Guide books

Old Feb 6th, 2001, 09:15 AM
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Guide books

Does anyone have opinions on the following guide books: <BR> <BR>Eyewitness Guide to Italy <BR>Eyewitness Guide to Provence & Cote D'Azur <BR>Lonely Planet Italy <BR>Lonely Planet Provence & Cote D'Azur. <BR> <BR>From what I've heard, Eyewitness Guides will be great for suggestions on what to see and do, but their accomodation recommendations are pricey (we'd like to pay $100 or preferable even less per night). And I've heard that the Lonely Planet is a good guide and will also have more reasonably priced accomodations. <BR> <BR>Any thoughts? I know there's a lot of info on accomodations on the web, but I do like to have books so I can sit and read, highlight, show friends, etc. <BR> <BR>One of my biggest concerns is that the Eyewitness Provence is from January of 97. Have any of you used that recently? Is it totally out of date? <BR> <BR>Just so you know, we plan to spend about 10 days exploring Provence/Cote D'Azur and then another 10 days travelling throughout Italy. We're thinking a few days around Cinque Terra/Santa Margharita, then a little time in Florence, a little time in Rome and a few days on the Amalfi Coast & Capri. <BR> <BR>Thanks! <BR>Chloe
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 09:41 AM
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Chloe, I prefer Frommer as a first choice and fodors second. Frommers gives you very affordable recommendations. Three years is way too old for a guide book. Just go to a book store and see what you think reads easiest.
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 09:49 AM
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Eyewitness is certainly a glossier publication and has more pictures, but for information, Lonely Planet gives you many more details (as well as a range of prices for accoms). Frommers gives more details on the accommodations and restaurants but mentions and gives fewer total recs than Lonely Planet. It also mentions many fewer places than LP on towns/sights to see. I think LP and Rough Guides give more info. on more sights within a city, and info. on more towns and cities to see than Fodor's, Frommers, Eyewitness.
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 10:59 AM
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I like Fodor's and Frommer's the best, Fodor's also puts out a little color book that is simply for hotels, called Hotels of Character and Charm in Italy. Before I go, I get the Insight Guides since they are more about general culture, character, neighborhoods etc, and make for some terrific plane reading. Lonely Planets IMO are always seeming out of date to me, Eyewitness guides have a lot of great info, on what currency looks like and things like that, but in terms of hotels, I ahve NEVER been let down, by staying at either a Frommer's or Fodor's pick.
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 11:04 AM
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I also think Frommers gen. puts out a very good all-around guidebook, although I haven't seen theirs to Provence. Just to throw you off, I'd recommend the Cadogan's Guide for Provence & Cote d'Azur, they also do Italy so may have one for that area. They are very good in all areas, I think. I have two Eyewitness Guides for cities and would never recommend them as a primary guidebook. Not only are their hotel recommends in the upper brackets, they tell you nothing about the hotels, it's just a list, what's the point, you might as well use the phonebook, there is no "guiding" there; their restaurant recommends are just as bad, as I recall (ie, no info).
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 11:05 AM
Beth Anderson
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Be careful with Rough Guides accomodations picks. I've been disappointed, to say the least.
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 12:06 PM
Brian in Atlanta
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Chloe, I haven't been very impressed with those Eyewitness or LP guides (though the pictures in Eyewitness are great to look at). <BR> <BR>I've been especially disappointed in the lack of accomodation info. Frommer's for Italy is a bit better, but I've just ordered Time Out South of France and will report back hopefully by the end of the week on how it is. I'm usually pleased with Time Out, but I've only used them for individual cities in the past.
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 09:26 PM
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Hi, Chloe, I find the Eyewitness guides to be too heavy to carry around all the time. My favorite is Access - they give you info on hotels, restaurants, museums, and even shopping, showing you on a map of the area where each place is located. Another I like is the Cadogan series for reading PRE-trip as they give you lots of history and local color. Reading Cadogan made Siena and San Gimignano absolute musts on my trips to Italy. Check them all out and then decide what meets your needs best.
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 10:45 PM
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I've been to Italy with the Lonely Planet Italy guide, which I thought was great, even though there were a few hotels listed which were no longer in operation (C'est la vie). I also think their big France book is very good, and a regional guide such as Provence I think you will find as thorough as can be expected with regard to what it's most likely you would want to see. I stayed at a cheap pension in Florence that had been listed in the LP Italy which I liked a great deal, it mentioned that the owner was eccentric, and indeed he was. He didn't suffer any whining or complaining from the guests, let's put it that way. It was definitely one star accomodation. However, he was obviously an extremely intelligent person, who spoke English very well and with a real intellectual respect for it, as if he liked it, that I fear is too rare among its many students around the world. So I was quite endeared to him, though he had a brusque manner otherwise. I find in general that the LP recommendations lean more towards places that I might find interesting rather than someplace where everybody has to be obsequious to me even if I walk around more like an ass or a sheep than a man. But that's one man's opinion.

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