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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars16
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 July 2008
I am usually a fan of the Rough Guides range of travel books. However I found this one really difficult to use. The maps didn't cross reference easily meaning you had to hunt through each separate section using another map to find what you were looking for. Trying to find a recommended restaurant was almost impossible.

On the plus side the introduction was very useful and details regarding rules and regulations for the more religious areas of Rome were excellent.

There are some good hints and tips in here but overall the book was too complicated to use and as such stayed in the hotel room.
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VINE VOICEon 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.
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on 3 October 2009
Other reviewers have commented on the fact that this guide book isn't very helpful for finding your way around Rome, which is a fair criticism, however it does contain very useful smaller, more detailed maps of particular areas of interest and when used in conjunction with a map (which are given out free in most hotels and hostels) the guide really stand outs for what it is; an extremely useful reference for all of the attractions and notable sights of the wonderful city of Rome
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on 10 August 2008
As the other reviewer has said this book is is a nightmare. Badly laid out, with no map of the city overall making it difficult to understand where you are.
The restaurants that were tried in Bracciano were both disappointing. The shopping section was also poor - the major shopping mall at the termini was no more than you would get at the airport. Poorly written over complicated - the book lost its credibility and therfore ending up in the bin before it completey ruined our holiday.
Do not buy!!
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on 15 October 2010
After repeatedly finding 'The Rough Guides' to be the best travel guides available, I didn't shop around this time and ordered the 'Rough Guide to Rome' without feeling the need to read any reviews. The book did not let me down. Every aspect of what you need to know to negotiate a visit to Rome is inside. While spending over a week there with my elderly mother I felt completely able to trust the maps, time guides (for opening hours and busses etc.), local cultural notes (such as the hidden cost for table service on a meal), even down to a local wine to try; which I can now count as one of my favourites!
The book is broken up into easily turned to sections, that cover different regions of the city, making negotiating the info packed pages quick and concise.
Galleries and major works are noted so you know which church to pop in to see cavases and sculptures by the masters. Along with curiosities, pleasant places, trips out of the city and things for the kids.
I read this book before I went to the city and had it on hand constantly whilst there. It helped us see and do as much as was possible in the time we had. If you want a guide to Rome; buy this book!
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on 6 November 2010
I am regular user of Rough Guide and the book was it was its usual comprehensive reference tool - good for finding slightly unusual restaurants ,using the public transport and cheap airport transfers - what I found less helpful was the layout which required multiple page flicking through for descriptions and restaurants. Whilst some of the destination descriptions and walking tours are informative ( the one of Ancient Ostica particularly good ) you are underwhelmed by the cursory two paragraphs on the magnificent Pantheon. As a "Rough Guide" it works but the local guides bring the ancient ruins to life and spend a few Euros to walk round the forum and the Colosseum with a well informed English speaking guide!
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on 5 April 2010
It has some good Hotel Info by area. I needed to change Hotel and used the suggestions to go and look at a few mentioned. It was very helpful when looking around The Terminii area to have some names to look at as there are so many. I found a good one directly as a result of using the suggestions in the Rough Guide which worked out really well for me. It did not help however re eating and with the current exchange rate there is a real need for a Guide Book to mention reasonably priced eating places. Nor could I really get a picture of the lay out of Rome from it and used the free hand-out maps given in hotels and bought another Guide whilst there with pictures in to get more of an idea of what to see. So it is useful up to a point.
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on 3 October 2011
Long a fan of Rough Guides, I did not hesitate to buy the current edition of the Rough Guide to Rome for a recent trip, despite the large numbers of bad reviews I had read of it. On past experience of so many Rough Guides, I was sure criticisms were unfounded. They were not. Poor maps, no travel information for getting around in Rome and what bus or metro routes served which locations. Above all, very slapdash coverage of sites and museums. It seemed to be written by someone who had very little knowledge of, or liking for his subject matter. I cannot go into more detail as I was so disgusted with the book that I threw it away.
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on 18 October 2012
This guide is very good for the traveler who wants more than a quick guide with good maps to the main attractions. It delves deep into Rome's restaurants, bars, piazzas and hidden gems.
The section on the sights in the city is divided by geographical area. So for a traveler new to Rome it may take some time to find the parts that you want to plan your trip. An improvement could be made by reinforcing the cross references between restaurant reviews and their locations on the area maps.

The history sections and the literature of Rome are well written and insightful sections. The cafe reviews and restaurants include places that the locals eat at, which is always great to know about.

In short, it's a lovely colourful detailed guide which just takes a bit longer to get your head around.
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on 24 March 2012
I am disappointed with the Kindle version of this book, the layout is primitive and the maps unclear. Worse still, on my iPad the maps are the wrong way round so you cant read them at all, and can't be rotated.

I am sure the information itself is very good, but very hard to navigate and heavy going with no images, plus difficult to relate the sites being mentioned to their location.

Could do better!
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