willinger.jpgWe are lucky enough to be on our way to Italy for a week's vacation, assuming we make it through the rest of week at work. A few weeks back, we were sent a copy of Faith Willinger's Adventures of an Italian Food Lover, a whirlwind guide through the culinary delights of Italy. Willinger has spent 30 years traveling through and living in Italy, settling in Tuscany, a gastronome's playground. The book guides you to shops, markets, and restaurants by way of "introductions" to the people she has encountered throughout her journeys followed by the recipes they have either created or inspired.

The book has a delighful, whimsical feel, in part due to the watercolor illustrations created by Willinger's sister that are interspersed throughout the book. Although it reads very much like a travelogue, Willinger manages to pack in well over 200 recipes from across the country. We were disappointed to discover, however, that Umbria was not included, as that's where we're headed. Regardless, if you're looking to get a taste of Italy with out leaving New York, plan a trip to Italy, or recreate a recent Italian vacation, Adventures of an Italian Food Lover is a great guide. $32.50, Clarkson Potter.