sienna the heart of tuscany

Standard Goldman, Editor of www.sketchandtravel.com and www.bookpleasures.com interviews biking writer and author Rebecca Ford, exprt on Tuscany, as able-bodied as Scotland and Britain.

Today, Standard Goldman, Editor of  Sketchandtravel.com  & Bookpleasures.com   is delighted to accept as our guest, biking author, writer, and photographer, Rebecca Ford. 

Rebecca is a contributor to several British newspapers and magazines, as able-bodied as some websites. She is again the author of several guidebooks, and is member of the British Guild of Biking Writers.

Recently, Rebecca launched her most recent adviser- book,  Sienna & the Affection Of Tuscany.

 
Acceptable day Rebecca and thank you for participating in our interview. 

Standard: 

Rebecca, could you acquaint us a babyish about yourself, when did your affection for biking writing activate? What kept you going? 

Rebecca: 

Able-bodied, I anticipate it really began at university.  I did a degree in geography at St Andrews in Scotland and became increasingly absorbed in the accord between bodies and places.  After I graduated, I explored Europe by train and by the borderline of the adventure I was hooked on biking.  I’d always accepted that I wanted to inscription – so it seemed epitome to put the two at buttoned up and alter to a biking writer.  It was adamantine assignment getting established but I was curved, so I stuck at it. I knew it was the alone action that would acquiesce me to combine my passions -and it never gets arid.  

Standard: 

What are you principal geographical areas of expertise and why accomplish you concentrate on these areas? 

Rebecca: 

Able-bodied, I’m freelance, so accept to produce a lot of articles to accomplish a living.  Accordingly, for practical reasons, I concentrate on writing about the places closest to me.  As I alive in Britain and obviously apperceive it decidedly able-bodied, I inscription a lot about the British Isles.  I again adulation Italy and accept travelled a abundant deal there (it’s abrupt and accessible to grasp from the UK) so that’s my other specialist geographical area.  However, if I accept age, I adulation to booty off and analyze further afield  especially if it involves walking, watching wildlife or a abundant train adventure.  

Standard: 

What was your favourite adviser- book you authored and why? 

Rebecca: 

Mmm, it’s adamantine to add.  If I had to pick one, I anticipate I’d add my latest book, which is on Wales.  It might accomplish up aloof a baby allotment of Britain but it’s incredibly varied and full of history. I activate isolated sandy beaches that hardly anyone visits, and loads of astonishing castles and air-conditioned hotels.  It was abundant to ascertain so abounding secrets so close to at ease. And I loved hearing bodies speak Welsh.

The book’s available any more. 

Standard: 

You recently launched a advanced adviser -book, Sienna & the Affection of Tuscany, could you acquaint us a babyish about the book, and where is Sienna? 

Rebecca:

Affirmative, this is a pocket adviser to Siena, one of my favourite cities in Italy.  It’s in the south of Tuscany and is an incredibly able-bodied preserved medieval city.  It’s got loads of abundant buildings and works of art to beam you could spend a day in the cathedral alone, and there are admirable babyish shops and restaurants too.  I anticipate it makes a abundant base for exploring Tuscany, so my book again covers the surrounding area places according to San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Cortona and Chianti.  It’s a actual practical adviser I recommend places to stay, eat, and shop as able-bodied as the ace sights to beam.  

Standard: 

Please call to our readers six of the most romantic and altered venues in Sienna to celebrate a marriage, or adore a romantic getaway. 

Rebecca: 

Able-bodied, there are plenty of places for romantic breaks. 

  • In the centre of the city there’s the Grand Hotel Continental, which was once a wealthy family’s villa and has any more been converted into a 5 star hotel. 
  • Then, aloof outside the city, there’s the Hotel Certosa di Maggiano, which is a 14th century monastery that’s any more a wonderfully secluded hotel with tranquil gardens and a swimming pool absolute for honeymooners.
  • If you’d according to to stay in the Tuscan countryside, then a acceptable bet is Relais San Felice, in Chianti.  It’s a entire borgo (medieval hamlet) that’s been converted into a hotel circuitous  it even has its own chapel so you can amuse married there.
  • There are some admirable self catering apartments in Chianti too: Podere San Giuseppe is a tastefully converted villa with wide views, roomy apartments and wide views, and Residence Catignano is an estate that has been owned by the selfsame family for over 400 age and which offers admirable country style apartments and elegant rooms in a 17th century villa. 
  • South of Siena, in the centre of Pienza, you’ll acquisition the Hotel Relais, a luxurious converted convert with a acceptable restaurant. 
  • If you appetite to mingle with the affluent and famous, then ace shot La Collegiata, the exclusive hotel on the outskirts of San Gimignano where Tony Blair has been accepted to dine. 

Standard: 

I apprehension you are again a photographer, how accomplish you blend your photography with your biking articles? 

Rebecca: 

I booty photographs whenever I biking- though there’s usually no age to wait for the absolute ablaze so I accept to snap appealing quickly.  I then action those pictures to editors who generally statement them alongside my newspaper articles. 

Standard: 

Can you statement for some of your research techniques, and how you acquisition sources for your books?  

Rebecca: 

My most big research techniques are walking and talking: I airing around towns and cities manufacture notes on everything, from museums and churches to shops and restaurants.  I again ace shot and speak to local bodies whenever possible they apperceive the secrets of a abode, the ace places to eat etc.

On top of that I spend age in the library, buzz local tourist boards for advice and surf the internet.  But I ace shot to then check everything in person once I grasp the destination. 

Standard: 

You accept written several articles on assorted walks in Britain and Scotland.

Could you call 6 walks that you would accede to be most romantic for couples? 

Rebecca: 

There are lots of admirable walks to accomplish in Britain-it’s adamantine to apperceive where to pick. 

  • In Wales, I’d recommend doing a section of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, which hugs the cliffs and gives admirable views of unspoilt beaches.  It’s a continued distance airing that is easily broken into day continued stretches.  I’d again suggest doing a airing in the hills around Beddgelert, which is a admirable village in North Wales.
  • In Scotland I’d suggest captivating a airing buttoned up wooded Roslin Glen aloof outside Edinburgh.  There’s a circular route you can chase that takes you to Rosslyn Chapel  which was fabricated famous in the Da Vinci Code.  The chapel’s full of abstruse carvings and the woods are filled with bluebells in the Spring. 
  • Further north, there’s a admirable  airing you can booty from Stonehaven, along the cliffs to the ruins of Dunnottar Castle.  It’s a romantic and dramatic spot where the Scottish Crown Jewels were abstruse in 1540 to protect them from Cromwell’s forces.
  • In England I’d suggest captivating a airing in the buttoned up lanes around Thomas Hardy’s cottage in Dorset.  The cottage is thatched with a traditional cottage garden and is where the author of books such as Tess of the D’Urbervilles was born.  The countryside is actual unspoilt too.  There are again lots of admirable walks near London.
  • An accessible but fascinating airing is on the Thames Path.  It’s a continued distance airing that goes from central London to the source of the Thames.  You can easily accomplish a short section- maybe from Hurley to Hambledon Lock near Henley.  You’re beside the river the entire age. 

Standard: 

What does biking beggarly to you? 

Rebecca: 

It means a chance to accommodated advanced bodies, and dip my toe in a altered culture and road of action.   

Standard: 

As there does not seem to be any authoritative standards that exist for guidebook authors or publishers, how accomplish you apperceive that a guidebook is up to par? How accomplish you check out the authorial competence? 

Rebecca: 

The alone absolute road of checking is to action to the destination, statement the guidebook and beam if it comes up to scratch.  Obviously restaurants, cafes etc generally close down, and standards (of aliment, service) and prices chicken feed but you can amuse a acceptable abstraction of whether the book has been able-bodied researched or not.

If you amuse a guidebook to an area you apperceive able-bodied, then that will accord you an abstraction as to whether other books in the series are accurate or not. 

Standard: 

How accept you used the Internet to boost your writing job? 

Rebecca: 

I statement the internet as another research tool, though I am in the action of setting up my own website and I achievement that will accord me contacts with editors/ PRs in other countries. 

Standard: 

What is abutting for Rebecca Ford? 

Rebecca: 

Able-bodied I’ve aloof returned from Macedonia and am planning a trip to Albania in the autumn.  I’m again going to biking around Switzerland by post bus and am hoping to action to Canada to accomplish some wildlife watching.  So I’m keeping active. 

Thanks once again Rebecca and acceptable luck with all of your approaching endeavours. 

Thank you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Standard Goldman is the Editor of the biking site www.sketchandtravel.com and the book reviewing site, www.bookpleasures.com.

Standard is again a biking writer and at buttoned up with his artist wife, Lily, the couple meld words with art focusing on romantic destinations.

Originall posted June 20, 2012