Top positive review
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The Best Guide to Rome of the 3 I Tried
on 1 April 2010
I went to Rome for the first time last week and initially had been put off buying my ususal Rough Guide because of some of the reviews on here. However after buying a DK eyewitness guide (which I found far too confusing because of all the pictures and what I felt was a messy format) and also an AA pocket guide (which was good but basic) a few days before I went I started to panic that I didn't have the info I needed, so I still ended up buying the Rough Guide to Rome anyway!
I admit I didn't really use the maps (which the lack of seems to be everyone's main gripe) but when we got there we were given a brilliant free map at our hotel with pictures of all the main sites, and as every other tourist seemed to have one too I think most hotels give them out (called Welcome to Roma map I think), so this was never a problem for us.
I found the Rough Guide had the easiest to use format of the 3 guide books I bought, I love the pictures at the front of the 'must see' sights as they give you inspiration, and like the detail it gives you about each place. For example, I read up on the history of Imperial Rome and the Popes etc, so when we visited the Forum and the Vatican everything the guide said made so much more sense.
Maybe this is because I have always used Rough Guides rather than any other, so the format seemed the most logical to me. On the other hand, we did feel the AA Pocket Guide to Rome (2008) was extremely handy to carry around in our pocket as a reference, and my boyfriend liked that one because he has a short attention span and there wasn't too much to read! The info in there is only top-line for each place though.
My only complaint was the writer's tendency to have slightly negative opinions about some of the major sites, for example claiming the Forum was dissapointing to most visitors etc, - thank goodness I decided to make my own mind up as I thought it was very interesting!
Overall, there are some flaws with this book but from trying several guides I found this was definitely the most comprehensive and easy to use.