Best Guidebook for Italy?

Sep 13th, 2005, 10:59 PM
Original Poster
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Best Guidebook for Italy?

What's the best guidebook you've used to learn about visiting Italy? Should include good restaurants, places to go, transportation, etc... all the general must-see's & do's. I'll be at the Univ. of Padua for 3 weeks in January, and I don't speak Italian...
ipako is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 03:51 AM
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I've used the Michelin Green Guide to Italy and found it very useful. It's strong on places to go, routes etc., but it is a little thin on hotels, restaurants. I've been very satisfied with it. It's descriptions are very good too.
aeiger is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 04:35 AM
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I always use Eyewitness Guides for any destination. Their Italy guide is very comprehensive and detailed with beautiful photos, clear maps and information that can be easily understood.

The smaller Fodors CityPacks or Frommers Top Ten are very useful for Rome, Venice or Florence if you're planning a visit. They include maps and pertinent information that's more compact if you're out sightseeing.

Sounds like a great opportunity!
TobieT is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 06:09 AM
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Cadogan has guides to all regions of Italy..they are great with sights as well as places to eat. Very literate. Check on Amazon for the exact title that suits is probably included in the Venice guide.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 08:23 AM
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There was a recent thread on Italy guidebooks & as I recall, it was lengthy. You might want to try the search box.
eliztrav is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 08:26 AM
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I personally like the Let's Go books - especially if you are a student and on more of a budget.
jaclynpoulson is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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I also like the Let's Go guide, expecially for getting around. They seem to have the best details if traveling by bus or train.

Lonley Planet has also been a great guide for me.

Access books are less general and more specific by cities- Rome, Florence, Venice. Great for research and carrying when in each city.
zoecat is online now  
Sep 14th, 2005, 09:10 AM
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ROME - e guide.(DK) travel guide with its own website. Buy the book (which is pretty cool on its own) and turn to page 7 for your password for access to website. Great guide and fun too.
clarice is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 09:12 AM
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Mi scusi, that should be e italy....
clarice is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 09:17 AM
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The 'Top Ten' series is great for a specific place, though I'm not sure they do one on Padua.

But overall I'm in love with Frommers. Each time I get something different (Fodors, Rough Guide, etc) I'm dissappointed.
travelphile is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 09:23 AM
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Do not rely on one guide. I never found one that had everything. The City Pack mentioned above was good for the map, general info, and easy to carry while I was there.

I studied three guides, including Fodors. I found that each one had some suggestions on sights and restaraunts that were not listed in than the two.

JSLee is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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I found Rick Steves book extremely helpful. Down to the smallest detail, an example,I was looking for customer service in one of the rail stations and he describes it in the book as put your back to the train tracks,set your eyes all the way to the right and then slowly move to the left. Sure enough it was right there.
kit9172 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 01:39 PM
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I bought the Rick Steve's Western Europe, Let's Go Western Europe, and Frommer's Italy on $90 a day. The Let's Go recommendations were a bit too budget for me, and I was definitely on a budget. I preferred Frommer's Italy on $90 a day for Restaurants/Hotels. I had two of my favorite meals of my entire lifetime out of that book! I found Rick Steves particularly helpful for walking tours, etc.
klmckie is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 06:07 PM
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Well, I haven't been to Italy yet, but I bought 3 guidebooks to help me plan - Lonely Planet, Rick Steves and Eyewitness.

The Eyewitness has definitely been the best for planning so far - especially figuring out where I want to be and how long to stay. It gives a history of Italy telling you where to see the best ruins/museum/sights for each time period, has comprehensive illustrations of sights and neighborhoods and a guide on the local food so you know what the specialities are in the place your visiting. It even has legends regarding the use of symbolism in the great works of art you'll see.

Unfortunately it has little about specific hotels, restaurants, etc. - but I am relying on this forum (which is awesome!) and tripadvisor for a lot of that info. As my trip grows nearer I will also be spending an insane amount of time in the travel guide section of the bookstore checking out all the possible guides - I usually travel with at least 3 - I've found the Michellin green books to be pretty good for my travels in the U.S.

Of course I have no idea if any of the info in the Eyewitness guide for Italy is accurate or true. But I love all the pictures!!!
pookamani is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 03:20 AM
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I strongly suggest you try to learn a little Italian before you go. The first time I went I didn't know any : I did my best with a phrasebook, but it definitively detracted from the experience.

You have time to do one term of evening classes or get a self-study course (book & cassettes).
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 06:41 AM
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I agree with the recommendations for Frommers (always my first stop for travel planning) and for Europe destinations Rick Steves is great. We also found a great little guide book from "On Time" (I think that's correct) on just Naples and the Amalfi Coast which has some wonderful information.
jcasale is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 05:19 AM
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Another vote for the Cadogan guides. They are written by locals and contain ideas and sites the other guidebooks skip. And they are well-written -- parts are laugh-out-loud funny.
capxxx is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 08:00 AM
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Any recommendations on self study courses?
Donna is offline  
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