- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (July 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312254164
- ISBN-13: 978-0312254162
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 58 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook Paperback – July 21, 2000
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About the Author
David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson, specialists in Hispanic studies at the University of Rhode Island, met on the Road on their first pilgrimage to Santiago in 1974. Davidson has written several scholarly works on the pilgrimage to Compostela with co-author Maryjane Dunn. Gitlitz is the author of various books on Hispanic and Sephardic culture, including the prize-winning Secrecy and Deceit: The Religion of the Crypto-Jews. Their first book written together, also from St. Martin's Press, was A Drizzle of Honey: The Lives and Recipes of Spain's Secret Jews, for which they won the National Jewish Book Award and the award for Distinguished Scholarship form the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
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It's strengths are not in the trail directions it gives. There are much better guides for that. I suggest you consult one of the Camino web sites to find out the most current and recommended version of those. the operative word is current. The Camino does change from year to year, new alberges open, others disappear, the trail moves, street names change (Franco related ones are definitely on the outs), etc.
That said, this is a wonderful book for the historical background and descriptions of the countryside it provides. I read this book and I became fixated on doing the Camino. If you are going to do the Camino or are just interested in the Camino, read this book. If you know someone who is going to do the Camino, get them this book. It is the best book I've ever read in terms of Camino cultural information.
While some may find this a useful guide to carry, I agree with some of reviewers who suggest not taking this book on the road. [Hopefully the authors will never read this review... ] I did carry this book, but I ripped out the irrelevant portions of the journey before I began, and every night I ripped out the pages covering the day's journey so as to lighten the load. [ I should point out that I bought another copy when I got home, so as to make amends for the destruction of the book. ]
Even had I never walked I still think what I learned about Spain, the history and cultural of the regions covered by the Camino, and aspects of the architecture and other features covered in this book to be fascinating.