Which Guide Book for Florence?

Nov 5th, 2006, 07:05 PM
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Which Guide Book for Florence?

Hello all,

I'm thinking of getting a guide book for a friend who's just decided to to to Florence sometime in the next few months.

Since she's a first time traveler to Italy, I was thinking of getting her one of these books:
Pauline Frommer's Italy
Fodor's Italy (which I'm using now)
DK Eyewitness Italy/Florence
Blue Guide Florence
Blue Guide Tuscany

Out of the 5, which book would work best for her? She would be going to Florence for the art, which is why I thought of Blue Guide, but she was also thinking of straying while in Florence, which is why I thought, maybe a comprehensive book on Tuscany at the least. I only know DK Eyewitness, and am starting to get familiar with Fodors the book.

Would you suggest any of the books listed? Or can you suggest something better?

Thanks for any help!
mcnyc is offline  
Nov 5th, 2006, 10:45 PM
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Companion Guide to Florence is wonderful, a nice mixture of history and sight-seeing. No hotels or restaurants, no color piccies.
miasmadude is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 12:21 AM
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I just bought the Lonely Palnet guide to Florence and like it a lot. I saw the DK Eyewitness and it didn't appeal to me that much, it's only very coloured but the contents are not as good as the LP.
Tere is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 12:21 AM
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Planet note Palnet, lol.
Tere is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 12:24 AM
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Although it's not on your list, I have the National Geographic Florence and Tuscany bookguide. I really like it.
Castellanese is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 01:26 AM
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My favourite in any city is always the AA spiral guide for precisely that reason - it has a spiral spine so it lies flat, rather than closing itself at the most inconvenient times. also the maps are very good.
Having said that, for upcoming visit to Venice, i found a guide by the touring club of Italy in the library - it has a lot of detailed walking tours which look very interesting and very good maps, and it's very thin and light, so I'll be taking that.
all in all, it's a matter of personal choice, but a book that's so heavy you leave it in the hotel room is no use at all, IMO.
annhig is online now  
Nov 6th, 2006, 06:47 AM
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Thanks all for your recommendations.

I was trying to be mindful of not getting a book so huge that it would be left at home, however, I did want to get her a book that would get her stoked about getting to Florence, a lifelong dream.

She's got an excellent memory, so whatever she reads, she remembers... I will check out all your recommendations at the library and bookstores.

Thanks to all. Any other ideas or thoughts out there?
mcnyc is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 06:56 AM
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I'm a huge fan of the Blue Guides, but I haven't used on for Firenze. It's the one I'd take though.

If I wasn't going to see a whole region covered by the Blue Guide, I'd xerox the relevant pages to avoid having to tote the whole thing.
nessundorma is offline  
Nov 7th, 2006, 01:09 AM
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If your friend is such an avid reader, she might enjoy the following, if not to take with her, then to pre-read:
Mary McCarthy "The Stones of Florence", pb. Penguin. It's short but very dense. [mine comes with her other book "Venice observed", which is equally a classic].
Also, hugh morton's "A traveller in Italy" is another great pre-read.
Good luck hunting them down!
annhig is online now  
Nov 7th, 2006, 03:11 AM
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For a first trip, it is hard to beat the Rick Steves guide.
Barbara_in_CT is offline  
Nov 7th, 2006, 03:27 AM
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I was in Florence in early October. I like the Rick Steves Florence and Tuscany guide and Fodor's See It Florence and Tuscany guide. The See It series has a nice mix of facts, maps, walking tours, and photos. I also used both the Rick Steves and Fodors See It series for Venice and Rome.
takemealong is offline  
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