In RICK STEVES’ HEART OF ITALY, Rick delves deep into the Italian heartland – the place where la dolce vita is a way of life. Starting in Umbria, he connects with rustic, traditional culture: sleeping at an agriturismo (a farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made (and eaten), and hiking down into ancient and fragrant wine cellars. Then he tours Assisi, with its inspirational story of St. Francis, its stop-and-smell-God’s-roses spirituality, its delicate Giotto masterpieces, and its awe-inspiring basilica. In Siena, Rick enjoys a front-row seat at its wild horse race – the venerable Palio – and marvels at cultural treasures from the city’s glory days, when it rivaled Florence for dominance in Tuscany. He finishes with the ultimate Riviera getaway: the Cinque Terre, where he gets to know each of the “five lands” – from the dramatic, vineyard-surrounded Vernazza to hardscrabble Riomaggiore, to the pint-sized resort of Monterosso. Fishing for anchovies, sipping wine out of rustic barrels, bringing flowers to hilltop cemeteries, and savoring twinkling Mediterranean vistas, Rick visits his favorite stretch of Mediterranean coastline. From hill towns to harbors, and from vino rosso to Giotto, RICK STEVES’ HEART OF ITALY savors the good life in the Italian heartland.