Guide Book Help

Oct 24th, 2003, 11:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 82
Guide Book Help

Hi Everyone-
I am trying to plan a two week trip to Italy for next October. I'm not quite sure what cities to see yet or for how long a stay each city warrants. So, to educate myself and to make sure I don't miss something wonderful I wanted to do a lot of research first.
Aside from the obvious book, Fodors, are there any favorite guide books anyone would recommend? I'd also be interested in any travel journals of Italy that impressed you.

One more question. I'm also trying to get an idea of the weather in Italy for mid October. The books say 63 degrees or so but then I read one post where a woman said they were wearing tank tops in Rome now. Is it more tank top or sweater weather?

Thank you-

LaraM is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 11:43 AM
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It can get cool in the morning and evening; especially if its windy or wet. Best to plan on taking a light jacket, a couple of long sleave shirts and a sweater or two - be happy if you don't need them much.
Oct 24th, 2003, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 194
Love the Lonely Planet series, and always pick up a tidbit or two from Rick Steves (though he is no longer the 'back door' traveller that he once was).
rach is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 12:55 PM
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Go to the library and get a copy of Rick Steve's Italy 2003 Book. Many first time visitors use two weeks for
Rome, Florence and Venice.
Oct 24th, 2003, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 262
In addition to the guides already mentioned, I like the Insight Guides as well as The Blue Guides. Also spend some time a the book store thumbing through all of them for ideas.
Great way to spend a cloudy, rainy afternoon.
mmr41 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 01:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I have long travel files on Rome, Florence, and Venice; if you'd like to see them, email me at
[email protected]

If you click at the top of this screen on Destinations, right here at you can get a lot of basic info on various cities, and what the guidebook is like. Ditto,,, michelin, etc etc

igougo also has posted travel journals.

Last time I was in Rome was very early October, and during the day the temperature was about 78-80 F. It got cooler at night, but not cold--a sweater of shawl was sufficient.
In Venice about the same time, the daytime temp was low 70s, nights and early mornings required a thick sweater.
I also was glad to have an unlined raincoat.

Always take an umbrella.

Each year is different, you'll just have to check forecasts before you go.
elaine is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 03:24 PM
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I would get Rick Steves' Italy guide for an overview (and very good altho' subjective advice) and supplement it with the Internet and other guides books. One year in Europe in October (speedy trip) I hit a heat wave and nobody was prepared for it (in the high 80s in Rome). Everyone was buying T-shirts on the street. Another year it was much cooler - definitely warm jacket weather. You really need to check the weather websites just before you go to figure out what to pack.
nancy is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 05:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Half way down the first page of Rome as a destination you will find a button for weather. You can get today's forecast, a ten day forecast (useful for checking just before you leave) and the climate history. The avg high for October in Rome is 71, low 53. The record high is 88 and the low is 34.

My personal favorite (after spending time in the library and Barnes and Noble) among the guide books for sights, history, maps are the Michelin Green Guides. It does not give much info on hotels and restaurants.
jsmith is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 09:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Guidebooks are personal in way that one book does not fit all. I've used the Michelin green book for Italy because hotels and restaurants are noit my priority. We rent a car and the green guide is organized for car trips and which towns, cities are best according to the authors. What I do has been suggested by other posters, go to Barnes & Noble and look through the guides for one that will fit your needs. The B&N online site offers some help also, explaining the diffferent guides. I found a new series this year that was excellent for my needs, the "Footprint" series. While I checked their is no guide for Italy, they do have guides for difffent regions in Italy. Enjoy yout vacation.
aeiger is offline  
Oct 25th, 2003, 06:37 AM
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I'm not a Rick Steves fan, but his stuff for Italy was extremely useful, particularly in Rome and Florence.
Oct 25th, 2003, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,113
Here's another vote for Rick Steve's. I bought several guidebooks for our trip to Venice and Florence, but found his books on those particular cities very helpful and informative.

I didn't use his hotel or restaurant suggestions, but his overall general info and the guided tours of various sights were very helpful to us with both planning, as well as when we were there.
Statia is offline  
Oct 25th, 2003, 07:11 AM
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Like Statia, Lara, I should have specified what was particularly helpful. Like Statia, I did not find Rick Steve's restaurant/lodging advice to be of any use, but his museum overviews were the most practical of any in such overwhelming cities as Florence and Rome. That didn't mean we didn't use others in the museums--the Cadogan guides were particularly useful in Florence--but when one is trying to see as much as possible in short times spans, his approach to the museums in these cities was right on target.
Oct 25th, 2003, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 81
Cadogan Guides are more in depth about the history and what there is to see and do. I purchased their Northern Italy guide and its great. Also have Rick Steves, Fodors and others. Plan an afternoon at Barnes and Noble - it's part of the fun in planning your trip!
Txrangerterry is offline  
Oct 25th, 2003, 08:13 AM
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Rick Steve's has recently started to list more 3 and 4 star hotels and swung a bit further away from his earlier spartan, budget digs. Maybe its because many of his readers were not spring chickens and wanted to spend more for comfort and decor. All of his places are safe and located close to public transportation and things most tourists want.

I've stayed at six places he recommended and was pleased each time.
Oct 25th, 2003, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,433
I also recommend the "Blue Guides" for the historic sites and museums.
If you really want to do the ruins in Rome in detail use the "Oxford Archaeological Guides-Rome". Regards, Walter
ParadiseLost is offline  

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