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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 30th, 2007, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 100
I got most of my info from the internet, but a friend I was traveling with throughout Europe brought her Rick Steves book.....my husband and I were both disappointed with the restaurant recommendations in his book...so much so, that we finally stopped going anywhere he recommended!
AmyKW is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 15,433
Another vote for Michelin green guides for the sights. You do have to supplement these with information about restaurants from somewhere else.

I wouldn't rely on Rick Steves for a comprehensive overview of a city/country. IMO he leaves out surprising places.
Vttraveler is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 01:01 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Lonely Planet and Rough Guide are edgy in the manner they state their opinions. Steve's approach to travel is to seek the familar and report in the same vein.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 01:06 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
AFter thought

don't think any travel book is 'edgy', unless Charles Bukowski wrote one and I don't know about it. Rick Steves is very informative and worth it, just stay away from his restaurant recommendation, he has no taste buds.

Writing need not be gin fueled to be edgy.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,444
hi, mohawk,

for all round information, DK take a lot of beating, but i find the pictures fussy.

AA spiral - quite good, and good maps, plus they lay flat, which is great. also, they list cafes etc. near attractions which helps.

Michelin - the gold standard - i still use my 20+ year old ones, because the art and architecture info doesn't date.

Blue guides - if you are seriously interested in art, the only way to go.

However, the best guide is the one that you take with you, and don't leave in the hotel cos it's too heavy!

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 01:38 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 154
OMG, did Charles Bukowski do a travel guide? (I wish!) I have several CBs on my shelf, that would be a good one (but it would likely deal with a different sort of travel althogether...
Alloro_beata is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 662
Also flip through "City Secrets: Florence, Venice, and the Towns of Italy" for interesting tips.
Chicago_Heather is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 81
As suggested above, get to a bookstore & set up camp in the Travel section for several hours & decide on what you like. We spent 21 days in Italy(Rome, Florence, Assisi, Padua, Naples, Pompeii & Venice) & I researched & read guide books for over a year to prep(first trip to Italy so maybe it was overdone) but we were ready beyond belief. My favorites:

1)DK Eyewitness-the best for setting up the sites-the drawing are accurate

2)National Geographic-"keeper" books because they are so beautiful, I bought the individual guides for Rome, Florence & Venice & will use them for years.

3)Rick Steves for the shortcuts & time-saving tips that can make a difference as to time(but I feel he cuts too many corners on spending-I am not rich but this was my first trip to Italy & we wanted to do it right)

4)AAA spiral books for each city-concise, informative & a different perspective-check the bargain bin at Borders where I got Venice & Rome.

Good luck
The_Judge is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,736

Have you got this straight now? hahahah

1) I love the DK Eyewitness guides. Have one for each city we are headed to.

2) I think Rick Steves and Michelin Green are also good.

3) Bottom line...do what a few others have suggested. Take one of every type and sit down in a big easy chair at Barnes & Noble and figure out which one(s) you like best. I am a "visual" person and that is why I love the DK books. Fabulous, IMHO.

Have fun!!!!!!!!
sarge56 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:57 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,897
Cadogan Tuscany (will not include Bologna; no other Tuscan guide will include that city either; Cadogan has a good Bologna guide)

Rizzoli Florence in Detail.
Time Out Florence (mostly for food; shopping; entertainment; not essential)

To read before the trip: Fred Plotkin's Gourmet Guide and Faith Willinger's Eating in Italy

ekscrunchy is online now  
Aug 31st, 2007, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 137
Yes, it's the 'Bukowski Guide to Cheap Women, Wine and Beer'. It takes you to all the out of the way watering holes, and teaches you how to fight you way through with only a few minor scratches...
rmeyer is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 240
Guidebook writer's tip:
The suggestions are all good but do remember that the time lapse between gathering info, publishing the guidebook and reading it ( whether the cheapskate way in a bookstore or borrowing from library or purchasing )means that the information especially on restaurants, hotels, prices will already be outdated when you read it. Thus the importance of forums like this, reviews such as those on slowtalk, and best of all having friends in Europe who write about life here.
vetralla is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,000

Good point vetralla. Steves "2008" books were in bookstores last month. I think that is dishonest. They should be called "summer 2007" books.
hopscotch is offline  

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