I’m a big fan of acerbic travel writer Leif Pettersen, author of the Lonely Planet guidebook to Romania and Moldova (here’s why he insists that you need to go to Romania.)

Read more of him at his blogs Killing Batteries and This Is Why I Love Minneapolis (And Sometimes Saint Paul.)

This past year, he finally got what all travel writers aspire to and hope for: The Elusive Really Good Deal.

In return for his excellent work for Lonely Planet, he was the anointed guy to help update their Tuscany and Umbria guidebook.

In between hysterically funny rants about St Catherine of Siena and why he thinks Naples blows chunks, Leif appears to have gotten some work done in Italy:

“I must say that I hit the Eating sections hard. I heroically managed to dine in nearly 70 Tuscan restaurants during my 31 days on the road for this guidebook. There were times that I reeked so much of truffle oil that dogs came running out of the hills and gave chase as I drove by. I spent over 150 euros on gelato alone. I drank enough wine to earn a lifetime membership in the Pope Paul III Wine Appreciation Club….There’s already been a flood of positive reviews about the book online…..

‘This guidebook changed my life. I’ve arranged to be legally wed to it.’ – Leif Pettersen, Amazon.com”

Hmmm, that last one seems a little suspicious.

With Lonely Planet TV, Leif gives us a nice video overview of must-see towns in Tuscany.

If any Perceptive Travel blog readers have other suggestions for this part of Italy, we’d love to hear from you down in the comments.

(For RSS and email readers, click this link if you can’t see the video embed box below.)