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Food Wine The Italian Riviera & Genoa (The Terroir Guides) Paperback – November 18, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"One of the most popular destinations in the world, the Italian Riviera stretches for 200 miles along jagged, picturesque coastline. In this guide, David Downie takes readers through the region's many traditional restaurants, wineries, and villages. It's an in-depth look at this beautiful area that still holds hidden culinary treasures." --Bon Appetit

"Outside of general guidebooks to Italy, few individual regions have had single volumes dedicated to their gastronomy, and this, one of a series of 'Terroir Guides,' is both thorough in its listings of places to eat and drink, from ristoranti and focaccerie to pasticcerie and chocolate shops, as it is a well-written depiction of what makes Liguria so very special--and heretofore underrated--as a territory for wonderful food and wine, with its rippling, seafood-rich coastline, its famous basil that goes into making pesto, and its ties to the cooking of Southern France. Excellent, evocative photos too." -John Mariani

"Getting to the heart of regional cuisine can be a tall order, but The Terroir Guides ably examine the interplay between markets, local food artisans, winemakers, and chefs on a town-by-town basis, taking the reader from field to plate and making a great companion for any food-obsessed tourist...packed with local history, food lore, and useful translations." --Sherman's Travel

"I love The Terroir Guides. They give me everything I want. They're a tactile pleasure, compact, meaty. They're lovely to look at, elegantly laid out, mutedly and tastefully colored...positively overflowing with the Who, What, Where and How even an intrepidly independent traveler should know...The Little Bookroom has a knack for putting guidebooks into print that are as useful as they are beautiful." --Wine News

About the Author

David Downie is a native San Franciscan, but has called Paris home since 1986. His travel, food, and arts features have appeared in more than fifty magazines and newspapers worldwide, including Gourmet, Bon Appétit, and Town & Country. He has been contributing editor, European arts editor, or Paris correspondent for Art & Antiques, Dorling-Kindersley Publications, Appellation: Wine Country Living, Departures, and Salon.com. His books include the Irreverent Guide to Amsterdam; Enchanted Liguria: A Celebration of the Culture, Lifestyle and Food of the Italian Riviera; and the critically acclaimed Cooking the Roman Way: Authentic Recipes from the Home Cooks and Trattorias of Rome. He is the author of a quirky crime novel, La Tour de l'Immonde, published in Paris.

Alison Harris has worked throughout the world shooting photos for travel books, cookbooks, advertising campaigns, book covers, and magazine stories. Her latest books, Markets of Paris, The Pâtisseries of Paris, and Chic Shopping Paris, are published by The Little Bookroom.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Terroir Guides
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Little Bookroom; First Edition edition (November 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892145642
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892145642
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
David Downie has written a Bible for authentic Ligurian food, worth the modest investment for both gastronomes and brief-stay tourists -- anybody eager to get the most value for their euros on the Italian Riviera. To experience the freshness, the aliveness, the heights of Ligurian cooking, you really must go one step beyond the seaview restaurants that dish up mediocre fare to day-tripping tourists. This is the best guide.

It's a sophisticated, thorough handbook to all the very best the region produces. Not only does does David Downie have educated taste buds -- making his recommendations reliable -- he has gone to the trouble to provide detailed directions to each of the places he recommends (a must in alley-strewn Liguria) as well as all the opening hours (yet another must on the summery Riviera, which adheres to its own clock).

Unless you know a Ligurian family and can be invited to eat at their home, following in David Downie's footsteps through Liguria is the most efficient and budget-friendly method for tasting the pure delights of Liguria's Mediterranean cuisine.

I've never met David Downie but, all put together, I have spent at least five of the last ten years exploring the nooks and crannies of the Italian Riviera during repeated long stays. I've lingered in many of the places he's lingered, so I can say from first hand experience that this new guide to the food and wine of the Italian Riviera and Genoa is a fantastic achievement, absolutely essential for every visitor who wants to eat and drink memorably without spending a fortune -- that is to say, to live as the Ligurians actually do themselves.
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Format: Paperback
Some people rush to review a guidebook without test-driving it first. Not this food-loving reader and traveler. While planning my spring trip to Italy a few months ago, I picked up a copy of Food Wine Italian Riviera & Genoa and started reading. And I couldn't believe what I read: good writing. Great writing, and all kinds of tips and info on food and wine that I had no notion of, even though I've been to Italy and the Genoa area a couple of times. I had been meaning to go the Cinque Terre, but because of this book I added in Chiavari. Chiavari? No, I had never heard of it. The author warns that the marina is unattractive, and most visitors pass this place by, but that off the highway in the heart of town there's wonderful food and architecture to be found. And boy, is he right. So I loved Chiavari, a medieval gem with fabulous food and great atmosphere. I had the best ice cream I've ever had anywhere at a local hangout in Chiavari. I had the best garbanzo-bean tart (made with chick peas), a farinata, fresh out of the oven, in Chiavari. Then I hit Santa Margherita Ligure and Camogli--also recommended by Downie, over many other glamorous places (such as Portofino, which he downplays, thank goodness). Again, bingo, a perfect time, great food. A restaurant called Nonna Nina in a perched hamlet called San Rocco. Amazing! I also learned about the history of the region (more interesting than you'd think--lots of pirates and naval victories and valiant struggles against foreign oppressors). Then we took a train south to Rome, which I hadn't visited in a hundred years. And we walked into an English-language bookstore somewhere near the Spanish Steps and low and behold, there was Food Wine Rome. Though I was already carrying about 100 pounds of luggage and books, I bought it.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book at a local book store, and I am amazed at how good it is.
It is accurate, authoritative and insightful. A "must have" for the thinking gourmand visiting Liguria.
However, I praise this book reluctantly because it is just too good. Secret little restaurants where you would never see a tourist are revealed and accurately described. Specialties that only someone from the city appreciates are touted. A potential disaster if it falls in the wrong hands!
So, please promise me. When visiting these restaurants do the following.
Eat like an italian. Appetizer, first dish, second dish and coffee (dessert is not mandatory, but have it before coffee, not during).
No sharing anything. Ask for half portions.
Never order a cappuccino after 10AM. Never.
Follow Italian not American tipping customs. We do not want to spoil a good thing.
If you are unsure of the item on the menu, ask for advice from the host and take it. Do not ask for too many details and make them feel that they have to display photos of the food on their menus. I would never be able to go back there.
I say all this tongue in cheek, but remember, you promised.....
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Format: Paperback
Armchair travelers will enjoy the nice layout and great photos of places like Genoa and Portofino, but not just the fancy and famous things that seem out of step with the world of the recession. We enjoyed the way the author went out of his way to be on our side, and provide lots of affordable addresses for delicious focaccia, pesto and the kind of food the locals eat, in atmospheric little trattorias. The reviews don't fawn, they're entertaining and informative and sometimes withering. We discovered things about the Italian Riviera we didn't know, and learned a lot about the wonderful food (and wine, which is surprisingly good). Before buying this one, we'd read other books by Downie -- on Paris and Rome -- and weren't disappointed. Highly recommended.
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