West Highland Way
Scotland: The Islands
The Inner Hebrides
The Outer Hebrides
Tim Jepson was educated at Oxford where he studied English Literature. He is the author of six books about Italy and has a particular interest in Tuscany and Umbria. He lived in Italy for five years and wrote for The Sunday Telegraph as their Rome-Italy correspondent. He has covered other areas of the world in Train Journeys of the World, Mediterranean Wildlife and the Rough Guides to Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
Our days on the highest, wildest land in England south of the Pennines brought saturating rain, obliterating mist, towering cloudscapes and a saucy sun gleaming brazenly out of a pellucid, rain-rinsed sky. There were no trees to shade us, precious few bushes to provide shelter from the wind that slithered over the long curving granite scarp of Corn Ridge. We squelched back and forth across an amphitheatre of blanket bog and waded knee deep down the icy, scurrying streams that fanned out of them like the veins of a leaf. Now and then we holed up for a smoke and a corned beef sandwich inside the stone ruins of a Bronze Age hut, where once people just like us, looking out on a view just like this, had contemplated mortality and the infinite in a fug of peat smoke and cow dung.
SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS
It was October, but still warm, and I flung open the shutters of the small croft by the beach to catch all the sounds and ghosts of the night – the listless flop of the waves on the sand, the distant cataract roar of the waterfall above the burn, in spate after an autumn of incessant rain, the kraak of a solitary heron stalking fish in the moonlight at the edge of the tide, a seal singing softly in the bay below the croft, the plaintive, child-like voice rising and falling like a phantom lullaby.
The next day, miraculously, was as warm and blue as high summer. I followed the tracks of the wild sea otters barefoot over the crunching shell-sand and icy shallows to the otter islands where long before I had foraged for limpets and gulls’ eggs to eat, and as I stumbled over the black rock and bladder-wrack the grey seal colony gathered to stare, snorting in the sunlight, and bobbing their flippers up and down on the bottom to catch a better view.
This major series covers a subject that has never been fully treated in guide-book form: the great outdoors, the wild places far from home and work, the long walks, mountain fastnesses, woods, moors, sea coasts and remote islands where travellers can still find a refuge from the modern world.
These are literary books written for the armchair traveller by established travel writers. They are passionately committed to conservation, deeply imbued with a sense of place and illustrated with spacious colour photographs of landscapes and views.
They are also practical books with all the detailed travel information you will need to visit places that catch your imagination. Each exploration zone is graded according to its wildness and level of difficulty and is accompanied by its own fact-pack of hard-working guide-book text on where to go, where to stay, what to do and what to avoid, with lists of further reading and specially drawn maps in colour and black and white.
In the country you are surrounded by rocks, plants and animals, so the books carry attractive line drawings and knowledgeable descriptions of the natural world designed to satisfy your interest as it grows.