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Alps and Sanctuaries of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino   By: (1835-1902)

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Alps and Sanctuaries of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino by Samuel Butler is a captivating travelogue that takes readers on an unforgettable journey through the picturesque landscapes of the Italian Alps. Butler's exquisite descriptive narrative instantly transports readers to the awe-inspiring beauty of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino, captivating both the imagination and the senses.

The book is split into two sections, with the first focusing on the sublime landscapes of the Italian Alps. With poetic eloquence, Butler indulges readers with intricate details of the rugged mountains, sparkling lakes, and charming villages that dot the region. Through vivid imagery, readers can almost feel the crisp mountain air and envision themselves trekking through the enchanting valleys, experiencing the majestic allure of this magnificent landscape.

Butler's writing also exhibits a deep appreciation for the region's historical and cultural significance. He delves into the rich legacy of the local sanctuaries, unraveling their origins and exploring the fervent beliefs and traditions intertwined with these sacred sites. Butler's exploration of the religious significance gives readers a profound insight into the spiritual landscape of the region, further enriching the overall experience.

The author's keen observations of the local inhabitants provide a unique insight into the customs and perspectives of the people living in these remote alpine regions. Butler's encounters with the locals are infused with warmth and curiosity, resulting in charming anecdotes that add a delightful human touch to the narrative. Through these encounters, readers gain a deeper understanding of the resilient spirit of the inhabitants, shaped by the harsh yet breathtaking environment they call home.

One of the standout aspects of Alps and Sanctuaries of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino is Butler's fine balance between vivid descriptions and intellectual musings. His knowledge of literature, history, and the arts is apparent throughout the book, adding an intellectual depth that elevates the reading experience. This unique combination of captivating storytelling and thought-provoking insights ensures that the book appeals to both leisurely readers and those seeking a more scholarly exploration.

Alps and Sanctuaries of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino is a true gem for travel enthusiasts, offering not only an immersive journey through some of the most breathtaking landscapes of the Italian Alps but also a broader understanding of the region's cultural and historical context. Samuel Butler's lyrical prose and engaging storytelling make this book an absolute delight to read, leaving readers with a deep sense of appreciation for the natural wonders and the spiritual sanctuaries that grace this captivating corner of the world.

First Page:


by Samuel Butler

Author's Preface to First Edition

I should perhaps apologise for publishing a work which professes to deal with the sanctuaries of Piedmont, and saying so little about the most important of them all the Sacro Monte of Varallo. My excuse must be, that I found it impossible to deal with Varallo without making my book too long. Varallo requires a work to itself; I must, therefore, hope to return to it on another occasion.

For the convenience of avoiding explanations, I have treated the events of several summers as though they belonged to only one. This can be of no importance to the reader, but as the work is chronologically inexact, I had better perhaps say so.

The illustrations by Mr. H. F. Jones are on pages 95, 211, 225, 238, 254, 260. The frontispiece and the illustrations on the title page and on pages 261, 262 are by Mr. Charles Gogin. There are two drawings on pages 136, 137 by an Italian gentleman whose name I have unfortunately lost, and whose permission to insert them I have, therefore, been unable to obtain, and one on page 138 by Signor Gaetano Meo. The rest are mine, except that all the figures in my drawings are in every case by Mr. Charles Gogin, unless when they are merely copied from frescoes or other sources... Continue reading book >>

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