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Item Number: 112685
Title: Guida per viaggiar La Toscana : Guidebook for Travels in Tuscany / On the 18th-Century Tuscan Route Atlas at the Library of the Istituto Geografico Militare Italiano
Author: Cantile, Andrea
Price: Not Available
ISBN: 9788874611454
Description: Florence: Mandragora, 2011. 2 vols. 14cm., pbk., 134pp. illus. text, plus 1 vol. with 16 maps, most in color. English text. Summary: The Library of the Istituto Geografico Militare in Florence boasts a collection of rare works, one of which is a manuscript, inventory number 25443, entitled Guida per viaggiar la Toscana. Until only recently, this was virtually all that could be said about the small route atlas, aside from a few vague clues as to its provenance, as its dating was unsure (broadly indicated as the 18th century) and its author unknown. Andrea Cantile's in-depth research thus sheds light on a number of obscure aspects. His original essay about the Guida, published in 2002, has now been translated into English in a revised and updated form for the second volume, whereas the first one reproduces the atlas map by map. This detailed historical and cartographic analysis is preceded by an introductory essay and supplemented by numerous details from the manuscript and similar works. It examines what we know about Tuscany's road network and how it was transformed, and makes comparisons with coeval production, allowing Cantile to narrow the time frame considerably and suggest a convincing attribution. Commentated one by one and accompanied by an extensive toponymic appendix, the 16 itineraries that criss-cross the Grand Duchy, going through towns-"CittÓ Episcopali (episcopal cities), Capitanati (captaincies), Vicariati (vicariates), Potesterie ˛ Ufizialati (districts governed respectively by a potesta and an official), Terre ˛ Castelli (castles and villages) and Luoghi ove sono le Poste (the locations of post stations)"-and traversing waterways and mountains, evoke names and routes familiar to Tuscans and non-Tuscans alike, reminding the modern (and presumably motorized) traveller that this ancient region is equally fascinating to explore on paper.

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