New & Notable: A map to Italy’s classic treasures

With the growing number of air carriers, jetting to Italy has never been easier. But after arriving, how can the astute traveler experience the country’s iconic cities without falling prey to tourist traps or crowds?

That’s the question Herbert Ypma aims to answer in “New Map Italy: Unforgettable Experiences for the Discerning Traveler” (Thames & Hudson, $39.95).

The photographer and travel expert fills more than 300 pages of his book, released in April, with illustrations, travel tips and color-rich photos of Italy’s most iconic cityscapes. The hefty volume, which is part guide and part coffee-table book, is better suited to leisurely skimming than packing.

Ypma classifies locations of interest by category. “Eclectic Experiences” encourage outings beyond the scope of a tour bus, such as cycling the Arno or splurging on a water taxi in Venice. “Staying in Character” includes 35 of his picks for overnight accommodations that embody the character of each city. He recommends staying within earshot of an active volcano in Etna, and bedding down in a luxury cave in Matera. The “Convincing Context” section has brief descriptions of each location’s historical significance alongside pragmatic tips for beating the crowds; “Legend for Lunch” includes restaurant picks that will impress friends back home.

“New Map Italy” best represents the cities of Italy through map illustrations. As with the rest of the book, the graphics are informative and pleasing, but better suited for a coffee table than stuffed in a back pocket on your adventures.

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