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Best travel guide to take to Florence? Frommers, Fodors, Rick Steves?

Best travel guide to take to Florence? Frommers, Fodors, Rick Steves?

Aug 26th, 2007, 05:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Best travel guide to take to Florence? Frommers, Fodors, Rick Steves?

Just booked a trip to Italy (Florence) for a week next June (flying in and out of Florence). I'm looking for ideas on virtually everything from hotels to restuarants to "must sees." Wouldn't rule out day trips, etc. In addition to all the on-line info, I usually like to take with me at least one good guidebook. which would you recommend, obviously geared towards Florence and that area of the country so that it would encompass day trips (Siena? Bologna?). Thanks
Mohawk is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 05:53 AM
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My fave guidebooks that I refer to frequently. ...

1) DK's Eyewitness Top 10-Florence. These are excellent quick sources. And they're compact too!

2) Access (Venice & Florence-1 book for both places) I love all Access guidebooks and get one for any place we travel. It's well formatted with little tidbits that I don't find in other sources.

3) Pauline Frommer's Italy (this is the daughter of the Frommer guidebook guru. Her book/approach is fresh and modernized.

(my husband and I are in our 40's and these guides gave us more contemporary and modern info while covering the basics).

tip: use your concierge for booking your reservations for museums, tours and restaurants.

adventureseeker is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 05:57 AM
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one more thing....

I would go to a bookstore and grab armfuls of guidebooks that looked appealing, find a big overstuffed chair and luxuriously thumb through them and select the one(s) you liked best.

Allow an hour or two and sip some coffee or tea and savor the experience. Then pinch yourself...you're going to Italy!
adventureseeker is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Check out http://www.fodors.com/shop/buy/?isbn...&category=gold
We thought it was very good.
Jed is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 07:39 AM
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I liked Rizzoli's Florence in Detail for pre-trip reading and AAA Spiral Guide Florence (smaller and lighter) for carrying around during the trip.
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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Have a look at the Rough Guide Florence too.
Surprising amount of info and detail.
iluvitaly is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 05:35 PM
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I liked the Rough Guide for Florence, too. Quite detailed information for the collections in the museums, churches, etc.

DK Eyewitness Guides are nice because of the pictures and graphics. Also contains pretty good historical information and background for Florence.

We referred to both of these guides several times a day, and also used the guidebooks provided in our apartment. Since you're spending a full week, you may want to invest in two good guidebooks, as they all seem to have different strengths (and weaknesses)--ie directions, or maps, or restaurant recommendations, or history, and so on.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 06:06 PM
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I used them all - but I like Lonely Planet books and Rough Guides. They tend to cater to my bargain mentality.

I really like Rick Steves' guides but I've discovered that Rick Steves seems to be out of favor on the Fodor's forum so you probably won't get too many Steves recommendations here.
sshephard is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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I also like Rick Steve's guides. Not for the restaurant or lodging recommendations, but he does a good overview on the sights and it's always been a good book for us to take and plan the next day's activities.
MonicaRichards is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 06:33 PM
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I like the DK books since it does have pictures along with Rick Steve's books. Those are always my first picks
KARIME2 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 06:47 PM
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They're all the same. The best information on practical travel -- busses, train, etc, are the Lonely Planet, but the same info is now available online.

My favorite guidebook to the sights is the Michelin Green Guide. Very detailed, but it does not concern itself with travel details. Any of the others will do for that, but are vulgar bordering on stupid.
Aug 26th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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Rick Steve's is to travel wriitng what Barry Manilow is to heavy metal.

I have not seen Rizzoli's Florence, but I am intrigued. Michelin green guides are well written and accurate.

Fodor's, Frommer's-good on restaurants and hotels, poor on sites, history, and non-existent on smaller towns

Rough Guide, Loney Planet-poor on hotels and restaurants, good on history and culture especially of you like edgy commentary.

DK-nice to the eye, simplistic explantions

Michelin Red's the most froncocentric books created

Time Outs-Hip and stylish written by people who know their cities
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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I like Rick Steves self-tours of museums and towns. The books are light-weight (and I mean actual weight) and easy to carry. They're also cheaply enough printed that I don't mind tearing out whole chunks and then throwing them away as we finish with them.

There are certainly much more beautiful travel books with gorgeous paper and photos but they seem to weigh a ton and I'd never carry them around with me or take them apart.
hdm is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 07:03 PM
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I like Access, Rough Guide and Insight Guide; in that order.
zoecat is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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We always take a DK book along on our travels. I prefer the full eyewitness guides to the top 10 books, but it typically depends on how long we'll be in a certain area.

I also enjoy Rick Steves' books. His thoughtful approach to utilizing local businesses while exploring areas popular with locals has given us many great experiences. I have found a lot of good hotel recommendations in them, as well.

Finally, I found the Marling Menu Master especially helpful in Italy. We much prefer getting the menu in Italian to challenge our language skills. If there were certain things we just couldn't translate, this little guide came in handy!

Good luck, h.
hlocke1 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 07:25 PM
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Absolutely Rick for concise and easy-to-follow museum tours.

Terrific for places like the Uffizi and the Cistine Chapel.
nevertooold is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 08:02 PM
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Last year for my trip to Florence I took Fodor's Exploring Tuscany. Lots of info on Florence and surrounding area. Check it out.
If you want ideas on hotels you should specify what it is you're looking for, price etc.

Lauricelli is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 08:56 PM
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Rick Steves is not bad for whizzing through many places with his recommended itineraries. I like DK for the pictures. However IMO if you want the best detail, history and facts about the places you will visit, Cadogan Guides are the best and easy to read with up to date hotel and restaurant tips.
Sampaguita is offline  
Aug 27th, 2007, 03:40 AM
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When we go to Europe we usually take Frommer for practical guidance and either the Michelin Green Guide or the Blue Guide for art and architecture. I prefer the Blue Guide and my wife the Green Guide.
sjj is offline  
Aug 27th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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I like Eyewitness Guides. They seem to point out things I am interested in (i.e., architectural specifics)
Ralphie is offline  

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