Travel around the world in 400 immersive experiences with Amazing Art Adventures by Yolanda Zappaterra. Review by Mark Bibby Jackson.

The most amazing thing about this wonderful book by Yolanda Zappaterra is its encyclopaedic content. A museum in the jungles of Brazil, a hill of witches in Lithuania and an Japanese art island are all covered alongside more established cultural icons such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and London’s Tate Modern.

Amazing Art Adventures Around the World

The frescoes of Villa dei Misteri (Villa of the Mysteries), an ancient Roman villa at Pompeii ancient city, Italy
The frescoes of Villa dei Misteri (Villa of the Mysteries), an ancient Roman villa at Pompeii ancient city, Italy

Amazing Art is not just a compendium of art spaces that you might consider using for planning your next trip, although it can be used this way. It is a wonderfully crafted book, beautifully illustrated that will inspire the creativity of your future travels.

This is the type of book that you can keep on dipping into, to enjoy time and again.

From sculpture parks and installations to monuments and festivals, Zappaterra shines a light on unknown works both inside and outside art galleries and museums. As she writes in her introduction “museums and galleries only tell half the story” of visual art through the millennia.

“It’s this combination of art as both an experience both within and beyond the gallery that I’ve tried to bring together in Amazing Art Adventures,” she continues.

In achieving this task the author has been totally successful.

Interior of Erawan Museum in Bangkok
Interior of Erawan Museum in Bangkok

Culturally Inspiring the Reader

Handily sub-divided into continents, with the most wonderful photography throughout, the book creates a bucket list destinations for every season.

What I found most impressive about the book was the little gems I least expected. As a well-travelled, and hopefully well-cultured person, I felt that I knew the cultural attractions of certain parts of the globe reasonably well. So I was pleased to discover that not only were those places I anticipated included, but many that I did not know.

Easy to Navigate

In addition to being divided into six continents – do not expect to discover any interesting cultural tips on the Antarctic – Amazing Art also has a useful index of places, so if you wish to go straight to a museum you already know you can.

Portrait of a black headed oriole by Zain ud Din
Portrait of a black headed oriole by Zain ud Din

There are also a series of trails  you can follow across region, such as the Best Places to See Colombian Art in South America.

The individual write-ups are compact, providing you with ample information yet leaving you yearning for more.

Zappaterra writes, “I hope my writing about them will inspire you to visit some of them, and find a world of art experiences that will enrich your life beyond your imagination.”

I already feel my imagination enriched and am inspired for my next cultural salvo.

About the Author

London-based author Yolanda Zappaterra has writen about art, architecture and travel for more than 20 years. She contributes regularly to publications such as: Time Out, Blueprint, étapes and Design Week. She is also the co-author of Free London with Sarah Guy.


Amazing Art Adventures

Amazing Art Adventures

By Yolanda Zappaterra, with contributions from James Payne, Sarah Guy, Ruth Jarvis, Paul Murphy and Cath Phillips.

Published by Frances Lincoln an imprint of The Quarto Group, June 2021. £25.00 Hardback.

Main image: MAPYHW Inhotim Institute, museum and contemporary art museum in botanic gardens, Brumadhino, Minas Gerais, Brazil, South America.

Background iimage: Harriet Powers – Pictorial quilt – Google ArtProject.

All images provided by Yolanda Zappaterra.

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