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The Espresso Break: Tours and Nooks of Naples, Italy and Beyond Paperback – March 22, 2012


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The Espresso Break: Tours and Nooks of Naples, Italy and Beyond + Streetwise Naples Map - Laminated City Center Street Map of Naples, Italy - Folding pocket size travel map with metro lines & stations
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Merchant's Press (March 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983509921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983509929
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #410,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In this readable, entertaining information guide for tourists, Zaragoza takes readers from the heights of Mount Vesuvius to the ruins of Pompeii and beyond. Part atlas, part history lesson, part epicurean review, this comprehensive handbook to Naples is without peer. -Kirkus Reviews

From the Author

Travelers often fear Naples, Italy and it can indeed be hard to manage through the crush of traffic, the Neapolitan dialect, and the streets that accommodate two thousand year old ruins rather than cars. I wanted to provide myth and lore along with pragmatic information to make any stay in Naples turn from frustration to wonder.

More About the Author

Barbara Zaragoza is a freelance writer who has written politics, travel, food and fiction for many print and on-line outlets. She spent three years living in Naples, Italy and currently is owner/operator of South Bay Unplugged, a website devoted to the U.S.-Mexico border culture by the Pacific Ocean.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
So I would recommend this book for anyone planning to go to Naples, especially if for more than a day or two.
James P. Mcdonough, Jr.
It not only gives you the most popular places to visit....but also provides great places that are off the beaten path.
Stephanie D.
The book is well written, thoughtfully organized, thoroughly indexed, and sized to fit into a purse or jacket pocket.
Theresa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James P. Mcdonough, Jr. on May 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
My wife and I visited Naples in the spring of 2008, as members of a Rick Steves tour group. This tour did something no other Rick Steves group had ever done before, which was to stay a couple of nights in Naples itself. Steves did not recommend staying in Naples, but instead encouraged people to stay in Sorrento and day trip into Naples. Why? He felt the city was too gritty and dangerous for regular tourists to stay there and have a good experience. But either he changed his mind or was talked into it by someone, because we were there.

In 2008 hotel occupancy was near zero, on account of the garbage problems and the supposed problem with mozzarella cheese, which we didn't even hear about until we got home. We could not have had a warmer welcome than we got in Naples. But, to be honest, the city reminded me a little of the lower east side of Manhattan in Godfather II; I kept looking up expecting to see Robert DiNiro on a rooftop or fire escape. And so many cars and so little traffic control! A good thing we had already been in southern Italy for ten days or we might have been afraid to leave the hotel.

But I would not have had any concern at all had I read Barbara Zaragoza's new book, The Espresso Break. This is an amazing piece of work. It wears the label of a Travel book, but it is so much more - there is Italian history, Roman history, Greek history, archeology, art history, Italian culture, WWII history, several very interesting looking recipes, restaurant recommendations, hotel recommendations, and a fairly cogent explanation of current Italian politics. And, oh, yes, an incredible amount of information about Naples and surrounding areas.

Barbara lived in Naples for three years, 2008-2010, and she must have been taking notes just about the whole time.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By james.marzo@csfb.com on May 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Espresso Break is a terrific guide for those looking to tour not only the traditional highlights of Naples but also many unknown and exciting spots off the beaten track. It is clear that the author has put in a great deal of time researching the historical aspects of the places she recommends, giving the reader an added sense of familiarity when visiting them in person. My favorite chapter is The Espresso Tour which includes a comprehensive history of coffee in general, its drinking traditions in Naples as well as a very fun guide of places where one can sample the wide array of coffee the city has to offer. I know that the next time I am in Naples, The Espresso Guide will be tucked inside my handbag marked to the section on Espresso Twists, listing the modern "twists" on espresso that the city currently has to offer!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie D. on May 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Espresso Break is a true gem! I truly believe it is a must have if you are planning to travel to Naples/Campania Region. It not only gives you the most popular places to visit....but also provides great places that are off the beaten path. And the best part.....you have directions to each place! I live in Naples and it is a wonderful resource for me. My favorite chapters are Travel Trips and News Headlines....and Top Picks. These chapters are great for 1st timers to Naples! The Espresso Break is a beautifully written and organized book that can be easily thrown in a backpack on your next trip. I highly suggest.....pick one up!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Theresa on April 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'd recommend this book to anyone planning to spend time in the Naples area. Along with the basic directions and tips that you'd expect to find in a good travel guide, the author provides cultural and historical details that bring the sights and people of Naples to life. There's also a nice balance between the better-known tourist attractions and places that are off the beaten track. Especially liked her Ten Overlooked Sights in Italy. The book is well written, thoughtfully organized, thoroughly indexed, and sized to fit into a purse or jacket pocket.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LindyLouMac on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
There is so much more within the pages of this travel guide to Naples than you would expect as it has a personal feel to it. I suspect that this is because much of the information contained within the pages, of unusual tours and hidden nooks of Naples appeared originally on the authors blog. The author is an American Naval wife and freelance travel writer who during a three year posting to Naples explored the city and its environs writing about it on The Espresso Break which led to this book.

This guidebook is perfect for the armchair traveller, or to tuck in your bag on your trip to Naples whether you are a first time visitor or have been there many times before. I think you might find some hidden nooks that you did not know existed! I also agree with the author's own suggestion that this book makes an excellent introduction to the newly arrived ex-pat living in Naples as many of the articles will help one understand the cultural differences. Besides ideas for the tourist Barbara Zaragoza covers topics as diverse as food, shopping and the problems of rubbish and racism. It would also not have been complete without the section on Neapolitan espresso and its history, which gives the book its title. As well as the obvious sights, Vesuvius, Pompei and Herculaneum there are many other places covered. Which in my opinion means you cannot fail to find something of interest, with her tour ideas based on different themes, such as Ancient Rome, Grottoes or Odious Women. This guide will certainly be travelling with us on any future trips to Naples.

In conclusion an unusual travel guide for those of us that like to explore off the beaten track as well as the more obvious places. I personally feel that you learn a lot more about a place and its culture if you turn off the well beaten pathways and explore the nooks and crannies.
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