Strolling Through Istanbul: The Classic Guide to the City Paperback – Jan 19 2010
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*Both engaging and scholarly, this is a guide to Istanbul that has yet to be surpassed.* --Daily Telegraph/ telegraph.co.uk
About the Author
John Freely is the author of over thirty travel books and guides including Istanbul: The Imperial City. He lives in Istanbul, Turkey.
Hilary Sumner-Boyd (1910-1976) was professor of humanities at Robert-College-Bosphorus University. His magisterial work, The Seven Hills of Constantinople: A Study of the Byzantine and Turkish Monuments of the City, was unpublished at the time of his death in 1977 and is now being prepared for publication by Bosphorus University Press.
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I bought the new edition in anticipation of a trip this summer and revisiting some of those old walks, that the city has changed dramatically in the last decade, so a re-write is very welcome. This is not a book for a whirlwind two-day bus tour of the city. Like all worthwhile things, the book requires a bit of time and commitment (read at least parts of it before you go), a willingness to get off the beaten track and visit some out-of-the-way parts of the city, to risk getting lost now and again in ancient, unsigned streets. But, this is Istanbul, Constantinople, Byzantium - really, if you aren't willing to do that, why are you going at all?
Mostly dry scholastic detail, there are occasional narrative jewels tossed into the openings of the chapters, but overall this guide is really only worthwhile if you're actually toting it about as you walk and consulting it every other step, which would be something of a trick given that it's about five hundred pages and not precisely lightly bound. For my money, I found the Lonely Planet to offer more versatility if not the same depth, while being smaller and lighterweight.