Best guide book for Italy

Old May 20th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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Best guide book for Italy

We are going to Italy in September, Bellagio, Milan, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Amalfi Coast and. Rome.

Would like a book with good maps, what sights, restaurants etc. to see. Heard Rick Steves maps aren't that great in his books.

Thanks for your help.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 02:04 PM
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Do not rely on maps in books--buy good maps.
I like the Michelin Green book for Italy. The DK Eyewitness book is great but too big to carry with you.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 02:05 PM
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Rick Steves maps aren't my favorite. They are basically drawings, and they don't ever seem to make sense to my brain. But you should look at some on his web site to see if they make sense to you. Actually for most cities, I prefer a real map rather than a guidebook map because they have better detail. That being said, if you are going to Italy a guidebook will probably include a street map of Rome. For Milan you might either buy a map before leaving, or get one from your hotel once you are there.

In general to make a guidebook recommendation it depends on what kind of traveler you are -- do you tend to rely on public transportation or drive? Are you interested in the usual sites or stuff off the beaten path? Personally I like Lonely Planet and Fodors although they are very different. I usually buy the LP and try to check an older edition of Fodors out of the library (or borrow one from a friend). And then I supplement both by looking online - in travel forums, and web sites for the places I am thinking about visiting. I think the latter is important for verifying opening hours and admission prices. And municipality websites are good to scope out transportation options. Hope this is helpful!
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Old May 20th, 2012, 02:06 PM
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i also like the green guides, the new ones have restaurants in as well as sights, but really not enough to be any use.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 02:31 PM
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We were thinking of putting the books on our IPad so that we don't have to carry heavy books around. Will check out the Eyewitness book and see if it can be done.

We are pretty independent travelers and like a bit of off the beaten track as well as pertinent info for the place we are visiting.

Thanks for the info on the Politian Apt. in Multipuluciano Bob. We have them booked for 5 days.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 03:19 PM
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I guess I should have mentioned that we don't need road maps as we will taking the train most places. We do have a Michelin map for Tuscany however where we will have a car. Really just need city maps but I guess we can get them at tourist offices.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 03:52 PM
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For Milan and Rome, I recommend the Streetwise Maps because of their portability, durability, and great street indexes. They also make one for Tuscany which I like, too. Instead of a street index, it has an index of villages, towns, and cities which I've found very useful.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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I also like Michelin Greens as well. Rick Steves is to travel writing what Barry Manilow is to rock n' roll.
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Old May 21st, 2012, 12:42 AM
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The costs can soon mount up but, if you're prepared to buy guides for individual places, I'd recommend this pair:

The best "one" that we've found for our own area in almost a decade of living here:

.... and the "Rome" guide from the same people (publishers of London's weekly listings magazine), which again has a mix of background and historical detail, and current stuff, that has made successive editions what we carry most often on our many visits there:

But since books begin to go out of date before they even hit the shelves, do match those with:

- for Amalfi, Naples and elsewhere in Campania: the tourist board's very good, bimonthly magazine - 'Qui Napoli'. A PDF version is available from...

- for Rome: a handy monthly magazine, "A Guest in Rome". To download a copy, start here and click on the picture of its cover, over to the right of the screen:

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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 05:05 PM
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I also like the concept of not having to carry those heavy books.

I have Lonely Planet digital version of Italy guidebook. It's interactive and has maps included, but they are not that detailed.
I also have Frommers Italy guide as an e-book, as a compliment to LP.

Bought them both on I-books. Its possible to download a preview version so you can have a look and see if it's what youre looking for.

Fodors has a downloadable free app for Rome, which is quite good. The map is interactive and detailed, and the maps download so you don't need wifi or data.

I must admit I have about half a dozen Italy paper guidebooks, well studied before I leave home. One that I found interesting is Eyewitness Travel Backroads Italy, but it doesn't appear to be available as ebook.
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