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Blue Guide Northern Italy from the Alps to the Adriatic (12th edn) Paperback – 19 Feb 2015

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Product details

  • Paperback: 738 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Guides Limited; 12 edition (19 Feb. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905131011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905131013
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 3.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Paul Blanchard has written Blue Guide Northern Italy and Blue Guide Southern Italy. Born in Amsterdam, New York, he has lived in Italy for more than thirty years. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. F. Fasken on 27 May 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a revamp of a Guide Book which I already had but the copy in my possession was 50 years old.
The book I purchased just before going to Northern Italy was too heavy to carry around with me. It weighs 2 kilos. The earlier version was a hard back but weighed only a fraction of this.
It completely defeats the whole point of a guide book which is to take it with you when you visit monuments, churches, ruins etc.
It made a big part of my baggage allowance on the flight.
It has far too many glossy photos.
There are other guide books, such as the Cadogan series which are equally informative, more entertaining and much less weighty.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Orna Noy on 23 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blue guides are the best guides!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful detail, but don't pack it 7 July 2007
By Aquila - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On his website, travel guru Rick Steves says that Blue Guides take "a dry and scholarly approach to the countries of Europe. They're ideal if you want to learn as much about history, art, architecture, and culture as you possibly can." This is basically true, though I much prefer a "dry and scholarly" tone to Rick's "nerdy and precious" style. He's great when it comes to practical tips, but he can't touch the historical, artistic and architectural content of the Blue Guides.

Blue Guides pack a tremendous amount of information into their pages, much more than any other guide I've used. They're wonderful for reading before and after your trip, but they're probably too dense to pack and take along for most people. Before leaving on my honeymoon to Italy, I photocopied the relevant pages of the Northern Italy book to avoid having to pack it because I knew I wouldn't be visiting most of the cities it covers. (Be aware that this book does not include Rome, Florence, or Tuscany.) On that trip I field-tested three guides: Rick Steves, Eyewitness, and Blue Guide.

Blue Guides are not good to use as your main guide. They're far too light on practical matters such as maps, directions, hotels and restaurants, and they're not updated every year. I used Eyewitness to plan and get around and then pulled out the Blue Guide once I reached a major site. I used Rick Steves so little and found him so unhelpful that I left his books behind in hotels along the way.

Blue Guides have come a long way over the years. I was given an older edition of the Rome guide many years ago, and I couldn't believe how small the print was; it had a lot of detail but would have been very difficult to use while traveling. The publishers have learned their lesson: the current edition of the Rome guide is far easier to use and much more attractive, with colorful maps and an easier-to-read format. They've improved on the practical aspects as well, but you'll probably be in trouble if you rely on this book to get around in Rome. I recommend packing a more comprehensive one-volume guide such as Eyewitness and using Blue Guide to learn about specific sites once the other guide gets you to them. Keep Blue Guide on your shelf as an attractive reference and let it inspire you to return to Italy in the future!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Best There Is for Art and Architecture 21 Sept. 2010
By Rick Kaneen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blue Guides are the perfect companion guide for anyone who wants to learn about what you are looking at and not miss something fabulous that's right next door to your hotel. Other reviewers are correct - Blue Guide is not the most comprehensive when it comes to hotels and restaurants (although there are abbrieviated recommendations) but the detail on art, architecture and history is unsurpassed. There are few if any other guides that will walk you through the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Bologna room by room, telling you what's in each , or guide you though Mantova's Palazzo Ducale with a floor plan and descriptions of every room. For example, this guide has a paragraph about each masterpiece in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Venice. This detail and attention to just about everything worth seeing is valuable in planning your trip or even in making sure, once you arrive in a city, that you aren't missing anything extraordinary. Once in Italy, reading the Blue Guide information about Mantova caused us to change our plans and visit this wonderful town on the two rivers with it's incredible Palazzo Te, the Camera degli Sposi, Sant' Andrea and other masterworks that we mkight have never found and experienced otherwise. Yeah, because they are so crammed with information, it's a pain to lug them along, but well worth the trouble. Take your Fodor's to help you figure out what hotels to stay in, but then leave it in your suitcase (or give it to a fellow traveler) and carry your Blue Guide for a true educational visit. By the way, the city guides (Rome, Florence, Venice) have excellent city maps that will not only get your around (on foot) but lable nearly all the buildings, churches,and museums you will pass on a morning jaunt around town.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The Blue Guide remains unbeatable 27 May 2008
By Joe Murray - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a concise guide to important art and architecture, the Blue Guide remains unbeatable. Their Northern Italy edition is superb. (The guide covers all areas north of the Tuscany, Umbria, and Marches borders.)
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Blue Guide Northern Italy: From the Alps to the Adriatic 10 Jan. 2007
By C. E. Allen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Has all the information in the Baedeker Guides from the 20's and 30's but better maps and city diagrams. The best guide book for art, architecture and history available.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Best serious and concise guides to art and architecture in Italy 8 Dec. 2013
By APC Reviews - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The various Blue Guides to Italy are extraordinary resources for the knowledgeable traveler, interested in art, architecture and history, wishing to visit sites that they want to become more experienced with and educated about. The Blue Guides are not a general tourist guide. They are art, architecture and historical culture guides.

The Blue Guides are not about restaurants, bucket lists, hotels, trains, buses, hiking trails, top tens, must sees, top rated, best values, most fun or what to pack for your trip. They are concise and expert guides to the essentials of art and classical culture in the chosen areas. The number of people saying that the guides are "difficult" or "boring" or "useless" or "impossible" says volumes about the complete unfamiliarity with the subject, and the superficial interests, of the critics.

There is no shortage of glossy guide books available for people wanting to breeze through the Uffizi Museum in an hour, do Venice in an afternoon before returning to their cruise chip, make sure they get the photo of themselves holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, find the best shopping for that adorable memento, sample the local food specialty, or make sure they see the Sistine Chapel before lunch. The Blue Guides are not those books. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for the knowledgeable traveler to Italy, and those wanting to be one.
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