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Suggestion for best guide book and map to use in Rome?

Suggestion for best guide book and map to use in Rome?

Dec 10th, 2001, 12:39 PM
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Suggestion for best guide book and map to use in Rome?

Hello everyone. I'm looking for suggestions of the best guide book to take with me for a six-day vacation in Rome. I've been reading lots of them (from my library) and taking notes here and there but have not found one I like to actually take with me. I want a book with the most useful information, maps (for walking especially), phrases, and such, that is as compact as possible. I don't need all the hotel/restaurant information, the hotel is already chosen and restaurants are not really important to me. I've not actually seen the Rick Steves Rome only guidebook, but I like his Italy book. It's just kind of bulky.

As far as a good map for walking, I found one at Barnes and Noble that is from National Geographic that I like a lot. But I won't know if it's useful or not until after the fact.

I'm sure there are a lot of opinions out there about this, and I welcome them all. I'm not leaving until about 10 weeks. Thanks!

Dec 10th, 2001, 01:17 PM
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I just got back from a week in Rome yesterday (still jet-lagged) and I can make a couple of recommendations. For a good map, wait until you get there and buy a small map book, about 5" x 6". It has all the small streets marked and is easy to use. I had a regular map that was very detailed but it got ripped up from use and was difficult to spread out whenever I needed it - and you will need a map in Rome. The map book is available at all the bookstores and news vendors, tobacco shops.

I took a couple of books with me. If you can find it in a library, take "Rome Walks" by Shetterly. I'm not sure if it's still in print. She directs you on five walks - around the Piazza Navona, the Campo di Fiori, the foot of Capitoline Hill, Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto. The walks can last about 3 hours. She takes you to places that other guide books don't. There's a lot of detail in her descriptions, maybe more than you need but it's very informative.
Dec 10th, 2001, 01:22 PM
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Streetwise Rome is a great, handy, practical map.

I favor Fodor's for guidebooks. If concentrating in one city, Rome, I found Dorling Kindersley's 'Rome' to be very good. Kind of detailed, but once you understand the layout of the book, it is very informative.
Dec 10th, 2001, 01:49 PM
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With no need of hotel and restaurant info what's left?
Sightseeing! The best all-round guide for the historic sites and museums only is the "Blue Guide Rome", also has daytrip info. My original "Streetwise Rome" map is planning it's 5th trip next March. Regards, Walter
Dec 11th, 2001, 05:11 AM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I will check them out!!

Dec 11th, 2001, 06:25 AM
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I am usually a fan of the Streetwise maps but I found even before I got there that for me it was inadequate for Rome.
There is much more Rome than there is Streetwise map--many small streets were not labeled on that map. Same problem with the Insight map.
My best friend, which I purchased before I left, was Michelin's Roma Tascabile map-book. It is a 5X8 spiral-bound book, and it has an alpha list of seemingly all streets. It doesn't however offer a city-wide view, so that's what the Insight Map or the Streetwise map can do for you.
Michelin's Green Guide to Rome is slim,
and it has excellent detail on historical and cultural places, even some maps of some church interiors.
It is organized by neighborhood, and walking itineraries are suggested. I have not seen a guide book that has accurate and complete information on when Rome sites are open or closed.
Glean as much info as you can from the twenj.com website. It has lots of current info, strategies, etc.
Dec 11th, 2001, 06:32 AM
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Is it just me, or are the streets in Rome very poorly labeled? I always want to mention this everytime I see someone ask about maps. It doesn't matter how good the map is if you can't tell what street you're on. It's not really a criticism, just an observation. Getting lost was part of the fun.
Dec 11th, 2001, 10:44 AM
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There are several good guide books for Rome---the Eyewitness book being the most detailed I have found. However, do not think about going without visiting the best web site, www.twenj.com. And, when in Rome, look up and thank Ed for his passionate work---Julie too !
Dec 11th, 2001, 02:46 PM
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I normally use a Michelin map but, for Rome, I preferred the map that came with Fodor's Citypack Rome guide; it had a nice detailed map of the city center.

These isn't really a guidebook, but a book I brought and really enjoyed was An Architect's Rome (Bulfinch Architecture/Travel Series) by John M., Jr. McGuire (unfortunately, now out-of-print.)

Vita, I guess I didn't find the streets in Rome to be that poorly marked. I kind of agree with you that it doesn't matter how good a map is if you can't tell what street you're on...but sometimes you can figure it out, even if it's not marked, by referring to nearby streets and/or buildings and a map.
Dec 12th, 2001, 05:29 AM
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Eyewitness Guide, hands down! This is an amazing guide book, I've been to Europe 4 times and just returned from an 8 day vacation from Rome, using Eyewitness Guide for the first time, and I'll never use anyother guide book ever again! Really, really loved this book....if you can't tell by now. Michelin comes in 2nd. I also used Streetwise while in Rome and found it to be very good, didn't have trouble finding any of the small streets. Enjoy.
Dec 12th, 2001, 06:31 AM
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For Rome, my friend brought Fodor's and I brought Frommers. We both agreed that we liked the Frommer's book better. However, I like Fodor's website better than Frommers and got lots of helpful tips here before my trip.
Dec 12th, 2001, 08:42 AM
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Thanks again, all of you. Bob, I have been looking at Ed and Julie's site quite a bit. It has been very helpful. Ed was an amazing traveler, so nice of him and Julie to share their wisdom and insight.

Dec 12th, 2001, 10:32 AM
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My vote goes to Rick Steves Italy 2001.It is compact and not cumbersome to carry around - all you need is this one book. I used it all over Italy in Oct. and it was great in Rome. Still looking for a good map for my return trip next year though. A little compact magnifying glass is a little hint for looking at all those tiny little streets.
Dec 12th, 2001, 05:30 PM
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I like the Streetwise laminated maps - I can be kinda rough on my stuff and paper maps wouldn't have lasted a day on my recent trip thru Italy. They're about $6.95 each, get 'em at the big nat'l bookstore chains. Got one each for Rome, Venice and Florence and one of the BEST things I did in advance of my trip was study the maps, a few minutes here and there daily...I'd look at 'em a few minutes in bed at night before nodding off, or on the bus while commuting to work - a fun way to prepare for your trip. I found it to be SUCH a huge help once I landed...I was traveling alone and I think it made me a lot more confident on the street - I felt like I had the lay of the land & knew what was coming up in the distance ahead without having to clutch a map at all times. Am curious about the extent to which others do this in advance - maybe it's a no-brainer kuz this is a savvy group, but "Study the map in advance!" is one of the best travel tips I can offer. Also, a word on guidebooks - I xeroxed pages I wanted to take, it cuts down on stuff you have to haul around during your sightseeing (more room for goodies you pick up along the way!), and you can write on 'em without ruining the book.
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