This entertaining and informative guide takes you on a journey back to 1750 and the era of the Grand Tour, when Istanbul was a favorite destination for enterprising travelers, a city of excitement, intrigue, and mystery.
Be inspired by the magnificent palaces and sublime mosques of the Ottomans and by the great artistic and architectural achievements of the Byzantines who preceded them. Gain access to the opulent and heavily guarded Topkapi Palace. Be a guest in the houses of the locals, accompany them to the luxurious baths, and relax with them in coffeehouses. Barter with tradesmen in the bustling bazaars, enjoy spectacular festivals, and take pleasure trips up the Bosphorus.
Along the way you will encounter a colorful cast of characters, ranging from the sultan and his harem, the grand vizier, other-worldly eunuchs, and swaggering janissaries to ambassadors, merchants, whirling dervishes, women hidden behind their veils, and a splendid array of nationalities from every corner of the Ottoman Empire and Europe.
Charles FitzRoy’s previous books include Renaissance Florence on 5 Florins a Day and Italy Revealed. He leads tours for Fine Art Travel, a London-based company that organizes cultural tours to Istanbul and throughout Europe and the Middle East.